How Basware took their customer service to a new level


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Basware is known for delivering leading edge financial software that cuts costs, increases efficiencies, and reduces risks to an enterprise’s global operations. They help customers simplify operations and spend smarter by automating procurement and finance processes. 

What makes their offerings world-class is both the capabilities they provide and the way they provide them. That ‘way’ went through an overhaul, starting in 2017, when Basware initiated an upgrade to their customer service management systems to better control tickets, increase customer satisfaction, and demonstrate success.  

 

Starting with employees 

Recognizing that happy employees would lead to happy customers, Basware looked at how they could improve their employee experiences. They reworked processes to make sure customer service agents were not being assigned more than they could handle and everyone was up to date on objectives and milestones, so they could share progress and celebrate successes. In addition, support started proactively informing country managers and customer success managers about the state of affairs in support to help with ongoing customer discussions. 

They immediately saw results. In just four months, they saw the percentage of tickets resolved within the first 24 hours go up from 27.8 percent to 41.4 percent. The percentage of global resolution SLAs met increased from 87.5 percent to 93.4 percent. Better yet, they saw service desk NPS and satisfaction scores go from a low of 16 to a high of 58. 

 

Looking at support tools and technologies

While these measures moved the needle, Basware noted the technologies, themselves, they relied on to deliver customer service could be hampering their ability to further accelerate progress. Support tools they were relying on were up to five years old, consisting of a mix of off-the-shelf and self-developed solutions that introduced a lot of unnecessary complexity and created data silos. As a result they: 

  • Didn’t have a single, consistent view of all their data - had to work with several solutions in parallel, copying and pasting text to try to pull information together

  • Had no way to answer simple questions, without a host of excel spreadsheets and manual data crunching 

  • Couldn’t define new metrics to track success, without the help of IT operations

  • Weren’t able to effectively use omni-channel communications – no online module for customers, just email and basic contact forms, and chat was only available within selected solutions

They concluded trying to upgrade or revamp all these different solutions was going to take too much time and effort – and simply not deliver the results they were looking for. So, they embarked on a transformational customer service project, with the primary objective to boost the speed and quality of support offered to customers. 

 

Transforming service experiences 

Basware went back to the drawing board and, after a complete RFP process, selected ServiceNow and Fujitsu Symfoni as the platform and implementation partners of choice. Matthias Lippert, VP Customer Services, went to work promoting the project internally and working with Fujitsu Symfoni and ServiceNow to deliver a new cloud-based platform to “underpin and integrate all the workflows in their customer service operation.”  

In just six months, the new customer service engine went live. Six months after that, Basware had concrete results to show for their efforts:  

  • Case volume went down by 20 percent 
  • The average response time went from four hours to 55 minutes
  • The average resolution time dropped from 40 hours to 26 hours 
  • Manual mail processing went down by 94 percent
  • They were able to do real time monitoring 
  • Customer satisfaction scores went up by 8.5 percent
  • Proactive support increased by more than 30 percent 
  • More than 60 percent of support staff said they felt more productive 

 

For a complete picture of all that Basware was able to do, please check out the Basware video and Basware case study. You will see how they were able to hit all their objectives – to improve their overall visibility and management experience, their customer experience, and their support consultant experience – and create tangible benefits for the business. But, what isn’t covered are the intangibles that made the success of the project come to life.  

 

Six lessons Basware learned about the process that any organization can benefit from 

There is no single thing that is responsible for the tremendous success of Basware’s customer service transformation – it took innovative people and technology, with a shared willingness to try to do things differently and better, to create an exceptional all-around experience. However, Matthias was able to identify six things that he learned throughout the process that could help any company succeed:  

  1. Look for performance, usability and evangelists. 
  2. Recognize you are buying more than a tool, you are buying into a philosophy – make sure it fits with what you are trying to do. 
  3. Get champions of the project into a small team that can make a big impact. 
  4. Make the project the most important, most spoken about, most wanted project ever. 
  5. Be pragmatic on functionality. Be focused on execution.  
  6. Set an iconic launch date – stick to it, count down, and deliver. 

One more thing, which wasn’t on Matthias’ list, but is important to keep in mind: Keep improving. Customer service is a journey, not a destination. The right people, partners and technologies are crucial for making constant progress and ensuring that customer service plays a key role in enabling the growth of your business.  

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