In this episode Pasi Nikkanen had an interview with Riikka Salonen, Service Support Lead at Posti, the Finnish Postal Company.
Pasi Nikkanen: Welcome to HappyToday Podcast. This is a podcast for those who want to improve service experience of internal services. If you use ServiceNow or other enterprise service management system, then this is for you.
Pasi Nikkanen: Okay, Hi, Riikka. We are here today in our hawk event. So this is actually a live episode of the podcast. So, maybe a short introduction. Who are you? And where do you come from?
Riikka Salonen: Okay, hi. My name is Riikka Salonen and I work as head of service excellence in Posti. Posti is a Finnish postal company. So I think everybody will know by the name. We have postal services, we have a parcel, have vehicle services and long distance services.
Our history is like 380 years, so long history. At the moment we have 20,000 employees, and most of them is pro color. So there is people that they fearing will steal parcels, but in our services there is these white collar people who is our customers, and there is about 6,000 employees as I think about our customer.
Pasi Nikkanen: What about you? What is your role in Posti?
Riikka Salonen: So I am responsible of our services, developing them and getting the license for them. I work at the Posti service centre, and at the service centre we have finance, and sourcing services. We have HR, Payroll and also sales support services.
Pasi Nikkanen: Not just IT but you are doing enterprise service management?
Riikka Salonen: Yeah we do enterprise service management and we also have the ICT department and ICT service desk and we cooperate with them. We all use the same ServiceNow system and also this for our feedback.
Pasi Nikkanen: Excellent. So what does employee experience mean to you at Posti? How do you talk about it or what does it mean to you in your own words?
Riikka Salonen: Because, I'm working at the service centre. There is this world services and for the support services, everything is about efficiency. So we are saving business. So there's savings and efficiency is the most important thing and the important KPI for our finance management and finance directors. Also, we want to provide good quality, and we want to have those at our services, if you just think about our support services it's about that we are saving everything. The end to end result is maybe not good, if our employees are struggling with invoices or their computers and stuff so we need to think about also that customer feedback, the employee experience. So we have to think about it as end to end. We can not save on our side if it's costing more work to the employees, so we need to have this measurement so it's all together as costing and savings. If we do something right and we can have something more easy way or efficient way, it's also effecting the employees, that it's also easy for them. So it's like getting the savings from both sides.
Pasi Nikkanen: I know you mentioned both the happiness and the productivity, do you actually use the productivity data that you gather from the employees nowadays, or is it something that you still learn?
Riikka Salonen: Some of it is learning still, but we use it every day. In our teams we have these service expect roles, and those experts are there to support the team leads, and the managers. So they are responsible every day of the SLA's of course, but they also are responsible of those feedbacks, that they are following up and continuous reading and supporting the team members if there is some kind of [crosstalk 00:04:34]
Pasi Nikkanen: Okay, so you have dedicated people to kind of responsible to looking at the feedback, looking at the data, and then they will talk with the agents or how does it go?
Riikka Salonen: They talk it the agents of the managers and then we also have the process owners, we have that kind of roles in finance and HR already. The process owner are responsible that the data process and those process owners also creates the feedbacks. Sometimes the feedbacks are not about the exact service or the exact event, it's about the process. So the process owners are reading those open feedbacks, are the ones that those process owners are interested because they can make up things, what to improve from there.
Pasi Nikkanen: What would kind of be the struggles if you wouldn't have the data? I mean, how would your day, how would the work of those people look like if they wouldn't have an experienced it.
Riikka Salonen: Well that's an interesting question. Of course, we have the SLAs, KPI so that kind of measurement from the ServiceNow system. I think it's like if you have only the KPI's it's like you go in the dark room and the flashlight and you're pointing flashlight at the corners, and this is that, this is that, that, this is that, but when we have this HappySignals of this feedback, overall feedback, it's like we are putting the lights up in the room.
Pasi Nikkanen: That's very well said actually. What is your plans? What do you plan to do next, with anything? Related to service management operations or with experience data, any automations or any of these trendy new things coming up like chat books or any of that kind of things?
Riikka Salonen: Today we heard about these happiness officers, those sound really interesting. We definitely want to use them. I have one example. It's not about this but for the new technology, it's our HR. Our HR department has this one RPA case where they have this certain type of contracts. They come to the ServiceNow and then we have robotics getting those contracts done and so when the tickets, and there is no human dots on those. It's one example of one kind of contract. We also get those feedbacks from robotics, and what is interesting, I checked this morning. The result from the last two weeks is the happiness of the robotics group is plus 100. So the download is not that much because the people they see that the result is robotic and sometimes they are not giving that much feedback to the robotics. It's like giving us really good examples, why the feedback is plus 100 is because of the speed of the service and it helps those managers get those contracts.
Pasi Nikkanen: What about, have you then talk about the people who used it earlier like manually. Are they happy now that they don't have to do it anymore like the continuous thing, again and again and again?
Riikka Salonen: Yes, it was copy pasting job, so they are really happy that they don't have to do that anymore.
Pasi Nikkanen: So the agent is happy, the robot is happy and even the employee is happy. Anything else? What has been like the biggest surprise or some happy story or unhappy story that has been going through your journey? Anything the employees have shared or the team members have shared?
Riikka Salonen: For me the most biggest surprise is when we started, I have used this happy scene previously. When we started it was, we get so much results and our feedback happiness is so high, that was big surprise.
Pasi Nikkanen: Every time that we talk with the IT doing such a bad job, but when you actually start to measure it and show it, you're actually doing pretty good job.
Riikka Salonen: I have one example about, we have this workshop a couple of weeks ago it was some external cause in our HR department and they were doing this kind of employee study, how our employees, what kind of employee experience we have at Posti. They were people from different organisations, different departments. There was a couple of finance agents, they said that this makes them happy, sees the feedback that they receive also has increased their happiness and the motivation.
Pasi Nikkanen: That's really nice because many times we sometimes struggle if people are talking in the service, or they are not following us or they rating us. What we have always felt is that when you actually get positive feedback is really motivating and now actually hearing it from you that it's actually what those people have been saying.
Riikka Salonen: People were scared before we started. They were really scared, they didn't know if they want it or they don't want it because they were afraid of negative feedback.
Pasi Nikkanen: What did you tell them when they started to do it, like why are you doing it. How did you try and tackle the fears that they had?
Riikka Salonen: When some team we have this discussion, how is it going to affect us on, but after that we have received new teams and they just started to use it without any this kind of ...
Pasi Nikkanen: Just give it to them?
Riikka Salonen: Yeah. They are not that scary that those persons that we were discussing about so over discussing about the issue is also making them afraid of it.
Pasi Nikkanen: Yeah, you kind of make, I don't know how you say it in English but, you have this like a small thing and you make this huge thing when you start talking about it too much and you start exaggerating the fears.
Pasi Nikkanen: One surprise for you, from me, you know that we gather this happiness or this benchmarking so we gather all our responses and basically what it tell you is, if you are using this channel, this is usually where you should be, if you are using this countries, this is actually where you should be. We did last week a little internal data mining and we kind of did a normalised benchmark. So based on which countries and which channels you are doing and what kind of profiles you have, then we put our customers in a kind of, who are the best, and it so happened that the Finnish postal service, or what do you call it, Posti, is actually the place where you have the most happiest employees.
Riikka Salonen: Oh Really? Okay, wow!
Pasi Nikkanen: And because of that we have a tradition, we give a hug bear to the customer who has the happiest employees.
Riikka Salonen: He's huge!
Pasi Nikkanen: He is huge.
Pasi Nikkanen: So I would like to have a picture when you go to the train with him. Thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure and let's hope we have a nice day today.
Riikka Salonen: Thanks a lot.
Pasi Nikkanen: Thank you.