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Why Utilities Need to Pay Attention to DEX

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Karen Marcus's picture
Freelance Energy and Technology Researcher and Writer Final Draft Communications, LLC

In addition to serving as an Energy Central Community Manager, Karen Marcus has 25 years of experience as a content developer within the energy and technology industries. She has worked with...

  • Member since 2017
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  • May 5, 2022
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The digital employee experience (DEX) is important to all companies, including utilities. While team members might tell you they value things like challenging work, good pay, flexibility, and fairness, they might not mention how they feel about the technology they work with in their jobs each day. Yet those feelings can play a big part in employee loyalty. And, at a time when it’s hard to find qualified employees, you need to give them every reason to stick around. Let’s explore some ways to make it happen.

Recognize the Impact

In addition to retention, positive DEX contributes to productivity and customer satisfaction. Consider that a single team member might spend 12 minutes per day waiting for their system to boot up or applications to start, or conferring with colleagues, IT, or even Google about how to solve a problem. Those minutes add up to hours and even days, especially when multiplied by the number of workers you employ. Think about the productivity and reduction in customer confidence that’s lost during that time. Additionally, when employees fail to use applications that are difficult or confusing, you may be overspending on software you don’t need. 

Study the Current Situation

Before taking any further steps, measure how employees feel now about their experience with the technology at your company. Ask them how satisfied they are with different software applications, as well as hardware with things like startup time and ergonomic comfort. But don’t stop there because there are some things employees can’t measure. Note how many IT support tickets are typical for a week so you have a benchmark for how much you improve.

Understand the Problems

If you have data, use it. Determine what types of problems are most common so you know what to address first. If you don’t have that data, start to gather it in the coming months. For example, are you more typically running into problems having to do with hardware, software, or the network? If needed, platforms are available to help provide this kind of data.

Address Concerns

Use the information you have to address the most problematic areas first. For example, if you find that employees consistently complain about a specific application, start thinking about a replacement or, if possible, eliminating it entirely. Another area of focus should be reducing time to resolution, as this area is one of the most frustrating. Find ways to become more proactive about issues you can detect before employees.

Upgrade Technology

If you’ve been hesitating to upgrade technology because of cost, think about the potentially higher cost of finding new employees to fill the roles of those who leave at least in part because your technology is out of date. Again, use data to help you determine where to start your upgrades. For example, which applications seem to generate the most support tickets? Which will help your customers the most, reducing headaches for customer service agents?

Measure Progress

Finally, find ways to measure your progress. For instance, as mentioned above, you can use the number of support tickets as a metric, the idea being to reduce that number as much as possible. You can also use other metrics that make sense for your business, such as satisfaction scores from employees and customers.

Have you made efforts to improve your DEX? If so, what was the outcome? Please share in the comments.

Discussions
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 6, 2022

Great summary, and actually I love the step by step you lay out in the titles-- that process could be expanded to apply to many different new undertakings by utility leaders!

Karen Marcus's picture
Karen Marcus on May 6, 2022

Thanks for your comment, Matt! Good point, this progression could be the high-level process for a wide range of initiatives. 

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