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Survey finds real-time cost of sickness

By Retail Technology | Wednesday March 27 2013

UK retailersÂ’ service delivery and customer experience suffer with affects of mobile workforce sickness and absence due to lack of visibility

A recent survey of 200 organisations has revealed that sickness and absence is still the major issue affecting service delivery and the customer experience.

Field service workforce management software provider Cognito commissioned Redshift Research to survey business managers responsible for mobile workers in the UK, to examine the key hurdles to delivering service excellence. 

Sickness ranked as the most common problem affecting service delivery (39%), followed by traffic congestion (37%) and unavailability of staff (36%). 

Retail bears brunt of absenteeism

Across vertical sectors, retail, distribution and transport were more affected by sickness than any others (41%). And absenteeism to some extent affected service delivery for 97% of retail organisations.
 
The top three issues that most commonly affected retail service delivery were traffic (47%), sickness (41%) and a lack of product knowledge (36%).

While 9% of all organisations questioned reported having no visibility of customer service delivery, 37% of cited customer interaction and satisfaction as areas where they would like more visibility.

When it came to the retail sector 41% wanted more visibility of real-time performance levels, ahead of having over visibility of customer interaction and satisfaction (29%).

Proactive service level management

“The survey results clearly show that visibility of customer interaction and satisfaction is something organisations need and want more of,” said Jonathan Chevallier, strategic development director at Cognito. “If unavailability of staff and traffic most commonly affects service delivery, you can manage both with better real-time insight. Focusing on visibility and employee engagement will obviously help decrease absenteeism and pre-empt service shortfalls.”

When asked what their number one service challenge was, the most common responses were listed as absenteeism, punctuality, staff training, staff motivation, speed of response, highlighting the consequences of poor employee engagement and the impact it has on service delivery. 

Other challenges listed include: customer satisfaction, managing customer expectations, and meeting targets, like service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs).

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