KICKBOX Success Story: A picture says more than a thousand words
Michael Hunkeler, Head of Intrapreneurship at Swisscom KICKBOX, interviews Ugur Cakim, Customer Experience Design Expert at Swisscom and Kickboxer, about his project: Video Support.
Michael Hunkeler: Hi Ugur, how are you? It’s nice to have you here at the Swisscom Tower at KICKBOX. Especially on such a special day like today....
Ugur Cakim: Hi Michael, it’s always good to see you! Yes absolutely, I am very excited!
Michael: And for a good reason, because today is the day that your KICKBOX idea, Video Support officially moves to the GoldBox phase! Congratulations again, this is a really big achievement! There are about 120 Kickboxes launched per year at Swisscom KICKBOX, of which only three to five can be scaled successfully as GoldBoxes. In addition, Video Support is on everyone's mind right now. How does that feel?
Ugur: Thank you so much for the kind words, I haven't really been able to process this milestone yet. Right now I feel relieved more than anything else. As you know, Video Support is still relatively new and is growing incredibly fast. Every day, I receive messages from agents who have just started using the solution.
Fortunately, our first experiences are mostly positive. These brief moments motivate us and show that we are on the right track. But I am also aware that this is only the beginning. In innovation terms: We have product-market fit, now it's time to scale further.
Michael: What exactly does your idea entail and how does Video Support work?
Ugur: Video Support allows customers to simply show their problem to a customer support agent, using their smartphone camera. The privacy of both the customer and the agent remains protected. The ingenious thing is that no app download is required. In just three clicks, customers can share "their view of things" with the Swisscom employee on the phone. This simplifies communication and, in most cases, shortens calls. As a result, we are likely to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. During the pandemic, our services were more in demand than ever and face-to-face visits were difficult. This gave the idea additional momentum. Today, things like Facetime and functions like scanning QR codes and opening links with a smartphone have become commonplace in society. My mother, for example, who could barely send WhatsApp messages in the past, now calls via WhatsApp or FaceTime to see the grandchildren.
Michael: Well said. So you were able to create this solution using KICKBOX?
Ugur: (Laughs) No, using video for customer support is an obvious idea - the art, as so often, is in the implementation. Various telcos around the world have already tried to implement something similar – with many failing along the way. With those who are not in direct competition with us - like A1 in Austria, Deutsche Telekom or KPN in the Netherlands - I also maintain an open exchange. But I like to be ahead of the game, and our solution is unique because we already triage customers and their concerns in CIVR (Conversational Interactive Voice Response). After this triage, we then proactively offer them video support with a prompt (voice announcement). They are then free to choose whether they want to go the usual route or be connected to an agent with a video support license. This way we can directly see how many customers are really interested and how much they liked it.
A perfect match, similar to Elite Partner - but our satisfaction rate is even higher 😊. In the pilot, we found that we were able to understand the customer's concern quicker and offer more precise and sustainable solutions. In addition, it is particularly suitable for customer concerns that often could not be resolved even after a second level contact and therefore required an on-site deployment of technicians. This makes customers happy and reduces Swisscom's time and costs. So it's a classic win-win situation.
Michael: How are our customers reacting to this?
Ugur: During the pilot, we conducted a survey and then had an external agency conduct customer interviews. The result was clear: Video Support is not only accepted by our customers, but also desired and demanded. Since the launch in October 2021, we have received many emails, cards and thank-you letters. What's more is that our agents really enjoy working with this innovative solution. At this point, I would like to say a special thank you to the entire KICKBOX team, who actively supported the project team and myself, all the way to the GoldBox Phase.
Michael: Thank you for these valuable insights. Last question: Do you have any tips and tricks for our readers who might want to become intrapreneurs themselves?
Ugur: First and foremost: Go all in for your idea! You are the first one who has to be convinced, otherwise you cannot ignite the spark in other people. Remain focussed, decide situationally but with foresight and consistency. Be willing to go the extra mile and if necessary even further. I received about 32 “no’s” – that’s normal. Although not all feedback was constructive and encouraging, I always listened carefully, because there were opportunities to improve Video Support even more. Today, the idea generates unique customer experiences with the Swisscom brand every day – and I’m proud of that.
Michael: That’s a great conclusion. Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for the journey ahead!
Ugur: You're very welcome.