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Transcom Italia wins Customer Relationship Management Award

Process innovation increases customer satisfaction and improves the operating efficiency of Lastminute.com services

Transcom Italia has been assigned the 2016 best Customer Relationship Management award by a panel of experts from the CMMC Club, the association for companies and service providers working in the client relations supply chain. For CMMC, the award is a way to promote businesses that stand out, in a particularly complicated period for the sector, for the excellence of the initiatives put in place to improve their organization, in terms of both financial results and the internal climate among associates, by developing partnership relationships and innovating customer relationship processes.

The reasons for the award

In 2016, Transcom identified several areas for optimization in the customer assistance processes of leading online travel operator Lastminute.com, for which it has been managing customer care activities since 2015, in a dozen or so languages. In partnership with Datachronic, a company that specializes in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions to improve the efficiency of corporate procedures, Transcom has introduced several process automation measures for Lastminute.com services. A new web platform has been developed to automatically dispatch back office activities to the first agent available on the basis of the Client’s real priorities. The dispatching platform includes an integrated, user friendly web interface that provides real time checking of all the fields entered manually by the operator. In practice, it acts as an “Automatic Checker” for booking data, guaranteeing that the Lastminute.com system is aligned with airline websites, for example, across all stages in the booking process. If any discrepancies are detected, the system suggests corrections.

Last September, Lastminute.com also decided to introduce the “Transcom Quality Centre”, a system that collects and classifies all quality monitoring results to analyze the points of strength and areas for improvement of each project, team or individual operator. This proprietary Transcom solution provides a quick way to introduce continuous improvement measures, which are essential in such a dynamic and constantly evolving sector.

“All these Transcom’s initiatives have delivered tangible results, with even higher levels of customer satisfaction, more efficient contact management and reduced operating costs,” said Lastminute.com group Operations Manager Giorgio Bonafini. This award truly crowns our partnership.”

“We are extremely proud of this award and I would like to thank my team, our client Lastminute.com and Datachronic for their contributions to obtaining this acknowledgement,” said Transcom General Manager for Central and Southern Europe Gianluca Gemma. “At a time when there is much talk about technological innovation, virtualization and robotics applied to customer relations, we are convinced that operating efficiency can also be achieved through process innovation, by studying solutions to make the human relationship with end users more effective and improve the quality of our agents’ work.”

 

On the left, TRANSCOM represented by Global Account Manager Debora Mendola and General Manager, Central and Southern Europe Gianluca Gemma; on the right, lastminute.com group Operations Director Giorgio Bonafini

On the left, TRANSCOM represented by Global Account Manager Debora Mendola and General Manager, Central and Southern Europe Gianluca Gemma; on the right, lastminute.com group Operations Director Giorgio Bonafini

 

Author: Stefan Pettersson

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The world is calling

“You have to be ready for virtually any situation and so it is fundamental for us to have a solid supplier like Transcom who can guarantee us a high-quality service all the time.”

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director of lastminute.com group

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director at lastminute.com group

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director at lastminute.com group

As a customer care agent, you need a lot of finesse and quick thinking, not to mention diplomatic and language skills. Big time,” says Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director of lastminute.com group and speaking from the company’s headquarters in Chiasso, Switzerland. The lastminute.com group offers a range of products including flights, hotels, holidays, city breaks, cruises, car hire as well as other travel and leisure related products.

With services in 17 languages and handling approximately 10 million customers per year, the amount of client assistance services delivered is huge. Transcom has been acting as lastminute.com group’s strategic partner, providing bookings and customer service activities across Europe and North Africa through voice, email and chat functions. Giorgio Bonafini estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of the company’s customer management is handled by Transcom via these traditional channels. Phoning in is especially popular with, for example, the Russians, he says.

“When it comes to our Russian customers for example, my observation is that they want to be sure and secure about what they have reserved, and the procedures that are in place in the case of a ‘what if’. There are a great deal of cultural differences in the way our clients contact us, and why,” he explains. And the nature of the questions and requirements that come through can almost be as varied as there are destinations and activities to choose from.

“We had this one customer who wanted to know whether he could bring a live zebra with him on board his flight,” Giorgio Bonafini recalls, noting that the agent processing the enquiry then had to contact the airline in question to check whether it was actually possible. “It’s important for us that agents go that extra mile to ensure that we can offer our customers the best travel and leisure experiences out there, but no, in this case it just wasn’t possible. Animals of a certain size couldn’t be brought along.”

There was also the case when a customer wished to bring 15 bicycles with him in his luggage, or the time when an airplane passenger wasn’t familiar with having to adjust the time on her watch when flying westwards. “The client couldn’t understand how she could possibly arrive at her destination before the time of her departure. That took a bit of gentle explaining about time zones,” he says. Compared with just a decade ago, the evolution of new technology and the increasing use of social media have also added a whole new dimension when it comes to the courtesy, product know-how and diplomacy skills required by customer care agents – even for those who handle the conventional channels like telephone and email services.

“Although we’re seeing an increased migration towards social media, most people are still using the traditional channels as a point of first contact. But if they’re not happy, they may take to social media which obviously can be very impactful,” Bonafini explains, adding that his company remains directly in charge of the group’s customer care on the social media channels. “You have to be ready for virtually any situation and so it is fundamental for us to have a solid supplier like Transcom who can guarantee us a high-quality service all the time.”

FACTS/LASTMINUTE.COM GROUP

  • lastminute.com group is a European leader in the online travel and leisure industry.
  • It offers flights, hotels, holidays, city breaks, cruises, car hire as well as other travel and leisure related products.
  • More than 10 million customers book their travel and leisure experiences every year.
  • Its biggest markets are UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany, and its services are offered in 17 languages, including Arabic.

Article originally published in the Hello Transcom magazine. Text: Louise Nordström. 

Transcom successfully handles peak traffic in 11 countries for an international client

Flexibility, scalability and technology at our clients’ service

Not so long ago, one of our clients, a leading manufacturer of household appliances, asked us to submit a proposal to manage a peak in customer care traffic for several weeks in 11 European countries. The client in question had to recall and replace a defective product of which about 10,000 had been sold throughout Europe. The communication campaign was expected to generate a peak in the number of calls in France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

An international task force, coordinated from Italy, was set up and immediately went to work. The proposal didn’t take long to finalize, and involved various Transcom sites in six countries: Sweden, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, the Netherlands and Spain. The Transcom technology infrastructure is based on a centralized data center, making it possible to coordinate the management of customer care activities for 11 different markets, switch telephone calls to our sites throughout Europe and cover all the languages needed.

This innovative organizational model, based on flexibility, language skills, scalability and technology fully convinced and satisfied our client. In fact, the solution allowed rapid ramp-up and ramp-down times, thus enabling the company to optimize communication campaign timing in the target countries. Transcom implemented the centralized IVR platform for all markets and assembled the necessary resources in record time: in the space of just one week, over 200 agents were selected from those available in all the Transcom sites involved.

After special training, these customer care specialists provided consumers with instructions to guarantee the safety of each and every product by means of either technical adjustment or replacement. The project, which was initially planned to run for 10 weeks, is still underway and Transcom continues to work with the client to ensure the best possible assistance and contact experience for all its European users.

This emergency plan was seamlessly integrated with the regular customer assistance services we have been managing since August 2015 for the same client from our multilingual centers in Budapest, Danzica, Olsztyn and Porto, where our customer experience specialists guarantee the provision of a high-quality customer service to consumers in 20 countries: Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, France, Lithuania and Romania.

Author: Magdalena Szałaj

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Transcom adds new client in the white goods sector

Another white goods client was recently added to the Transcom portfolio. The Chinese multinational in question, a global leader in the consumer electronics and white goods sector, designs, develops, produces and markets many different items, including air-conditioners, smartphones, computers, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators and TVs.

Various major brands in the consumer electronics and durable goods segments have already entrusted their customer care and technical assistance services to Transcom in various parts of the world. Our expertise in this specific sector was without a doubt a contributing factor to the decision made by our new client.

Currently, the Transcom team provides inbound and outbound support in nine languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Flemish, Dutch and Polish. The team provides assistance to end customers, stores and repair centers through various contact channels: telephone, email, live chat and also social media in some countries. Most of the team members work out of our Gdansk site (one of our leading multilanguage hubs), but a number of Transcom specialists have also been transferred to work in several of the Client’s European offices (in France, Italy, Spain and Germany), with a view to coordinating work and facilitating the sharing of information and know-how. The tasks assigned to them include the management of customer care services provided over the chat channel and through the client’s Facebook page.

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Virtual image of the showroom project devised for the client

Transcom has adopted an innovative approach in order to help its operators gain a perfect understanding of the products for which they are providing technical and commercial assistance. In a joint initiative with the client, Transcom has created a showroom for its team at the center of the operations area where customer care services are handled. This not only gives operators some firsthand experience of the various products during training, but also simplifies relations with users and makes the service more effective, because the products in question are right there next to their work stations.

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Operators at work in Gdansk and the showroom containing the client’s products behind them

Transcom is constantly working on new solutions, new processes and new approaches to offer its clients’ end customers the best possible experience. The showroom in the operating area and the transfer of Transcom personnel to several of the Client’s sites is giving a powerful boost to this important new partnership, which has looked set right from the outset to grow and be consolidated in the future.

Author: Anna Meijere

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Transcom reaches ​High Performance Benchmark target for Client Overall Satisfaction in 2015

Transcom regularly measures Client Satisfaction through online surveys. The surveys are based on COPC (Customer Operations Performance Center) principles, and quantify ​overall ​satisfaction and satisfaction with specific attributes (e.g. end-user/customer feedback management, account management, key support processes) across multiple entities and provide a total score for a client. All managers in the client organization who have business-related contacts with Transcom are invited to participate.

Transcom as a Telecom Client Customer Service Supplier reached the target of 80% Top 2 Boxes Overall Satisfaction (very satisfied and satisfied respondents, COPC High Performance Benchmark) for the first six months of 2015. For the second part of the year Transcom exceeded the benchmark even more and finished with 92% Top 2 Boxes Overall Satisfaction.

This is a notable milestone in the partnership. During the last few years both Transcom and the Client have upgraded several key customer related processes and key support processes to share responsibilities and ensure that each party specialize in the operational practices to support performance. The Overall Satisfaction level achieved demonstrates that Trancom has been successful in using structured change management while maintaining the focus on efficient and effective performance to provide both the Client and the Client’s customers with services that meet expectations.

Author: Daniel Illmann

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How video tutorials improve customer experience and cut costs

For the last five years, Transcom Germany has been working with a leading satellite navigation brand, offering first and second level technical assistance to drivers who buy a GPS unit. When they have trouble updating the software or other installation or usage issues, users contact our team of technical specialists at the Transcom site in Halle, Germany.

OPERATIONS video tutorial_Nav_Screen

One of the most highly appreciated features of the service is assistance offered through social media, as well as the adoption of dedicated self-service solutions. The most important example of this is the production of video tutorials, or short teaching films that guide users through all stages of using the software and hardware, from the simplest procedures to the most complex operations. The operator sends the user an email with a link to the video and provides assistance while the video tutorial on the problem in question is playing. During the contact session, the operator draws attention to the most important sections and answers any questions and doubts the customer may have. The videos can be viewed as many times as desired, from any mobile device or PC, without needing to re-contact customer service.

OPERATIONS video tutorial

Transcom made the first video tutorial for this project in 2011 (view it here) and our client company has posted it on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 60,000 times. So far thirty or so video tutorials have been made, some exclusively for assistance staff training purposes.

We asked Transcom Halle Call Center Manager Hans-Rainer Michels to explain how this initiative came into being:

“A few months after the project launch, our client said that they needed to identify operating methods and tools to cut customer contact costs. Transcom proposed making simple, clear video guides, which can easily be viewed by users on their own. Our client liked the idea and particularly the spirit of collaboration and value creation that characterises the partnership with Transcom. The production of this tutorial has reduced the number of calls to the call center (and therefore cut costs), at the same time as improving users’ customer experience.“

How exactly does it work? How does a video tutorial start life?

Michels continues:

“The team dedicated to the project analyses the questions most frequently asked by drivers and the issues they raise and agrees with the client which subjects to produce teaching videos on. All the tutorials are produced at our Halle site using suitable software and then submitted to the client, who provides feedback in the form of additions or changes, before it is posted online”.