In a collaboration with the consulting firm ConsSys IT AG, it took only three weeks to develop a solution for Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd. with which the Swiss telecommunications company is now able to process orders for the new iPhone 5 more quickly and to customers‘ greater satisfaction.
Based on experience with past iPhone launches, the contact center of the Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) business unit at Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd. knew that many current customers would be in touch during the pre-sales period. They were therefore anticipating three to four times the normal daily number of calls for new orders and contract extensions in the peak phase. This means several thousand additional calls per day, which previously could not be handled without extended wait times and often resulted in customer frustration. The goal of Swisscom SME's customer service department was therefore to actively optimize the quality of support prior to the market launch of the new iPhone 5. One of the measures implemented in the pursuit of this goal was contracting with the consulting firm Reiner ConsSys to develop a solution. The underlying idea was that it should be possible to take orders and new inquiries using an app. The challenge for the customer and the service provider was the technical implementation of this solution within a very short planning and development period.
The following solution was developed to optimize the ordering process based on the expectations of Swisscom SME's customer service. Using voice commands, customers who call the hotline might hear the following message: "If you have questions about the new iPhone and would like to place a direct order, please press 1." If the customer presses 1, the customer receives an automated SMS from Swisscom with a deep link to the app in the iTunes Store that allows the customer to start the process of ordering a new iPhone 5. The ordering process is then initiated on the Metasonic server using Metasonic's subject-oriented business process management (S-BPM) solution, and any inquiries are forwarded to Swisscom SME customer service. There the order is processed internally according to the “First In, First Out" principle within the mix of customer orders arriving via other ordering channels (e.g. shop, online presence, hotline). Metasonic's task is to process orders placed via the app in order to relieve the overload on the customer service department.
This business process consists of three roles: Orderer (iPhone user), Order Tracker (fully automated) and Order Processor (customer service).
The order inquiry flows as follows:
When the customer calls the hotline, his telephone number is checked to determine whether an existing customer or a new customer is on the line. Existing customers receive the link to download the order app via SMS and can install the app. After selecting a language, they register by entering their cell phone number. Clicking on the OK button launches a Web service, which initiates the order process in Metasonic® Suite. A further authentication process requires that the person placing the order enter a 4-digit code that has been sent by SMS to his Swisscom cell phone number. The customer is then taken to the order page, where he can view an unlimited number of different configurations and their prices.
When the order has been completely filled out in the app and sent, customer service is notified by the Metasonic server. A summary of the order is displayed in the app for the customer. The app user also receives an order summary from customer service, which is sent to the e-mail address indicated during the order process and includes an option to cancel the order plus additional order information. In order to prevent misuse of the system, only one order can be initiated from any one cell phone number.
The subject-oriented business process management (S-BPM) solution from Metasonic supported and managed the entire order process optimally. The individual elements of the process lifecycle were implemented professionally with minimum expense. In only 8 hours it was possible to complete a very fast modeling process and immediately execute and test the processes.
Web services can be integrated very flexibly into the process. For instance, using a Web service the app can query device configuration options such as color, memory capacity, contract term and price. These are stored on the Metasonic server. The advantage here is that changes can be made to the configurations at any time without having to modify the app itself.
The Management View provides graphic representations of information in near real-time (updates every 15 minutes), whereas this information would only be available with a time delay in other ordering channels. Using the rapid prototyping provided by the graphical user interface, customer requests and additional requirements were able to be continually integrated while taking technical feasibility into consideration. This allowed the project to proceed agilely with quick improvement iterations within a brief time.