Front-line workers have the desire, but not always the means, to delight customers and drive revenue

   Front-line workers have the desire, but not always the means, to delight
                         customers and drive revenue

New Ricoh-commissioned study by independent consulting firm reveals pervasive
gap between customers' expectations and the experience employees can actually

PR Newswire

MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 8, 2014

MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Much has been said about the
decline of customer service, but it's especially unfortunate when
customer-facing employees desperately want to please – yet can't.

This appears to be the case for nearly 9 in 10 (89 percent) of customer-facing
employees – e.g., bank clerks, call center operators, nurses, bank managers
and shop supervisors – who in a new Thought Leadership Paper^1 commissioned by
Ricoh Company, Ltd., and conducted by Forrester Consulting, said there's a gap
between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer

"We intuitively understood that less-than-optimal customer service experiences
are often traceable to inferior business information workflows," said Yoshi
Sasaki, General Manager, Business Services Center, Business Solutions Group,
Ricoh Company, Ltd. "In many cases, customer-facing employees are simply too
preoccupied trying to find the right information and hampered by working with
outdated systems to deliver a personalized, human-to-human experience. We
wanted to investigate the problem, and measure it, to help organizations
better define and improve their customer service strategies."

The research found that customer-facing employees, who constitute more than
half of the workforce, are critical for companies fighting to emerge from the
recession. Unfortunately, gaps in supporting document processes waste time
that could be spent personalizing the customer experience – a failure that
imposes a significant opportunity cost on business.

In fact, nearly 1 in 4 managers (23 percent) said poor document services
support was a major limitation slowing the effectiveness of customer-facing
employees in their organizations. More than 1 in 4 managers (26 percent) cited
poor information access as a major limitation.

Companies that invest in collaboration, instant messaging, mobile solutions
and flexible workplaces make customer-facing workers more efficient and free
up more time for them to provide the missing personalized service, according
to the study. This assumes companies support these investments with the
underlying document processes and systems required to maximize these types of

But today, many workers are spending too much time on mundane tasks such as
data entry and have trouble with a wide range of activities, including finding
facts quickly, creating documents, editing, writing, processing information,
solving complex exceptions, and leveraging mobile solutions, according to the
study. "As a result, they are not actively engaged with their customers," it
states. "It is by supporting these employees through improved document and
process support that organizations will be in a stronger competitive and
revenue-driving position."

Explaining the gap
At the heart of the problem is outdated technology that is often inferior to
that used by the customers on the other end of the interaction.

More than one-third of managers (36 percent) said their organizations struggle
to have the newest technologies, and more than 1 in 4 managers (27 percent)
said there's a growing gap between their customers' use of technology and what
their customer-facing workers are equipped with. Not surprisingly, information
access suffers.

This research, detailed in a study called "The New Workplace Reality:
Enterprises Must Capture the Soul and Spirit of the Emerging Worker," is based
on an online survey by Forrester of 250 global customer service strategy and
operations decision-makers, as well as customer-facing individual
contributors, between March 2013 and May 2013.

To download the study,

About the Process Imperative
Ricoh's Process Imperative is an ongoing initiative to promote understanding
of new document and information processing paradigms that help enterprises
leverage the collective wisdom embodied in their organizations. This
initiative will fund research and provide resources, like those found on this
site, which combine Ricoh's document and information process expertise with
that of industry visionaries, its partners and customers. The insights gained
through this work help businesses transform their business processes to
improve productivity and drive out cost by delivering the right information,
at the right time, in the right form.

Ricoh is uniquely equipped to assist its customers execute a comprehensive
strategy for document process improvement that helps reduce costs and
potentially increase revenue through its Managed Document Services approach.
To learn more about Ricoh's approach to Managed Document Services and for free
information and guidance – including case studies, white papers and videos –
visit Ricoh Global MDS (

| About Ricoh |

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment,
production print solutions, document management systems and IT services.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and
regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide
sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx. 20 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and
services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh
also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial
products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional
standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform
the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

For further information, please visit

© 2014 Ricoh Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product
names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

John Greco
Ricoh Americas Corporation
(973) 882-2023

Jill Searl
Brodeur Partners
(603) 559-5824

^1 A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Ricoh, "The
New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture The Soul And Spirit Of The
Emerging Worker", December 2013

SOURCE Ricoh Americas Corporation

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