Company: Midco Company background: Founded in 1931, Midco is a leading provider of internet, TV, phone, advertising & data center services in the Midwest. More than 440,000 residential and business customers count on Midco services in 400 communities in Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This year, Midco was rated the best for Residential Internet Service Satisfaction in J.D. Power’s West Region. Not only was Midco ranked #1 for overall customer satisfaction, but they also received top scores for Performance & Reliability, Communications & Promotions and Billing & Payment. Contact: Kevin Perry Title: DIGITAL CX OPS MANAGER Related URLs: Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Digital 1. What challenges did your organization face that required a digital strategy? Provide details on the issues you were trying to resolve or the goals you were trying to achieve. (e.g. reducing handle time, improving CSAT, reducing per-interaction costs, etc.) At the beginning of 2021, it became evident that Midco needed to solve two things. 1) How to keep up with the ever-expanding and ever-changing digital world our customer base is quickly adapting to. 2) How to leave customers feeling just as connected and valued as we do in verbal conversations. 2. Which elements did you implement as part of your digital solutions? Include details on the channels or tools you added, where you implemented AI or automation, and how your solution was unique. Midco implemented a Khoros Chat Bot on their website. This accounted for 46,922 (24.36%) of the total interactions; 26.74% of those never had agent interaction. Midco put a big emphasis on tone but also ensured easy customer off-ramps to maximize ease of business for customers. 3. What specific results were you able to achieve? Please include key success metrics. (e.g. CSAT, call deflection, cost reduction, agent efficiency, response speed, resolution rate, etc.) The Bot was able to save roughly 1-2 FTE over the course of the year, and additionally lead to more meaningful conversations with agents. With a focus on tone in both agent and bot interactions, C-Sat went from an average of 4.574 in 2020 to an average of 4.638 in the past 12 months.
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Company: Midco Company background: Founded in 1931, Midco is a leading provider of internet, TV, phone, advertising & data center services in the Midwest. More than 440,000 residential and business customers count on Midco services in 400 communities in Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Contact: Kevin Perry Title: Digital CX Operations Manager Related URLs: <www.facebook.com/MidcontinentCommunications/ https://twitter.com/Midcontinent> Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Care 1. What were your organization’s digital customer service initiatives? What channels do you support today?
Our mission is to be the best communications company in the country for our customers, employees, stakeholders, and communities. In Customer Care, this means recognizing the digital communities that our customers live in, from texting and chat to the various social media platforms, and meeting our customers where they are at. The importance of this is only emphasized by our ambitious goals to have 75% of customer interactions handled through digital platforms or self-help options by 2025.
Currently, we support our customers and digital communities through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, SMS, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages, Google Reviews, and Modern Chat. Our partnership with Khoros has allowed us to “set up shop” in all of the biggest digital communities that our customers are in, as well as innovate toward new channels as they pop up.
Additionally, to help keep up with the ever-growing digital demand, we also implemented the Khoros Bot in our Modern Chat platform in February 2021. We have already seen this play an important role in deflecting conversations from agents, as 2,345 (27%) have been assisted by the bot in Modern Chat without agent interaction. This helps raise awareness of our self-help options, resolve issues that have simple solutions, and support meaningful conversations between our agents and our customers.
2. What was the most important issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform) — and what makes your approach to that achievement unique?
Recognizing the importance of the digital communities that our customers live in and trying to achieve our goal of 75% of customer interactions handled through digital platforms or self-help options have been our most important issues. The advent of COVID provided a lot of unique challenges, but also helped us grow our digital support volume. In 2020 we had 130,669 digital conversations through Khoros, compared to 101,599 total digital conversations in 2019.
Our partnership with Khoros has allowed us to meet customers where they are at, instead of waiting for them to seek us out. Khoros has allowed us to go into the digital communities where our customers “live,” in a similar fashion as we would go into our physical communities – when we see a community (or platform) need, we go into that community and provide the desired support. This partnership has also allowed us to be proactive instead of reactive, and we often participate as early adopters in new integrations such as the Khoros Bot.
In addition to meeting our customers at their digital locations, we also want to emphasize the human experience. While we may be speaking through a keyboard, ultimately customers want human care. One great way we emphasize this is through our use of the Snooze feature, which allows us to follow up with customers and ensure concerns are resolved. If a customer has a technician out, we can Snooze that interaction for a time after the technician visit to simply check in on the customer. This helps us demonstrate that we truly care about our customers and that they are not just a “checklist” for us – we own the issues and care about people. 3. What 1-3 metrics best describe your success? (e.g. CSAT, call deflection, cost reduction, agent efficiency, response speed, resolution rate, etc.)).
To achieve our company goal of 75% of customer interactions handled through digital platforms or self-help options, there are a few key things we look at. Making sure we are increasing both our overall number of digital interactions and the percentage of volume compared to phone interactions is pivotal. In 2019, we had a total of 101,599 digital conversations, which was 8.4% when compared to phone volume. Since we integrated Khoros into all of our digital interactions in early 2020, our number of digital interactions has increased significantly. In 2020, we had a total of 130,669 of digital conversations, which was 9.7% when compared to phone volume. While we saw a massive increase of total customer interactions in 2020 which has started to come down in 2021, our ratio of customer interactions compared to phone volume has continued to increase, with a 1.7% increase so far this year, bringing our ratio to 11.4% of volume. The biggest contributors to this so far? Khoros’ partnership with us when it comes to meeting our customers in their digital communities, and call deflection using Apple Business Chat and Google Business Messenger. And it doesn’t stop there – we are continuing to push forward, and considering adapting additional platforms and tools, such as IVR deflection.
While our company goals are to greatly increase our number of digital interactions, as a people-oriented organization our primary focus is on the human connection. When looking at metrics, C-Sat would be the measure of our success. In 2021 our Khoros C-Sat Survey Score across all platforms has increased to 4.665 compared to 4.574 in 2020. This score is further emphasized by our 22.8% survey completion rate when compared to our 6.4% on the phone. This means our customers are telling us they love the care that we provide, and can’t wait to tell us about it in our Khoros interactions. For us, it is important not only to meet our customers where they are at but also to show success in each digital community we serve.
While these scores are important, what’s even more important is the feedback that comes directly from our customers.
Beyond our written tone and efficiencies, we also look for unique opportunities to connect with our customers. We encourage our agents to look for these “Surprise and Delight” opportunities, which not only enrich the customer’s lives but also make our employees' day all that much better.
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