Intranet – Your Digital Workplace to Manage Business Remotely

Curbed travel. Canceled events. Closed schools. COVID-19 is jolting up how we communicate, and the workplaces are no exception. As businesses brace for COVID-19, the occurrence of remote work is set to rise steeply, as will the requirements for well-honed best practices. The capability to rapidly implement effective remote work processes is what will differentiate the winners from the losers.

The intensification of remote work popularity is because of the evolution of technologies like ultra-fast internet connections and mobile devices. Tools such as cloud-based storage solutions also empower individuals to collaborate with colleagues instantly from anywhere in the world.

Sustaining Business Continuity by Going Remote

While the judges may be out on the advantages of remote work, in general, undoubtedly, it can be the best option during crisis scenarios. Whether it is an outbreak like COVID-19, a natural disaster, or a security threat, remote working can safeguard employees and ensure business continuity during testing times.

Sustaining business functions during the disruption demands meticulous planning, streamlined communications, and a well-versed understanding of employee requirements and preferences. Digital workplaces can be leveraged to keep everyone informed, encourage collaboration amongst the scattered workforce, and centralize crisis response efforts.

How can Intranet Support?

When the business continuity is on the line, the intranet can be helpful in the following ways to help weather the storm:

1.  Keeps remote teams connected

Regardless of the industry or the office setting, employees are supposed to communicate efficiently. While most businesses leverage email platforms, email can only go so far. Did you know an average employee checks their email roughly 36 times a day? That is much distraction.

Intranet empowers people to communicate in real-time or face-to-face via instant messaging and video chats. This means groups can resolve issues and brainstorm keys from one simple platform. The intranet ensures no more lost communications in an email thread. Intranets are also a terrific tool to nurture a healthy company culture. Senior management can leverage the platform to share the organizational vision and objectives, promote ideas, and share topics of interest. HR professionals could post policy updates and new initiatives to keep employees engaged. Employees will feel more engaged in their workplace due to better internal communications.

2.  Boosts Employee Productivity

Even with the growth of the digital workplace, several businesses still use manual and paper processes to manage tasks. The intranet platform tackles these challenges by streamlining several processes to amplify employee productivity. Businesses that embrace automation are known to save time and cut down on human errors.

Depending on manual processes is a great time-waster. Employees must find the latest version of a document, fill it out, scan it, then email it to the appropriate stakeholder. On an intranet platform, all these tasks can be carried out online in an effortless manner.  The stakeholder is then notified through email and is reminded to act promptly.

3.  Makes Information Sharing Effortless

Regardless of where employees work, businesses have much information to store. Data is stored across numerous platforms like emails, word docs, Google Drive, etc. making finding information an arduous task. Instead, leveraging an intranet platform as a central, one-stop-shop for all business information means it will be hassle-free for employees to see what they require. The intranet must possess strong search capabilities so that employees can quickly locate relevant information.

One of the most remarkable advantages of having a single source for information is the familial information gained by everyone in the company. This can be an enormous competitive benefit for an organization, cutting downtime to onboard new employees, saving the knowledge from those who have left the organization, and making this accessible to present employees. Acknowledging that all the information an employee might require is trusted and accessible enables them to work faster and feel more confident in the work they produce.

4.  Keeps your Data Secure

Every business has confidential files or information that requires to be kept private. There are several types of internal and external threats that could compromise company data. Security violations, weak passwords, and unauthorized access could jeopardize everyone. An intranet is a closed, private network that safeguards businesses from unauthorized users. With a platform like this, employees working remotely can keep their projects safe.

While the intranet contains information that is useful to all employees, not everything is relevant to everyone. Some businesses want to restrict access to sensitive data. Remote businesses can create custom privacy settings, so only specific people can have access to information.  This adds an extra layer of security against everyone who may hack into your system.

5.  Improves Collaboration and Feedback

The finest way to encourage employees to make use of the intranet is to pull them in. Employees will naturally leverage a tool when they are drawn in by their peers or their work. Intranets have smart features like @-mentions, comments, easy document sharing, or some form of notifications. Leveraging mentions and comments facilitate to bring in the right people at the right time to add to work and keeps all feedback and contributions contextual.

A seasoned intranet facilitates real-time page editing with teammates and task assignments with deadlines. Having a central place to capture feedback and working with the team encourages collaboration, since all data is available to involved stakeholders and updates are in real-time.

6.  Helps build Transparent Company Culture

To bring out the best in employees, businesses need to create a space to feel comforting sharing thoughts and opinions. 87% of people want to work for a transparent company. An intranet can help building a transparent company. Everyone can contribute, like, and comment on anything shared within the organization, enabling transparency between execs and employees.

When employees feel empowered to open up realistically at work, they build robust relationships with peers. This nurtures a deeper understanding of one another, leads to more substantial levels of trust, and ultimately empowers everyone to contribute their value to the business thoroughly.

Provide employees with what they need to make the most of remote work

Doesn’t matter if the remote work is a longstanding policy or an interim solution, employees require support to flourish. If you are interested in implementing an intranet that optimizes collaboration and performance from any location, reach out to one of our digital workplace experts.

Self-Service Customer Experience – The New Normal

Customer experience has forever been a way for organizations to distinguish themselves. But, COVID-19 has transformed the rules of the game.

The customers are now increasingly self-isolating, prefer digital and contactless engagement mediums, are more mindful about spending, and are expected to be making different lifestyle choices for some time. Curating customer experiences for this new normal may call for essentially different approaches. But the opportunities to develop value are several.

In an age of social distancing, the way organizations interact with customers is evolving. Physical touchpoints are being minimized in favor of no-touch self-service models that are increasingly safer, cost-effective, and efficient. Customer service, today, at every touchpoint, is almost wholly contactless.

In the interim, Asian Paints, India’s largest paint company, takes the self-service route by allowing its dealers to place orders through a self-service web portal.

Does this change to self-service models imply that human-powered customer service will fade? No. Customers still prefer talking to a human-like call center agent while addressing some issues. However, even in call centers, the first layer of communication today is self-service chatbots and portals. These tools empower customers to search for answers and solve routine issues on their own.

With the proliferation of COVID-19, massive transitions in customer expectations have reframed the way organizations engage with devices. Present-day customer is more mobile, digital, and connected than ever before. They want relevant information and functionality wherever they are, on-demand. They also require organizations to help themselves with methods like the ability to view an account, pay a bill, or schedule an appointment in a few clicks.

Self-service mediums like customer portals are a significant part of fostering such an experience in post-COVID 19 worlds. However, not all portals are developed equal. Most conventional portals fail to deliver the modern user experience that today’s customers want.

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59% of customers and 71% of business buyers say self-service availability impacts their loyalty

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Modern Portals Put the Customer First

These same connections also enable agents to provide a more tailored customer experience.

Present-day customer portals are defined by much more than their self-service capacities. Nothing like conventional customer portals built for transactions than fostering relationships – today’s customer portals are connected, personalized, and readily available from any device. They make it hassle-free for customers to search for information, manage accounts, and connects with agents whenever required.

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        68% of service professionals say one bad experience inflicts more damage to a

customer relationship than five years ago.

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The Advantages of Digital Experience

The advantages of a customer portal range across all areas of a business – from customer experience to internal process to technical factors. The portals boost customers at every stage of their customer journey. For instance, when a customer thinks ordering a product, the portal will cater a consistent point of access to look for what they want, buy-in a few clicks, track deliveries, and now even allows viewing restocking dates, warranties, and order history – across multiple devices.

For the business, customer portals deliver more than just customer satisfaction. They also have a built-in capability to amalgamate various systems and data sources to cater to a connected and personalized customer experience. The key to this is a CRM system that enables a single view of the customer.

An entirely integrated portal caters to customer profile information, interests, history, and actions that allow more personalized service. It is demanding for IT departments to maintain and upgrade a legacy portal’s back-end systems. Weighed against their predecessors, modern customer portals are smoother to maintain, upgrade, and integrate with fundamental data sources, business systems, and processes. They also provide a higher level of security via updated capabilities like application monitoring.

Development Priorities For Modern Customer Portals:

It is central to recognize solutions that serve the requirements of both the customer and the business. The ideal solution must cater to a seamless service experience for customers and grown efficiencies across business units.

  • Unify Data and Processes from Any System

  • Customers anticipate feeling like they are dealing with a single business, not a series of    disconnected parts. Amalgamating business’s service and business processes through knowledge articles, live-agent chats, and third-party systems develop unified customer experience. For the business, a seamless capture of portal activities caters to a holistic view of the customer for agents. For the customer, this ends up in a better experience.

  •  Provide Personalized Engagement

  • 80% of service teams agree that a shared, single view of the customer empowers departments to cater to a more consistent experience across every channel. Connected CRM data boosts businesses to intuitively deliver tailored suggestions, including services, products, and notifications.

  •  Enable Connected Self-Service

  • 81% of customers try to take care of issues themselves before reaching out to a live agent. With the right tactics in place, self-service portals can become the crux of the service process by smartly surfacing the most relevant responses to customer queries without involving agents. In practice,
    this method has led to a 31% growth in case deflection and a 22% rise in customer satisfaction.

What’s Next?

A new method of customer success needs investment in an innovative customer portal that is integrated, personalized, and caters seamless self-service. The transactional, conventional portals of the past no longer meet the expectations of present-day connected customers. With a combination of innovative solutions and smart design tools, customer portals are not the only turnkey to develop, but also meets the needs of customers, businesses, and IT departments alike.

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