Six of top eight global customer service innovators in Europe
Europe boasts six of world’s top eight global innovators in customer service, according to the third Annual Customer Innovation Awards.
The awards, staged by customer comuncations company Genesys Telecommunication, were selected by a group of 25 global industry analysts.
This year’s selections from Europe included Belgacom, BT, Lekane, Philip Morris International, Sky and UniCredit Global Information Services. This year’s winners also included AT&T and Stream Energy, both with Texas-based operations.
Genesys said each company used technology innovatively to streamline and optimise customer service. The companies were chosen for transforming their customer contact centres, increasing customer satisfaction and improving the contact centre’s alignment with company business goals.
The most universal thread among all of the innovators was their ability to link business issues to customer service, achieve optimisation, and treat the contact centre as a strategic opportunity. The organisations also consistently scored high in the “strategic alignment between contact centre and customer service goals” category.
Eight finalists scored either a “Three-Star” or “Four-Star” ranking, indicating how analysts felt companies performed based on the stages of the Genesys contact centre capability maturity model. Those stages are: establishment, consolidating, performing and optimising. A Four-Star ranking, the highest honour possible, indicates the company contact centre is operating at the optimising stage of the contact centre capability maturity model. A Three-Star award is also regarded as an exceptional achievement.
Details of the Three- and Four-Star European finalists:
* Belgacom, a Four-Star winner, is the Belgian provider in the field of integrated telecommunications services with several strong brands (Belgacom, Proximus, Telindus and Skynet): www.belgacom.be. Belgacom scored well by balancing service-to-sales conversion while optimising its customer service organisation. Belgacom used a variety of key technologies to improve the customer experience, including an intelligent Customer Front Door iCFD that anticipates customer needs, rather than forcing customers into an automated system that is singularly focused on cost containment. Customer satisfaction increased ten per cent and, at the same time revenue generating capacity increased three per cent.
* BT, a Four-Star winner, is one of the leading Global Communications providers, operating in 170 countries, with over 30,000 contact centre positions within the company, and more than 100,000 contact centre positions managed for its clients: www.bt.com. BT undertook a transformational program to improve the overall customer experience and create an agile, global unified communication infrastructure using IP technology and the Genesys SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Server at the core of the solution. BT was deemed outstanding in extending the boundaries of each contact centre and creating global virtualisation across all media. Its customer benefits include intelligent routing that leverages the best BT resources and the integration of true blended multimedia channels.
* Lekane, a Three-Star winner, based in Finland, produces software to mobilise and expand the contact centre and support mobility: www.lekane.com. At Telia Sonera, the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic region, Lekane created the contact centre to reach mobile and field service staff, while managing their availability and presence. Lekane was noted for extending access to experts outside the contact centre to streamline and optimise customer service.
* Philip Morris International, a Three-Star winner, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the leading international tobacco company: www.philipmorrisinternational.com. Philip Morris, along with its partner Orange Business Services, leveraged unified communications technology to provide collaboration, rich presence, and streamlining of employee communications. The Company was honoured for its optimisation capabilities which utilised the Genesys Enterprise Telephony Solution (GETS). This platform provided employees with seamless control of their desktop phones via the computer, and gave information workers the ability to access availability and presence information at their Corporate Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and in branch offices in Paris, the UK, Hong Kong, and Melbourne, Australia.
* Sky, a Three-Star winner, is the UK’s largest provider of Pay-TV, Telephony and Broadband products: www.sky.com. Sky has leveraged IP telephony and virtualisation to create a solution that can dynamically route customer interactions and enable flexible changes in organisational processes. Sky was recognised for its strategic use of the Genesys SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Server to extend the contact centre across multiple sites. This allowed for a more consistent experience across internal operations and centres of outsourcing, as well as the ability to monitor the global in-house and outsourced operations.
* UniCredit Global Information Services, a Three-Star winner, is the ICT Company of one of the largest financial services organisations in Europe (UniCredit Group) with more than 40 million customers in 23 European countries and representative offices in 27 other markets: www.unicreditgroup.eu. UniCredit scored high points for creating a highly flexible IT environment that successfully met both business and customer needs across its pan-European operations, including extending customer service to its multiple branch offices. UniCredit leveraged business process routing and SIP technology to serve multiple product lines, business units, and languages.
North America-based Three- and Four-Star finalists include:
* Stream Energy, a Four-Star winner, is one of the largest privately held participants in the Texas deregulated electricity market, with roughly 300,000 residential customers: www.streamenergy.net. Stream Energy was best noted by the judges for its strategic use of customer service, which cut across self-service and assisted service to create a seamless customer experience. Stream Energy also created a strategic environment to bring together a wide range of multimedia, live and assisted service.
• AT&T, a Three-Star winner, is a publicly-traded, San Antonio-based telecommunications company and the largest provider of wireless in the U.S. with 67.3 million customers and 302,000 employees: www.att.com. AT&T scored extremely well in optimising the customer experience and using IP to enable virtualisation. AT&T’s use of technology not only allowed it to extend the boundaries of the contact centre, but also created consistent business processes and was considered by the judges to be the most highly-scaled environment.
“The goal of the Genesys Customer Innovation Awards programme is to recognise companies that successfully transform their customer service even under challenging and dynamic environments,” said Paul Segre, president and CEO, Genesys. “Each finalist has strategically leveraged contact centre solutions to achieve an optimal balance of customer traffic, internal resources and business outcomes. The most universal common thread among all of the innovators is the ability to link business issues to customer service, achieve optimisation and treat the contact centre as a strategic opportunity.”