How do you embrace and leverage the evolution of technology and remain intentional in the delivery of a personalized customer experience?
At Continuant, we are always interested, and invested, in the evolution of technology and how it can improve service delivery. But let’s face it, more technology in the customer service chain can sometimes lead to a transactional relationship, not a customized one. At our core, we are driven to deliver a more personalized customer experience, one where every customer is convinced that our services are created for their exact needs.
Not long ago, we started thinking about ways our internal communication and spatial relationship with each other could affect and improve the overall customer experience. Our delivery model had always included multidisciplinary teams, e.g., Customer Service Representatives, Service Delivery Leads, Account Managers, and Tier 1-3 Engineers, however, their physical space was defined by their functional silos.
We started asking, “What if these employees could sit at one table? Not just for a meeting, but permanently. Would it improve our Average Time to Respond (ATR), our First-Line Resolution Rate (FLRR), or our Mean Time to Restore (MTTR)? All good questions but most importantly, will it lead to a fuller, better experience for the customer?”
We set up a trial configuration and brought in members from each of the functional roles and sat them together, but apart from other groups. We wanted a consistent awareness of all customer issues regardless of the involvement of each role. We purposely designed the layout to create a cross-functional matrix where the most common paths of verbal communication crossed over multiple roles.
We ran the study for five months. We measured Average Time to Respond, First-Line Resolution Rate, Mean Time to Restore, and directly surveyed customers.
Survey results consistently showed an overwhelming increase in customer satisfaction. There was marked improvement in ATR, FLRR, and MTTR, but not in correlation to the convincing customer satisfaction levels. So why the large increase in satisfaction?
We found that by staging this matrix of roles in the same physical space, it allowed the team to focus on service delivery, thereby creating synergy - a sum larger than each individual’s role or contribution.
Also, the study fostered an increase in collaboration between unlikely members, resulting in a shared knowledge among roles. It also created a natural accountability among team members that helped them organize and think collectively. This combination of collaboration and accountability resulted in a higher level of customer-focused communication, delivered with the sensitivity of customer-specific knowledge.
So, we did what we set out to do – improve delivery metrics. But more importantly, we created a service delivery environment that lead to a fuller, richer, personalized customer experience.
We understand the importance of tools, and what to measure and why, but in this case, communication was the most important tool we evolved to enrich and customize the experience of each of our valued customers.
Frank Young brings to Continuant more than 26 years in the telecommunications industry, 10 of it spent at Continuant, where he started as an Account Manager and then moved up to his current position as Director of The Customer Experience.