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Blackhawk Network makes the right connections to avoid costs


Blackhawk Network may be the most omnipresent company you’ve never heard of. As the market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of 3rd party prepaid cards, you’ve probably purchased or used one of Blackhawk Network’s gift cards, without ever knowing it was them. That’s how they like it. 

When you call about a gift card from your favorite store, you are probably talking to a Blackhawk Network agent, who is responsible for supporting and servicing that store. They want that experience to be seamless and in line with that store’s brand because they know that if they can make the right connections at the right time, they can grow “loyalty, productivity and sales” for that brand. Their business is built on it. 

They are focused on connecting “brands and people through innovative commerce, incentives, and engagement solutions… that deepen customer relationships, motivate sales channels and engage employees.”2 Each and every touchpoint is important; each and every interaction counts. To build preference, the experience has to be compelling, simple, streamlined, and end-to-end, of which customer service is the backbone.

 

What they were looking forward 

Blackhawk Network wanted to be closer to their customers and better anticipate their needs, as well as ensure their agents were equipped with everything they needed to be more efficient and effective with their interactions. This required: 

  • Integrating caller ID information into their customer service systems - computer telephony integration (CTI) 

  • Creating better case, task, and ticket management workflows

  • Enabling more effective communications

  • Capturing internal knowledge and learnings and making it available at the right moment

  • Gaining advanced reporting to help spot trends and uncover what is and isn’t working

 

ServiceNow Customer Service Management 

Blackhawk Network chose ServiceNow Customer Service Management to connect customer service with other teams, so they could resolve issues quickly and proactively deliver great experiences, from request to resolution. They worked with Starfish Associates to help them complete their CTI integration and Acorio to streamline and optimize their ServiceNow deployment. 

Within months of launching, Blackhawk Network saw tangible results. “What we’ve improved in six months would have taken us years of high caloric effort. We’re promoters and ambassadors for this solution,” says Pedro Reyes, senior director customer service, Blackhawk Network. 

 

CTI

With CTI, Blackhawk Network estimates they were able to avoid $110K in costs, due to time saved by agents during every call, in only their first three-months. Agents can now login using their Avaya phone extensions within ServiceNow and easily get all the information Blackhawk Network has on a contact the moment they call in. When a consumer or partner calls, a pop-up window automatically either displays relevant account, contact, time zone, and date/time of last call data or prompts the agent to collect that information. Automated call logging and call reporting ensures a complete record of all interactions are always at the agent’s fingertips. 

 

Better case, task, and ticket management workflows

Blackhawk Network approximates that new case forms, contact records, and knowledge results enabled them to solve cases faster and save $105K in costs in their initial three-month period. When a new case is created, all call related information is already populated, including data on the contact – type, name, phone, email, business category, line of business – and their interactions, which is pulled from phone logs – call type, start/end, duration, case number, agent name, and contact record.  

Any special handling notes will pop up when a new case is created or viewed by an agent for the first time, so customers don’t need to repeat themselves. The agent will also see any other cases, both active and resolved, that the contact may have, with all related contact information, order numbers, reference numbers and more, so it’s easy to cross-reference and get a complete picture of all the contact’s interactions and activity. 

Within cases, agents can access knowledge articles to get information related to their contact’s issue, based on their business category or line of business. They can also create new knowledge articles from  templates, saving time, money, and ensuring consistent data points.  

 

Effective communications

In their first three months using Customer Service Management, Blackhawk Network estimates automated follow-ups helped them avoid $60K in costs. Agents can email contacts and track replies directly from their case. They no longer need to have someone daily look at all the open cases and manually follow up. Instead, after an agent sends an initial email, the system automatically follows up 48 hours later if there has been no response. After an additional 24 hours, the contact will get a second email follow up. If there is no response, the case will automatically change to ‘resolved,’ though the customer still has 24 hours to respond before the case is closed. There is no more need to manually track email communications. It’s all done for the agent and available via the case status screen.  

“The Customer Service Management launch completely changed the way agents of all levels interact with our consumers and partners for the better,” says Danielle Garcia, senior improvement specialist, Blackhawk Network. 

 

Advanced reporting

The biggest savings Blackhawk Network saw in the first three months of deployment came from the $160K in estimated savings as a result of insights gained from Performance Analytics. Now, they can track cases and agent activities to uncover trends and identify bottlenecks, so they can work to further improve processes and generate better results.

What’s on the horizon

After significant savings in the first three months, Blackhawk Network is looking to continue to automate their processes and improve the overall efficiency of their agents and the end-user experience. 

 

To see what ServiceNow Customer Service Management might mean for your organization, you can check out other stories or try the value calculator.

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