Exclusive: Team work, customer service and product quality biggest casualties of the pandemic
As workers have returned to the office, many companies are looking to break bad habits that have been formed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Working together and team collaboration, or rather the lack of, may be one of those.
More than wo fifths of UK employees said their company became a less appealing place to work when in-person interactions stopped during the pandemic, according to new research shared exclusively with City A.M. today.
The sudden shift to digital communication has hindered many businesses, with 38 per cent of decision-makers believing that their organisation now utilises “too many” different channels for internal communications, which is interrupting productivity.
The same number (38 per cent) agree that a reliance on inadequate tech has hampered their ability to train staff, according to a survey by corporate learning platform Soffos, which included responses from 4,000 UK adults, of which 666 are decision-makers within UK businesses.
Customer service quality has also taken a hit during the pandemic.
Despite over a third (36 per cent) of business leaders saying their company has invested in digital communication tools to handle enquiries since the Coronavirus outbreak, nearly four in ten stated that this has resulted in poorer customer support.
More generally, 35 per cent said the quality of their product or service has worsened as a result of relying more heavily on technology during the pandemic,
Almost half of business leaders stated that their employees have expressed a desire to return to in-person meetings or office working.
That said, 43 per cent believe the pandemic has permanently severed traditional forms of communication within their organisation, with digital-first communication now the default.
In the hunt for better technology solutions, one in three (32 per cent) businesses will invest in AI over the next 12 months to offer a more personalised experience to both employees and customers.
“The pandemic has thrown many challenges at businesses, not least how to best engage with customers and employees in a new digital-first landscape,” commented Nikolas Kairinos, CEO and founder of Soffos.
While some adjustments have been successful, clearly the quality of relationships and service has suffered in many businesses.
“Technology itself is not the issue, but rather the adoption of poor or inappropriate tech, which likely occurred because businesses had little time to prepare for lockdowns, social distancing and remote working,” Kairinos told City A.M. today.
“With some business leaders feeling that too many technologies are in play, and employees missing out on vital collaboration, improvements simply have to be made,” he concluded.