Delivering Outstanding Customer Care in a High Volume Call Center Environment

Date of publication: 28/06/2011

After ten years of operation, the Digicel Group is one of the biggest mobile telecommunications companies in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific, with 11.5 million customers across its 32 markets. Digicel is renowned for delivering the best value, best service, and best network. Its constant effort to offer an exceptional service and to revolutionize the mobile and broadband landscapes in its markets has made it grow rapidly. Microsoft Dynamics® CRM business software offered it a solution that was flexible for its business and could be quickly integrated with its existing software. With an accelerated learning curve for the end users, Microsoft Dynamics CRM helped Digicel offer what it values the most: the best customer service.

Organization Profile
Digicel Group Limited is one of the biggest mobile telecommunications companies in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific. It has 11.5 million customers across its 32 markets.

Organization Size: 5500 employees.

Situation

The Digicel Group was first established in April 2001 in Jamaica, amassing 100,000 customers in their first 100 days. Today, Digicel operates in 32 markets, serving 11.5 million customers, with over 70 percent market share in Jamaica alone. Digicel has 5,500 employees, 1,000 retail stores, and offers mobile telecommunications, telecom services, WiMAX broadband, and 3G/4G broadband, among other services.

Digicel has enjoyed 10 percent subscriber growth year on year and increased its market share quarter on quarter in all of its major markets (El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and Trinidad & Tobago). In order to offer its clients first-class customer service, Digicel has made significant investments in innovation through advanced software and technologies. However, it still lacked an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that would help tie all systems together.

Digicel’s original CRM system consisted of in-house custom solutions with limited integration with its operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS). “It had become apparent that the rapid expansion of Digicel and explosive growth in customer numbers had now superseded the capacity of these systems,” John Riordan, Digicel Group IT Director/CIO explains. “These limitations were beginning to adversely affect the customer care operations and Digicel’s leadership position in providing top-class customer service in the region,” he continues.

Digicel needed to replace its in-house systems for its main customer care operation centers to keep up with its rapid growth. Digicel considered a variety of CRM systems, including Siebel, Clarify, and Remedy’s suite of products; however, those systems were disqualified for not meeting cost and flexibility requirements. Riordan clarifies that the alternatives were “not flexible enough for our business and lead times to readiness for production use.”

Solution

Ultimately, Digicel decided on Microsoft Dynamics® CRM for its compelling value, its ability to be quickly integrated with its existing systems, and its functional similarities with the Microsoft® Office products that it already used. “We did realize early on that Microsoft Dynamics CRM was not being used anywhere in the world in high volume call centers similar to ours,” Riordan says. Digicel recognized the risk with integrating a solution that had not been proven at this scale; nonetheless, it was confident that Microsoft had the necessary resources and expertise to assure a successful implementation. Microsoft’s regional team took advantage of Digicel’s high-volume requirements to develop the Microsoft Dynamics roadmap for high volume and contact center environments.

To ensure the project was properly delivered, Digicel worked with Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) to architect, design, and deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM in three of its customer care operation centers in the Caribbean and Central America. All locations are high volume call centers where 3,000 agents process over 2.5 million calls per month. The solution was quickly deployed and integrated into its environment through the use of the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step  methodology.

The implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Digicel’s biggest customer care center took less than six months and was deployed to over 300 users processing almost one million customer calls/tickets per month. “We would rate the transition [to Dynamics CRM] as being one of the most straightforward ones for major system integration. It did not at any point require us to cease operations,” says Riordan.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped to improve key measures in Digicel’s customer call centers, including a reduction in average talk time, higher call process ratio to agent, and an increase of first call resolutions. “It also enabled the automation of workflows by taking advantage of powerful APIs that were available on our operational and business support systems to integrate with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution,” says Riordan. The solution at Digicel evolved from its initial release with the subsequent inclusion of the Microsoft Customer Care Accelerator (CCA) for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CCA, Digicel continues to provide the incredible customer service that distinguishes it from other mobile telecommunications companies.

We would rate the transition [to Dynamics CRM] as being one of the most straightforward ones for major system integration. It did not at any point require us to cease operations.

John Riordan
IT Director and CIO
Digicel Group

Benefits

Digicel deeply integrated Microsoft Dynamics CRM with its existing OSS/BSS. Traditional Extract/Transform/Load (ETL) processes comprised some of the effort, such as aggregating customer data from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM data store into the Digicel Data Warehouse for Business Intelligence reporting. But most of the integration was accomplished via the use of more agile Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) approaches that were made possible with the use of the Customer Care Accelerator, resulting in increased operational agility and faster integration. Additionally, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Computer Telephony Interface (CTI) systems that are at the heart of the call center environment were also integrated into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, thus enabling agents to more efficiently service their customers.

Digicel now experiences significant benefits from using Microsoft Dynamics CRM in their main customer call center operations, including a complete 360-degree view of their internal customer information, simple yet powerful tools for their agents, and enhanced workflows to more effectively manage customer interactions. “The solution has resulted in improved analytics for the customer care centers,” says Lesline Chisholm, Digicel Jamaica’s Director of Customer Care. Some of the specific benefits obtained by using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the Customer Care Accelerator in Digicel’s customer care centers include:

  • Significant Reductions in Average Handling Time Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided Digicel’s customer care offices with tools that simplified case management, streamlined escalations, improved knowledge sharing, and enabled more effective account management. Digicel’s customer call agents now respond to cases faster with immediate access to complete case and customer data. The solution offers guided business processes via simple dialogs to deliver fast and precise service. It also features familiar graphical tools that make it easier for the agents to respond to their customer’s needs.
  • Improved First Call Resolution Rates Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps Digicel’s customer call agents achieve operational efficiencies and improve information flow. “This solution improved aggregation of customer data and by extension improved data integrity,” says Riordan. Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps Digicel to foster greater internal collaboration and to improve work state management with its different communication tools. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Digicel’s agents resolve 88 percent of customers’ issues on their first call, resulting in reduced operational costs and more satisfied customers.
  • Reduced Training Time Microsoft Dynamics CRM was already familiar to Digicel’s customer call agents. “The business was already using the Microsoft Windows® desktop and the Microsoft Office® suite of products across the business,” Riordan says. Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers users the ability to manage all their email messages, meetings, contacts, and customer information in one place using the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client.
  • Improved Employee and Customer Churn Digicel focuses on offering the best value, best service, and best network for its customers. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, its customer call agents have become more efficient and can now process more calls in the same time, offering better and faster services to Digicel’s customers. The efficiency and ease of use provided by Microsoft Dynamics CRM have contributed to improved customer and agent job satisfaction, with a 95 percent satisfaction rate for clients attended by Digicel’s customer call agents. The reduced training time, simplified and familiar interface, and guided automated workflows greatly improve the productivity and job satisfaction of Digicel agents.
  • Improved Operations Microsoft Dynamics CRM has made customer management more efficient by improving the operational and support systems. “The application is considered mission critical because of the emphasis we put on customer care and the delivery of high quality customer services,” Chisholm says. The solution has delivered an easier way of collecting customer data and increasing their staff’s productivity, giving their subscribers the first class service they expect from Digicel.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped Digicel to deliver high quality customer services and to enhance operations with a more integrated information system. Digicel and Microsoft have nurtured a good relationship through the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Riordan states that he would like to make Microsoft Dynamics CRM “the single repository for all customer transactional data.” Digicel plans to further integrate with other operational and business support systems and to provide direct online help to its customers in the near future.

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