(SPONSORED ARTICLE) The Great Resignation: We’ve read about it and have likely experienced it within our own teams. The pandemic has caused people to reprioritize their lives, which has resulted in many leaving the workforce. Many organizations are left with talent gaps, struggling to fill those roles while retaining existing employees. At the same time, they’re working to deliver excellent products and services to customers while also improving their bottom line.
Finding the perfect balance is a challenge, which is why companies are pivoting their strategies to achieve what Gartner is calling total experience (TX). TX involves creating great experiences for anyone who interacts with a brand — both customers and employees. While yes, brands must always deliver excellent customer experiences, it’s more critical than ever to create great employee experiences for talent attraction and retention, as well as innovation. An aha moment we should all be having is the degree to which your employees are empowered and engaged directly affects the customer experience they produce. The TX your organization creates is not just a feel-good HR moment, it’s smart business.
This can be daunting given the breadth of applications employees and customers use when interacting with brands, as well as the tools employees use to get work done. But there’s good news: Many of these issues can be aided with low-code platforms. Low code serves as the great unifier to help drive innovation, provide process automation with smarter workflows, create productive work environments for employees, and positively impact customer experiences. With the right technology, brands can optimize all experiences — whether someone is creating an app or using it.
Here are four concepts to consider while creating your TX strategy:
1. Give employees the same experiences as customers
When comparing internal and external apps at many organizations, there’s a massive disconnect. Many times, internal apps just aren’t good, or are an attempted (but ineffective) repeat of external apps. Organizations are spending their resources on customer-facing applications, but not investing in internal apps. This can be detrimental, as brands are creating conflicting experience variations. Employees shouldn’t have to spend 10 minutes fighting internal applications and figuring out their functionality — they should just work.
Internal applications and processes must provide the same seamless, efficient experiences as external ones. Quality internal applications, processes, or workflows result in increased efficiency and innovation, and enable employees to spend time on higher-value tasks that positively impact customer experiences regardless of channel. Forward-thinking organizations will ensure user experience is consistent across applications without needing to manage duplicate copies of processes just because the user interface (UI) is different.
2. Don’t get stuck in the past
Many organizations have dragged their feet on modernizing core processes because they’re intertwined with pre-existing transaction systems or systems of record — the processes and the data are stuck in the past. As a result, supporting a modern customer experience has required technical duct tape between aging applications — spinning up manual processes for exceptions, or when things don’t follow a happy path, and lots of handoffs across workflows that create out-of-channel work in the background. Employees aren’t as productive and are frustrated — something no organization can afford — and this can seep through to customers’ experiences.
With today’s low-code app platforms, we can avoid disturbing that historical footprint and corporate knowledge and instead integrate disparate systems and data together in the proper context, into an end-to-end workflow centered around experience and outcomes for customers and employees.
3. Embrace reusability
It’s expensive and labor intensive to build apps from scratch, reinventing the wheel with every new business need. Unfortunately, that’s the approach many organizations use, starting with a channel or UI — web, email, mobile or other — and building an application specific for that moment of engagement. Organizations need to build processes once — focused on workflow and outcome — and expand those across applications and workflows with flexibility, making them future-proof and easily repeatable. This means having a design system with the same features and functions in the same place so users — both internal and external — benefit from consistent experiences.
Deploying a low-code platform to support all engagement channels will drive additional organizational benefits. Professional developers enjoy the flexibility of their chosen tools and ability to extend core experiences; and business developers are empowered to build productive, efficient internal experiences, supported by built-in guardrails.
A factory approach drives tremendous reuse and efficiency over time. By implementing reusable workflows and business logic, you drive up consistency of experience and drive down the learning curve. You also get closer to eliminating legacy debt with a cost-efficient way to create user-friendly applications. When that compounding legacy debt starts disappearing, there’s room for even more innovation.
4. Remember that low code isn’t just for smaller apps
Many still consider low code as something for citizen developers working on smaller scale, backlogged tasks, and apps, but not all low-code platforms are created equal. If you choose a low-code platform with a robust automation engine and capabilities, you can also build innovative, enterprise-grade, and scalable front-end apps. Low code can be an engine of innovation — creating new apps, processes, and experiences — internally and externally, big or small. It gives more people the ability to quickly try new things, as well as fail and move on, while broadening the scope of who can participate. When you can easily build better workflows, everyone using those apps enjoys interacting with your brand.
For effective TX, you must consider brand experiences holistically: You need the right apps and workflows to power innovation and keep customers and employees happy and engaged, and you also need to allow people to build those apps. By empowering all developers with low code, you’re creating better development environments to innovate and get work done. And in turn, those innovative apps and workflows make for better TX.
Jeanette Barlow is the VP of product marketing for intelligent automation at Pegasystems. In this role, Jeanette and her team drive product positioning and high impact go-to-market strategies for Pega’s market-leading, low-code process automation platform. Prior to joining Pega, Jeanette was VP of product management and strategy for IBM Sterling, the market’s leading portfolio for omnichannel order management and B2B integration. Jeanette is passionate about the application of technology innovation to build new business models and solve challenging issues for clients.