The Back Office: A Sealed Black Box or a Humming Engine Room?

​Unseen by customers, and generally underappreciated, it is the back office that makes sure the engines of your company are humming along. 

And when it doesn’t? 

Well, what happens in the back office stays in the back office. Or so it seems. Because there are almost no tools for management to monitor back office staff activity, and it is notoriously difficult to establish a direct link between back office efficiency and operational ROI. 

This is for two main reasons. ​
  • ​​We don’t even know what exactly is going on back there.  ​​What is the staff spending most of their time on? How much of their screen time is work-related and how much is knowledge management? How much of what they do is automated? Which applications are they really using every day and which can’t they stand? How can we see back office activity in real time? 
  • ​We don’t know how to measure the back office’s overall productivity or business success.  
  • ​​Could productivity be measured consistently, considering the back office’s varied tasks? How would we compare employee productiveness? Are there any best practices our employees have developed? On the flip side, are there repeat procedural problems disrupting customer service? What does employee activity look like over time?

Simply put, the back office, more often than not, is less of an engine room and more of a locked black box. 

But if you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t measure it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t motivate anyone to improve it. And if you can’t improve the back office, you can’t really reach top operational efficiency. 

In the next few blog posts we will crack open that black box in the back office, exposing how it is connected to customer satisfaction and retention, as well as enterprise revenue. 

But before that, we’d like to hear from you. Do you find it hard to monitor, measure and motivate your back office? If not, what is your secret (we won’t tell…)?

Post your comment below, or reach out to us on @NICE_CX. We’d love to hear your thoughts!​
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