Case Study

Solution Innovation and Employee Engagement Reduce Costs for Home Improvement Products Client


In 1990, a leading home improvement and building products company needed customer care support to launch a rapidly growing faucet line. This industry pioneer chose HGS for our domain and consumer experience expertise as well as our consultative partner approach. Nearly 30 years later, the partnership has been built on a strong foundation of transparency and accountability.


In perfect step with the client’s own innovation, HGS continuously offers new ideas and tools, with fresh updates to recruiting, training, and engagement approaches. We’ve introduced the client to today’s CX solutions, such as a video CX platform and DigiSOCIAL, in perfect alignment with this client’s evolving marketing needs


 Our Solution

  1. Remote Video Support

 How We Do It

In 2017, HGS initiated a Proof of Concept (PoC), with video support technology designed to optimize customer care support, to better identify product issues and support troubleshooting. Using a mobile app, customers can show agents a live visual of the problem via the customer’s smartphone or tablet camera. With the help of a lens-enabled CX agent, customers resolve their product issues faster. With the support app, or alternatively photos taken and texted, HGS is able to get a better view and understanding of a product issue and communicate more effectively with customers—for example, annotating photos to indicate where a product issue is occurring. This results in key efficiencies for the client—such as reduced losses as a result of more troubleshooting accuracy and equipment replacement. HGS achieved results like 129 interactions avoided per month, for potential cost-containment, better average handle time (AHT), lower product return rates, and improved CSAT.


           Business Result

With this innovation, HGS significantly reduced cost of service by improving first-call resolution (FCR). Our agents identified parts to be fixed or replaced faster, which reduces overall service delivery costs. In many cases agents were more effectively able to walk the customer through installations and resolve problems, resulting in fewer product returns. Other results included:

  • Troubleshooting at a much faster pace, significantly reducing the customer and agent  effort
  • Significant CSAT improvement and better customer testimonials
  • Reduced emails, with minimal photos taken to resolve issue
  • Agent annotation to clarify issue, for a faster, more accurate resolution
  • Greater identification of product issues, for optimal product development enhancement


  1. Enhanced Employee Engagement

How We Do It

For this client, we employed our standard recruitment strategy of hiring people for a career rather than a job. This means ensuring our agents are hired for the technical skill required for product troubleshooting. Based on skills and performance, we then group our talent pool by the following groups: Tier I, Tier II, Tier III, Floor Support, Quality Assurance, Social Media, Email, Program Coordinator, and Concierge (a white glove/red carpet service for touch faucets, designed for showrooms and now opened to retail).


Per our team leader onboarding program, new team leads can pilot their role for 90 days to ensure skills and training are set for leadership. With this variety of support and development, we assign agents to the right customer and skill set required.


In terms of employee engagement, HGS provides the flexibility of work-life benefits, with about 20% of the team offered the work-at-home opportunity. Additionally, HGS provides development opportunities, with sales skills offered via upselling opportunities at the customer warranty service point. These team members have been identified as making true bottom-line contributions for the client.


HGS employs our ReadyNow program, a recurrent training for HGS team leaders to help them achieve success with all areas of their roles. The program comprises team lead-agent communication, goal setting, prioritizing of tasks, and conflict management. With this training intervention, bad habits are observed and agents are closely monitored. Beyond ReadyNow, HGS coaching also includes nesting, as our “Nester Vesters” monitor the client-branded floor (which also serves as a product lab) in fluorescent vests, to assist agents with customer care questions; coaching; and on-the-job training to ensure both skills development and service excellence. This creates a consistently remarkable customer experience and is one of most fundamental variables to driving our positive workplace culture and low attrition. Additionally, it is key to our strong service level performance.


Business Result

In 2017, HGS improved our agent attrition by 57%. And this engaged HGS team delivers real outcomes for this client. In August 2017, service levels were achieved with results like less than 1% abandon, stellar average handle time (AHT), and strong performance for full product conversion.




How We Do It

As an indication of the client’s growing trust in HGS, they recently extended their social media support to our team members. Today, we monitor Facebook and Twitter and four storefront pages. How and where we respond varies by channel, so most of our social media training is dedicated to how we use the different consumer engagement tools.

HGS ensures that a good portion of training time covers helping agents understand a different customer care “voice” for responding on social. We do this by walking them through the process for responding, then allowing them to take the wheel and coach through it until they feel comfortable.


Business Result

In September 2017, we handled 1,598 social media contacts. Over half of those were reviews/questions from dealer websites. We expect the client to continue to transfer additional contacts to HGS in the coming months.

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