As digital alters consumer behavior across Indonesia, the telecom industry needs to transform to stay competitive. Indosat Ooredoo (commonly referred to as Indosat) wanted to provide the best customer experience. However, its traditional systems were hampering agent productivity, leading to poor customer experience.
Using the IBM Garage methodology, IBM Services and Bluewolf® team worked with Indosat to modernize the Salesforce platform by bringing improvements in case management, knowledge management, service console layout, live agent feature and reporting.
50%Reduction in the Average Handling Time (AHT)
90%Reduction in average time taken to respond to call (Average Speed of Answer)
10%Increase in positive CSAT scores (75 and 100)
Business challenge story
Grappling with traditional user interface
Indonesia is among the fastest developing telecommunications market in the world, driven by growth in both mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions. It’s a thriving mobile market with five large network operators and the overall market is underpinned by strong economic fundamentals. Expanded coverage, greater affordability, service improvements, increased data usage and smartphone penetration are the main drivers of growth in Indonesia’s telecom sector and internet usage. In the last few years Indonesia has emerged as the global leader of online shopping with over 86 percent and 76 percent of internet users in Indonesia having made purchases on eCommerce and mCommerce platforms respectively. The average time spent by an Indonesian daily on social media has surpassed the global average, with the Indonesian average being the fourth highest.
The Indonesian economy is on its way to be driven strongly by digital technologies and experiences. The digital age has the potential to transform every facet of daily life, from reshaping how people make choices, enhancing customer experiences, and developing new business models to optimizing value chains for unprecedented levels of efficiency. To win in a digital age, Indonesian businesses must reinvent themselves to cater to the digital audience and their experience across digital platforms.
Indosat, one of the largest telco services and network providers in Indonesia, offers cellular, fixed data, wireless broadband and fixed voice (IDD, fixed wireless, landline) services. As a part of its digital transformation vision, Indosat aspires to provide customers with the best possible digital experience through its contact center. “It’s an experience economy, we are not only competing with other telco players but against the experience I deliver to my customers”, says Philip Joseph, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Service Operations.
“When we undertook the digital transformation journey two years back, one of the objectives was to be recognized as a leading digital telco in Indonesia. During the journey we realized that we had a lot of traditional systems within the IT architecture. Now, we want to embed digital into our strategy and transform our contact center and differentiate on design and agility to become an Omni channel engagement link to the online and offline worlds. This would enable Indosat to move away from a typical traditional transactional contact center into an engagement hub with a more complete “know a customer” approach and provide the next generation user experiences which is more personalized, interconnected, fun, fast, and seamless”, explains Philip Joseph.
To cater to the evolving needs of the digital ecosystem Indosat partnered with IBM to envision the following opportunities for its contact center transformation
- Scalability - Scale up the contact center operations and make it future proof to support the growing digital ecosystem in Indonesia
- Customer experience – Ensure best in class customer experience through creative digital experience that would allow quick and correct resolution and empower customers with support communities
- Agent productivity – Improve agent efficiency by providing a unified system that could integrate data that was scattered across different channels and systems and made it difficult for agents to address customer issues and queries promptly
- Performance and Reporting – Provide clear visibility of agent workload and performance through dashboards and reports respectively to enable self-analysis and optimal allocation of the load to available agents
With these objectives, Indosat embarked on a journey to transform its Salesforce platform to be more intuitive and integrated while allowing agents to finish their tasks with the click of a button. This would enable agents to focus on customer service rather than managing systems. Philip Joseph elaborates, “Our agent user interface and business processes were not intuitive. Agents had to copy-paste information, retype and do a lot of tasks manually. Data was scattered across different channels and systems that made it difficult for agents to address the customer issues and queries promptly. We wanted to create a user interface that is seamless, easy and requires minimal hand-eye movement to work comfortably. This would bring in efficiency and reduce our customer handling time from 5 minutes to around 2 - 3 minutes, which is the industry standard and also improve the customer experience.”
Reinventing the system to be highly intuitive and integrated
After a thorough review of multiple players, Indosat selected IBM to digitally transform its Salesforce system because of its strong capabilities around Salesforce, deep industry experience and technology expertise. “When we first talked about dealing with digital, we didn’t want to take a step forward, we wanted to take a leapfrog approach. We wanted to move away from a transactional contact center to a know-a-customer contact center. That is why we set on this journey with IBM to develop an Integrated Digital Contact Center”, recalls Philip.
The IBM team used the IBM Salesforce Garage model that brought additional speed and scale to the global consulting approach. Bluewolf’s deep expertise, strategy and delivery capabilities in Salesforce were combined with IBM’s leadership in cognitive and design thinking to drive digital transformation.
As a part of the project, IBM executed the following activities:
- Made improvements in case management, knowledge management, service console layout, live agent feature and reporting that helped increase the agent productivity
- Developed help portal and community forum for better resolution quality, faster handling and resolution time
- Implemented an end-to-end case management capability in Salesforce with seamless integration with a traditional CRM system
- Implemented a centralized knowledge management system in Salesforce that could be integrated to another system
The project was delivered using the 3T Bluewolf methodology that covers three phases – Translate, Transform and Transcend.
The translate phase was focused on defining the as-is processes and envisioning the to-be stage. Using the Design Thinking process IBM team worked closely with Indosat’s business team, agents, IT team and operations team to conduct user interviews, contextual inquiries and ecosystem study that helped define the key user pain points. Taking these insights, IBM team defined user personas and to-be stage that included seamless and easy user interfaces, creative digital customer experiences, support communities and single-source content management.
The transform phase was the build phase comprising multiple sprints of building and testing the new system. IBM team enabled the system to have omnichannel capabilities (Chat, Pipeline - WhatsApp, Email, Call, Social channels) and auto allocation of work to agents based on load and channel. Along with UI simplification and multiple integrations, it also provided a dashboard to show real-time agent productivity for call center supervisors and agents.
The solution was then deployed as a part of the Transcend phase, followed by user testing and post go-live support. The solution went live in two phases, drop I (March 2020) and drop II (May 2020). The decision to go live during the pandemic was a strategic but a bold move as drop I coincided with the start of the pandemic across Asia while drop II was at the peak of the pandemic. If the team hadn’t gone live during the pandemic, they would have risked an impact on consumer experience through the contact center as they expected a rise in digital users due to the pandemic. During this period, close to 75% of agents had to be deployed to work from home and Indosat experienced a close to a 100% increase in contact center interactions. Handling this using the existing systems would have been a nightmare but with the new integrated digital contact center, agents were able to easily resolve customer queries through a unified user interface with just one screen compared to 7-8 other additional systems or tools which they used to handle before.
Empowering customers and driving memorable experience
“Understanding how consumers today are adopting and using technology is key to understanding the magnitude of change that is upon us today, because the consumer behaviors have changed drastically in 2020 to become more digital, more social , more mobile and more engaging” says Philip. The newly developed integrated digital contact center reflects this evolving change through an intuitive system that is helping service agents provide the best possible experience to the subscribers, more efficiently. The customer dashboard is now seamless and has all the information available at the click of a button which has helped reduce Average Handling Time to 50% of pre-deployment numbers.
Some of the key features of the integrated digital contact center include
- Co browsing functionality, allows the agent to access customers’ details in one place in real-time, view their milestones, total case handling time and perform a quick health check on top ten issues.
- Knowledge management feature, using which the agent can easily search different articles for developing a deeper understanding of their work
- Community portal, through which customers can participate in discussions, view conversations and read knowledge articles. These features have ensured better resolution quality, faster handling and resolution time, which has increased customer loyalty and stickiness. Prospect customers can also read the knowledge article and give likes on the article using the portal.
- Self-help portal has allowed customers to login, raise new complaints, complete operations and additionally view a profile, billing, quota and package details
- Centralized feed added to consolidate Google play store customer reactions and comments
“There were two key pillars to our customer experience strategy when we embarked on this project, one was memorable customer experiences and the second was empowered customers. Now through this modern contact center, we are able to create positive moments through the customer journey across various touchpoints, delivering memorable customer experiences. We are also empowering customers by ensuring that the digital experience is seamlessly combined with an omnichannel approach” explains Philip. With the new unified system, the agents are able to help customers quickly with richer information. The Average Speed of Answer (ASA) has reduced to 9% of pre-deployment numbers, a 90% reduction. With improved customer satisfaction, the positive CSAT scores (75 and 100) have also increased by 10% post the deployment. Similarly, the negative CSAT scores (0 and 25) have decreased by 18%.
“Customer experience is going to be the new game-changer. Partners like IBM and companies like us must work together and co-exist. You cannot have a strong digital strategy without a very strong partner who is going to enable your digital strategy. IBM is someone who knows us very well and works very closely with us. When we went to the drawing board for the integrated digital contact center project we knew IBM was a perfect match because not only they were our IT partners in the ecosystem but also because of their experience in working with companies which are as old as us and having traditional systems similar to ours. IBM came up with systems and practices that were innovative and more robust, they were able to jumpstart the project, which is what we needed, and to do that during the critical period of the pandemic was outstanding!” concludes Philip Joseph.
Founded in 1967, Indosat Ooredoo (commonly referred to as Indosat) is one of the largest telco services and network providers in Indonesia. It is a listed company with over 4000 employees. With around 59.3 million subscribers by end of 2019, the company offers cellular, fixed data, wireless broadband and fixed voice (IDD, fixed wireless, landline) services.
Indosat has invested to expand the 4G network coverage and improve performance. These steps have contributed to an increase in Indosat’s subscriber base and data traffic volume. Going forward, the company aims to continue playing a leading role in Indonesia’s digital ecosystem and deliver further improvements in service quality and customer experience that can create more value for stakeholders.
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