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Lithys 2015: Microsoft Mobile - Support Savings MVP

Lithys 2015: Microsoft Mobile - Support Savings MVP

Company: Microsoft Mobile Microsoft logo.png

Entry submitted by: Delfin Vassallo (DJVassallo) Social Media Operations Manager

LSW social channels: Facebook- globalTwitter- global, plus local ones, in total 107 social presences managed

Lithy category: Support Savings MVP


Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


In 2012, Microsoft Mobile (Nokia at the time) had a presence in social media with Twitter and Facebook accounts; however, many of the cases went unanswered and unaddressed. This was simply because they were not listening on social due to having insufficient tools with their first vendor and an inadequate team to manage social care requests.


Microsoft Mobile needed to invest in and get serious about social—and fast. They switched to a second vendor from 2012-2013, but their solution was falling short and they needed to operationalize their Social Care Practice on a bigger scale. That was the tipping point.


In 2013, the business—now Microsoft Mobile after Nokia’s acquisition—launched a critical quest for a new digital solution that offered multiple features and a stable platform that could grow with them over time.



Implement a new, long-term digital solution that can grow with Microsoft Mobile’s expanding needs on social media to offer customers top-tier customer service


In 2014, Microsoft Mobile chose Lithium Social Web (LSW) primarily because they needed a tool that they could trust in terms of stable, scalable technology.


To be successful on social, brands need three elements:

1) Adequate tools/technologies

2) Seamless processes for handling customer feedback

3) A team of people who are trained in the brand’s internal voice, as they are the stars of the show


If one of those three elements is broken, the whole solution doesn’t work. With LSW, Microsoft Mobile is now confident in the technology piece and that the tool will continue to evolve as the social media industry changes.


LSW was implemented to provide social customer service across 100+ social media presences globally, in 24 languages with a 140+ staff working around the clock from 7 different locations. Our highly complex operation is coordinated by only four internal resources; Our LSW set up is one of the most complex of all Lithium clients,” said Delfin Vassallo, Social Media Operations Manager Europe at Microsoft.


Changes as a result of LSW implementation


Microsoft Mobile started this project with two Twitter handles in two languages and one Facebook page. Now with LSW, they are efficiently managing an entire expanded suite of social channels:

  • 66 Facebook pages
  • 34 Twitter handles
  • 7 contact centers (working around the clock to service customers in 24 languages)


To organize and coordinate all of these channels, personnel, languages, and time zones is quite complex, but the LSW platform allows Microsoft Mobile to do it seamlessly.


They are handling 230% more volume of cases than before the adoption of LSW, while only increasing headcount by 15%.


LSW has given Microsoft Mobile the immediate ability to manage the astonishingly fast increase in volume (on average 70k unique cases per month) while making teams more efficient and productive in order to meet the target response times.


One of the most noticeable impacts to the Microsoft Mobile organization is the development of their Social Care team. In 2013, the global team comprised 90 staff members. Now they are at 145 full-time social media agents plus team leaders, quality monitors, and trainers.


With the right technology now in place, Microsoft Mobile is able to focus on developing and growing a very well-curated hiring and training program. Their management team saw the opportunity and decided to prioritize it by investing in the right tools and the right team to make their social customer support program world-class.


They predicted social would be big, but not THIS big. Through Lithium analytics and reporting, the Microsoft Mobile leadership team has been able to validate that they made the right decision to invest in social. Therefore, they continue to support the growing Social Care program due to the impressive results.


From a cross-functional perspective, LSW has allowed Microsoft Mobile to optimize resources in smaller, typically budget-constrained markets. Marketing now provides the content and creativity, and the Social Care team handles the social presence. The result of multiple teams working through one tool is that the customer receives one single answer through one unified brand voice.


“We could handle a 230% 2013-14 YoY volume increase by only increasing 15% our staff,” said Delfin Vassallo, Social Media Operations Manager Europe at Microsoft.


Business results


The Microsoft Mobile customers immediately saw a change with LSW. The Social Care team was flooded with positive comments, thanking them for the competent and quick responses on social.


Microsoft Mobile was able to get back to the customer faster than they expect (as quick as 4 minutes with an average response time of 2 hours vs. the industry benchmark of 7 hours)-- and with a meaningful and complete answer to their problem.


“Customers are becoming more demanding on social channels. They ask a lot of support questions and express doubts about products/services, so the key for brands is to answer fast. That sounds pretty simple, but if you don’t have the right tools in place, you aren’t able to do that. LSW allows us to service our customers quickly and competently. Lithium continues to stay ahead of the game with regards to customer behaviors and demands." Delfin Vassallo, Social Media Operations Manager, Microsoft Mobile Europe


Microsoft Mobile is able to resolve 95% of cases in-channel on social, which means they rarely redirect customers to other assisted channels such as phone or chat. As a result, their volume has skyrocketed, because the more they answer customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, the more customers trust them and want to ask additional questions.


Microsoft Mobile customers’ satisfaction is the ultimate metric of success— Microsoft Mobile is thrilled to receive overwhelmingly positive sentiments, indicating that they are making a huge impact on customers.


In summary, Microsoft Mobile agents’ productivity increased as they are now able to handle more cases and faster:

  • First contact resolution rose to 95% (some languages keep a steady 100%)
  • Average case handling time went down from 20 minutes to 9mins
  • Response time was kept under 2 hours despite the overwhelming increase in demand.
  • The overall cost saving of handling more cases in social rather than in traditional assisted channels was around 80%







Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2015 Lithy Submission

The Microsoft Mobile team continues to distinguish themselves with above and beyond performance  in social customer care.  With focus on making it perfect every time, the team has been recognized as a global benchmark by external research groups such as Social Bakers (ranked #1 "Socially Devoted" Electronics Brand) and Simply Measured (ranked top 10 for “Most Responsive Customer Service” for global brands on Twitter).


Social Bakers


Simply Measured



Sean Valderas

Microsoft Mobile Team

Social Media Operations Manager - English