Vodafone Group Enterprise is on a journey to become more digital. Creating a digital business - using data to drive agility and collect data from devices, increasing productivity. Enabling a digital workplace - introducing tools and converged communications so employees can collaborate more effectively, and speed up decision making. Empowering the digital customer, through Vodafone Group Enterprise’s own journey, they are able to assist customers in their digital transformation of sales, marketing and support.
It’s the to-do list that never gets done! Every household and business has one – there’s that dripping tap, the shelves that fall down and the lock that keeps sticking. What we all need is a friendly, versatile and reliable person to get the work done. Someone who arrives on schedule, does a great job, every time, at the right price.
Increasing customer demand
Vodafone Group Enterprise’s ambition is to be the leader in Customer Experience Excellence, and with increased demand from Enterprise customers and a dramatic shift in the market landscape, they are expected to provide this experience in more digital ways. Gone are the days of customers simply using phones to contact us. Now, with more technology and less time, customers want speedier and simpler ways to interact, mirroring the methods they use in their personal lives. “What we are seeing from our customers, is a need to move into that consumer space,” says Chris Holmes, Head of Future Operations at Vodafone Group Enterprise. “Because our customers are consumers as well, we’ve got to make that shift from traditional telephony to digital channels.” Customers today are even self-serving, accessing information and performing routine tasks on their own, at a time that suits them. “Research we commissioned shows that 60% of customers expect to self-serve some part of their experience or journey with B2B providers, Vodafone included,” explains Chris.
With insight from customers and staff, it became clear that to remain current, competitive and to succeed in the market place, Vodafone Group Enterprise needed to improve service by introducing digital workspaces and a more streamlined customer experience. “We were very much a B2B service desk,” says Chris. “A customer would call an agent, who would then type into the system what the customer is asking for. There is zero value add in that activity, so the ideal thing is to move that part of the process to an online portal, where the customer can type their own request, which can then be automatically fed into our systems.” With legacy systems and agents using up to 23 different applications to complete a customer interaction, Vodafone Group Enterprise embarked on a transformational journey.
Following Vodafone Group Enterprise’s three pillars; personal, simple and digital, the journey began with EVE. “EVE is our overall transformation programme to change customer service operations and have sustainable differentiation,” explains Kerry Small, Head of Customer Service Operations, Vodafone Group Enterprise. “And service is the only way we can sustainably differentiate ourselves from our competition.” Using an agile development approach, the creation of EVE means customers can self-serve some of their requirements, through a single portal. “EVE provides the clean data, common processes, and the skills required to serve our Enterprise customers more effectively,” describes Chris. “While providing a quantum leap in efficiency and service excellence. Ultimately, it will support the end-to-end life-cycle, where customers can make orders, access diagnostics, manage bills and payments and track orders.” Not only does EVE make the service experience more efficient for customers, but agents now have a single integrated desktop. “No more switching applications to hunt down information,” says Chris. “It’s all in one place, so agents use one screen and can access everythingthey need within three clicks."
One major addition to the digital workplace is the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, and the use of chatbots. “A chat with a bot can be picked up and continued at any time,” says Chris. “So, customers are happy because they can come back to that conversation at their leisure. Conversations can also be passed to an agent, and that’s what gives a seamless customer experience. It’s really about providing convenience, and different channels for customers to interact with us.” Other features include intelligent alarming, which enables diagnostics and correlated alarms, so agents have more information on customer incidents. As well as integrated ticketing, with enhanced customer monitoring, so agents have a complete picture of customer activity and service requirements. “It really is about moving from a reactive, to a proactive experience,” adds Chris.
Vodafone Group Enterprise enables a digital workplace and empowers the digital customer.
Since embarking on the digital transformation journey, Vodafone has seen benefits across the board. “Through the exploitation of digital technologies, we’ve defined a new way of working to deliver value in an agile way,” says Chris. “We’re empowering our agents to serve customers better, helping significantly lower our cost to serve, whilst driving up customer satisfaction.” With a more digital workplace, technology and human interaction has been blended, allowing agents to work as problem solvers for more in-depth issues. “When a customer has a complex or urgent issue, they can still contact us,” explains Chris. “But we’ve freed up agents’ time from just typing into the system, to helping customers with more complicated issues.” This means agents can get closer to customers, and improve resolution times. In fact, since transitioning the first multi-national customers to EVE in December 2016, there has been a 54% improvement in First Contact Resolution. Despite the significant level of change, contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA) performance, has also remained at 100%. “Not only are customers saying the service has got better,” adds Kerry. “But they are also saying that we’ve got the professional credibility to go in and advise them, and consult on how to go through that journey we have just gone through.”
The impact of the project has been recognised through numerous external accolades, including the coveted IDC Digital Transformation Awards, who celebrated the successful planning and execution of the project by awarding Vodafone Group Enterprise the Digital Transformer of the year 2017 award. “As a team, we’re very proud of the external recognition,” says Kerry. “Not only do we know that the strategy is right, but that the depth and quality of what we are doing is being recognised.” “The future remains exciting,” concludes Chris. “We’ve got more to do, but we’ve got the platform to realise a clear service differentiation in our products and services to our customers.”
Gartner has positioned Vodafone as a "Leader" in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide report 2017, for the fourth consecutive year