With increased digitization and more Internet enabled devices, ICT and telecommunications providers, like Swisscom, are under pressure not only to ensure connectivity, but also provide additional services built around smart homes. Customers are informed and empowered and can quickly vent their anger about a TV that doesn’t connect to their laptop on social media. This is why customer service matters more than ever. Customers not only demand quick problem resolution; but they also want personalized and convenient service 24/7.
Providing such a high level of customer support across a wide range of products and services means a company needs to significantly invest in extending their field service force, at a time when margins in many sectors are increasingly under pressure.
The Solution: Crowdsourcing Field Service
The collaborative economy trend has showed that customers are ready to turn to their neighbors to borrow a screwdriver or help install their Wi-Fi router. Why not tap into this trend? There are already online forums where customers help other customers answer questions regarding specific products. Swisscom has taken this a step further. Using the power of their customers and small business partners, Swisscom partnered with online platform Mila – a Coresystems spin-off – to offer on-demand crowd-sourced support.
Swisscom customers and small IT businesses can register on www.mila.com/swisscom to offer additional tech support in their neighborhoods. Similarly customers, who need assistance can book, pay and rate so-called “Swisscom Friends” to help them set up their smartphone, install their Wi-Fi or solve other technical issues. The service can be booked online, but works similarly to an extended field service force. Swisscom Friends are fixing customers’ problems at home.
Customers Experience a Flexible, Convenient & Fast Support
Swisscom customers that need help can log on to www.mila.com/swisscom put in their zip code and choose the required service. A service call is sent to the matching Swisscom Friends in the neighborhood. One of the Swisscom Friends accepts the request and contacts the customer to schedule an appointment. This is how Swisscom customers benefit from the service:
- One Contact: Customers communicate directly with the service provider, rather than multiple
contact agents. They’ll also see who will be coming to resolve their issue.
- Real-time Service: Mila’s distribution algorithm makes sure customers get help within the first hour after a request has been made. Friends have access to the Mila application in order to quickly respond to customer requests.
- Personalized Service: The Service Friend arrives in person and can answer additional questions.
- Convenient and Flexible: Customers don’t have to take a day off work to resolve an issue. Local help comes at a time and place that’s convenient to them.
- Trusted and Vetted: Customers have a fast and simple way to find trusted help. One of the biggest issues customers have is finding a trusted, quality provider. Customers can immediately see the quality of the vetted provider through user ratings.
- Securely Pay Online: Customers securely pay for the service online.
How Has Swisscom Benefited From Crowd Sourced Field Service?
Some of the benefits Swisscom has experienced since the implementation of Swisscom Friends in cooperation with Mila:
- Introduction of an additional personalized, convenient and local channel of support that helps solve customer problems on an individual level.
- With Mila Swisscom offers support for products that are not supported in its area of responsibility, but impact how the Swisscom brand and its services are perceived (e.g. smartphone / TV set-up).
- Swisscom has empowered customers by allowing them to serve themselves with crowd sourced support, so they immediately know when and where the problem will be fixed, who will provide the service, and how much it will cost.
- The company allows customers to get the most out of its services and products. Tech products are full of features that are not always intuitive. Local support can help customers get the most out of their products.
- Optimization of field support: By tapping into the crowd, Swisscom was able to extend its field service force and free up its customer support staff for higher level support issues in a cost-efficient way. The company is now able to quickly respond to peaks in service demand.
- Integration with existing customer service: Swisscom integrated the Mila platform into its existing customer service processes. Customer service agents can redirect customers to Mila or create service calls for them.
- With over 8'000 Swisscom Friends, the telecom provider created an engaged community that serves as brand ambassadors.
- Swisscom customers love the service and on average rate Swisscom Friends with 4.71 out of 5 stars.
Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecom provider and one of its foremost IT companies, headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city, Bern. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom offers broadband Internet in Italy with Fastweb. Around 21,500 employees achieve annual revenues of approx. CHF 11.5 billion annually (2014) or CHF 8.65 billion to the end of the 3rd Quarter 2015. Swisscom is one of the most sustainable companies in Switzerland and Europe.