By Jason Conyard, Vice President, End User Services, VMware
When I use the word delightful to describe the experience that our technology team wants our colleagues to have, people often look at my quizzically. What does that mean, they ask?
For me, it’s a deliberate word choice. In our professional lives, we do a lot of managing and measuring. We use thumbs up/thumbs down and scales of 1 to 5. Asking a colleague to rate their experience with technology using these methods, while valuable, is still subjective.
The reason I choose the term delightful with our team is that it brings in an element of emotion. It’s a feeling we can all relate to. Most of us can remember the last time we were genuinely delighted by something—a meal, a walk in the park, or watching a sporting event. We know when something surpasses our expectations in a way that makes us feel incredibly good.
But what was it about that dinner or walk that was delightful? Was it the attitude of the people you interacted with? The taste or presentation of the food? Or, in the case of technology, was it that IT professionals really cared and listened to what you had to say? They understood what your need was, translated it into a solution, and then made sure you were comfortable and even surprised with the positive outcome.
Far too often we think of technology as a means to an end. That is fine. In many ways we want it to be invisible. But what if we can also make sure the experience with a mobile device or application is incredibly rich and positive? That we were respectful of your time? When IT shows that attention to detail, whether it’s working with an app, business process, or a tool, we can deliver a delightful experience.
Truthfully, I believe you can be delighted by almost anything. It may sound odd to hear that if you are working with financial apps, where you are entering and analyzing a stream of numbers. But there can be respect for what you want to achieve with that information. Is it presented in a way that makes it easy for you to interpret? To share with colleagues? To make business decisions? Can we make it easier for you to share the information with other people in a way that is meaningful to them? Just imagine if you have IT professionals who are invested in enabling people to do their best work. They are not only looking at how to fix a problem, but to understand how the person works and find opportunities to enable them to use technology to do their job better.
Creating a Delightful Experience Every Day
One obvious way to offer a delightful experience is at the walk-up tech bars that are now popular at many companies. We can take the conversation even further. “I see you are using the Workspace ONE app on your laptop. Did you know we have a mobile version we can install on your phone while you are here?” A simple proactive question like this gives our colleagues the tools they need to be more productive and get greater value from their technology. And it all comes from a desire to create a fruitful experience for both IT professionals and their colleagues.
The End User Services (EUS) team views a delightful experience as the guiding principle of their jobs. Pam Cocca of the Americas EUS team adds, “We want to transform our colleagues’ support experience from a negative interaction on problem solving to a positive experience that fosters two-way interactions. We want to help our colleagues get educated, answer questions, and share their knowledge. That means our team members must have both technical expertise and a genuine desire to help people.”
Creating a delightful colleague experience is a direct result of making constant, incremental changes- according to Akash Shetty of APAC EUS. “As workplace software, such as operating systems, device management, and security products, continue to evolve, we’ve been able to simplify the single sign-on experience and help our colleagues be productive more quickly. Colleagues can securely access the resources they need no matter where they are, what time it is, or what device they use. We’ve eliminated a lot of password entering and made sure the sign-on experience is the same every time. That makes work life much easier.”
The delightful experience extends to removing pain points from routine technology interactions, according to Dave Burton of EMEA EUS. “We introduced global print, which enables printing at any printer in any VMware office worldwide, improving both convenience and confidentiality. We are also piloting a new, revamped audio visual and video experience for meetings. In the future, we anticipate direct-shipping of already configured laptops from our manufacturers directly to colleagues. They can then launch their workspaces with just a few clicks and get up and running much more quickly.”
Providing a delightful experience to our colleagues takes many forms. Underlying that is a mindset that we want our colleagues to reach out to us because they know we will help them use technology to do their best work. It’s a tall order, but one that is worth striving for.
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