By Lorenz Vandamme, Agile Product Manager, Proximus
The transformation of telecommunications companies to digital service providers, fuelled by cloud technology, is a fascinating evolution. It’s a trend that I’ve been a part of for the past 22 years through my work at Proximus, Belgium’s largest telecommunications company.
Yet I do believe that different telcos approach this shift in distinct ways. At Proximus we have termed our approach #shifttodigital — an organisation-wide strategy that is marked by close customer involvement in the co-creation of superior customer experiences.
Our customers were telling us we had to change our B2B portal, but we wanted to get to the heart of the reasons why to fully understand their pain points and expectations. After workshops with 103 customers from 57 of our business accounts, we knew how to proceed.
We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, as our customer portal provided incomplete information, a scattered overview of solutions in use and a confusing journey. One platform implementation later and our 30,000 portal users are confirming we are definitely on the right track.
Optimising customer service management
The modernisation of our customer portal was part of a wider project to build richer customer experiences using ServiceNow CSM. The onus was on us, not the customer, so we made a lot of changes internally.
This included centralising all information in one place, building complete visibility of the status of our business services to customer service agents, and ensuring relevant information is presented to the customer at the right time.
One of the key improvements we have achieved is providing full visibility of tickets and their progress to our customers, via the portal. Others include a much more personalised experience and more proactive communication.
For example, by detecting a failure and understanding which customers it may affect, we can automatically create an incident on their behalf. We can also send out automated notifications ahead of planned engineering works to any customers that are likely to experience issues.
One platform to break down barriers
As part of #shifttodigital strategy we have re-engineered the way both customer services and IT service delivery work at Proximus. Our objectives were to simplify processes, drive operational efficiency and increase productivity.
To do this, we needed to move away from our multiple disconnected tools and processes within the organisation. With ServiceNow we have standardised on a single platform to create a service and support approach that is optimised around the customer.
Digital workflows delivered by ServiceNow facilitate fast resolution of around 10,000 cases per month and, with the help of a diagnostic tool and intelligent routing, our teams can be assigned automatically based on skills, availability and location.
By creating full visibility of cases and tickets to our team, and providing clarity on ownership and responsibilities, we have also empowered our employees to achieve what Proximus really strives for – delivering superior customer experiences.
We have seen an immediate business impact driven by new efficiencies. The average cost of resolving a case reduced in the months after the implementation and the number of cases closed each week has been growing continuously.
In addition, freeing up our employees from repetitive and unnecessary tasks has meant they can focus more on complex challenges where they can add more value to the business and to our customers.
Challenging our assumptions
#shifttodigital is an ongoing transformation at Proximus and we continuously test and deliver new solutions to fine-tune our customer focus. In fact, the out-of-the-box functionalities that come with the ServiceNow platform are challenging our preconceptions and pushing us forward.
One of the future priorities is the evolution of AI and virtual agents, which will be key to taking our customer service function to the next level. This story shall continue…