The consumer electronics industry is engaged in a relentless race to innovate new devices and software. But to truly gain a competitive edge, these companies also understand the essential need to engage and preserve loyalty, with an optimized customer experience.
In 2013, one global consumer electronics leader was looking to boost performance of their Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia locations, as part of a robust global delivery model. The primary goals were expense reduction and access to niche, scalable, customer care expertise, so this company could dedicate more essential resources to their core competencies. HGS was the standout among other competitors, chiefly for more cost-containment potential. Additionally, as this business support was originally more contained in size, HGS was chosen for our stronger reputation for dedicated service excellence focus and support of all account sizes.
1. Decrease in Abandonment
How We Do It
Before HGS, the client had many abandoned calls, since as part of their self-operated services, they did not have dedicated resources to handle end user issues or corporate client concerns. Starting day one, HGS set up operating hours and agent schedules appropriate to call arrival pattern.
HGS strategized to support the client’s goal to:
- Improve after-sales service.
- Attain more insight and information on their lines of business.
- Ensure better handling for corporate clients.
HGS provided daily, weekly, and monthly tracking of all end-user communication via inbound calls and emails through the Workforce Reports, aiming for improvement of email processes, supported by standard reporting process and timelines for corporate clients.
The client was highly collaborative in developing this process, as they are always open to new ideas being shared with them. As further expansion of the partnership trust, and proof of the client’s expanding role for HGS, only one year into the partnership, the client has turned to HGS’s HGS SOCIAL for both Facebook and Twitter support. Prior to HGS’s help, social media was handled by the client’s marketing team. Now HGS responds to customer queries and provides information as an essential avenue of communication for the client. HGS escalates issues out of scope to the client’s Marketing Team. HGS works closely with the client’s own staff and there is stringent following of client guidelines.
As a result of improved communication across voice, email, and social media, HGS now maintains a 97% or better connect rate. This has added significant value for the client’s customer satisfaction score. And the client is now able to focus on more competency-focused, strategic matters for the region.
2. AHT Improvement
How We Do It
As a self-operated customer care program, the client had issues with inefficient customer contacts and slow response times. There were no pre-existing processes nor guidelines on handling customer inquiries.
HGS worked closely with the client to establish standard guidelines in handling customer issues, ultimately to provide immediate resolution to customer inquiries. HGS’s “right answer, fast” mission included creation of process flows for troubleshooting, call handling, repair, and escalations. HGS set up FAQs and training materials to help resolve customer inquiries.
Today, HGS agents are more organized when providing troubleshooting procedures. They are more confident, with a process to follow, in providing customer resolution—and also better equipped to handle complaints. As result, average handle time (AHT) reached a 20% improvement, to exceed target.
Ultimately, HGS has removed risk for the client by providing more safeguards in protecting their business and its reputation.
3. Better Employee Retention
How We Do It
In past experience, agent retention was poor, negatively affecting agents’ expertise and tenure. HGS provided a strong upskilling program for agents, with weekly exposure to product specialists for ensured domain expertise and mentoring. HGS has initiated the following best practices:
- Agent recruiting—It takes a uniquely skilled agent to work for this program. So HGS ensures that technical aptitude is identified during the interview process. HGS also ensures comprehension skills and ability to communicate are traits of all agents hired to work for this account. HGS candidates engage in role play as part of the interview process, to ensure appropriate responses to complex customer issues. As part of this customer care scenario, the interviewer teaches the applicant the best response and result of the customer contact. This is an example of how HGS begins training early—so applicants enter their role ready and with the identified skills to succeed.
- Client training—On a weekly basis, HGS sends agents to the client for essential hands-on product educating and training. That team member then brings this expertise back to HGS to share. This practice ensures highly engaged and hands-on training for agents, as well as a client that observes the quality of team members.
- Trips to client site—HGS agents are invited to the client head office as well as the client manufacturing site, to observe demo units and learn the complexities of the products. For example, HGS staff recently
travelled to the client office to learn the features of a new interactive projector, with practical product handling and in-depth information provided by client staff members.
- Technical training for new products—HGS has a product laboratory on site. For new product launches, the client invites HGS and training is provided to agents.
- HGS company-wide initiatives—Structured team building for HGS agents includes out-of-town annual trips, a Fun Run, and other activities to promote camaraderie.
All of these efforts have resulted in HGS retaining and developing staff, for a more tenured pool of resources and expertise in handling products. Our 50% increase in staff further showcases our partner’s growing trust and our increasingly consultative approach.
This partnership shows great promise for continued innovation, with an expanding role for HGS. “The client looks to us for essential inputs as to their customers’ issues and needs,” said Alan Roxas, HGS Senior Operations Manager. “We help them keep their brand top of the line.”
Recently HGS has won awards for our partnership contributions. In one recent benchmarking report, HGS bested all competitors as a valued outsourcing partner. HGS helped the client rank number one for customer care for both printer and projector lines.
Looking ahead, the client has inquired about HGS’s HGS TEXT and CSAT survey. There are also talks for HGS to assume call centers in other geographies—a sure sign of HGS’s success as brand ambassador for this consumer electronics leader.