Kasey LynchApril 26, 2023
Topics: Talent Experience

Inside Phenom’s New Service Experience

A new standard for how companies support their customers is here. Consumer-like experiences — including self-service capabilities, real-time updates, and interactive communities — top the list of requirements for ongoing 24/7 support.

Phenom’s Mark MacDonald, VP of Global Customer Care, shared how Phenom is paving a new path for customer care rooted in transparency, personalized experiences, proactive monitoring, expert training and resources, and more.

Read on to catch the highlights from this episode of Talent Experience Live, or stream the full show below.

Why the increased focus on customer service?

The world has changed — and so have customer expectations. Primary drivers of these new expectations? The vast amount of information available to consumers (e.g. order status, inventory) and extended customer service hours thanks to remote work models.

As a consumer, “you expect … that the person immediately understands your challenge that you have and knows how to solve the problem,” MacDonald said. To better accommodate and understand our customer needs, our teams have taken the time to dig a little deeper into what our customers are looking for, what their pain points are, and how we can be of better service.

How have Phenom customer preferences shifted?

To discover evolving preferences of our own customer base, we analyzed net promoter scores and drew inputs from our customer advisory board as well as other companies in the industry. This research revealed four areas of improvement customers most wanted to see:

  • Faster resolution time

  • Immediate interaction with an expert who can help (rather than a middle layer)

  • Advance notice of potential issues

  • Self-service capabilities

  • What best practices has the team implemented to elevate customer service?

A top priority was positioning support team leaders to directly address challenges with customers, MacDonald said.

Additional efforts that focus on boosting speed, transparency, and customer autonomy include:

  • Promoting awareness around existing self-service tools, and adding more tools to the service hub

  • Expanding global customer service office hours

  • Optimizing the Phenom Explorer Learning Management System, a fully searchable library of brief trainings that can be consumed at the point of need

  • Proactive monitoring to provide full transparency into potential outages, timely issues, and the ability to receive updates through email alerts

  • How does AI guide customer service efforts?

Using an AI algorithm, the Phenom Customer Health Index (CHI) monitors every available data point (e.g, support ticket, number of tickets, duration of open tickets) and calculates a daily score. Leaders use this score to prioritize involvement with customers where it’s most critical.

AI also is central to sentiment analysis, monitoring all customer communications for keywords that trigger alerts to leaders — such as words and phrases like “confused,” “frustrated,” and “don’t understand.” This has helped improve both negative and positive sentiments.“

We’re using so much data now, and we’re pulling all of that together, connecting all the dots. It gives us the ability, when we see several issues pointing to the same root cause, to dig in very deep to make sure we solve it completely for our customers,” MacDonald said.

What new customer service developments are you excited about?

The team is hard at work on innovations designed to deliver on customer feedback. Upcoming launches include Application Performance Monitoring (APM), a tool that increases transparency during ATS integrations.

Another upcoming release features new automations that dramatically condense timeframes (from weeks to minutes!) for initiating managed services requests.

Have you implemented a framework to guide team members on customer interactions?

MacDonald’s team uses the “PHENOM” acronym as a framework:

P: Ensure every interaction is personalized
H: Take a holistic approach with each customer, focusing on the big picture
E: Set the right expectations (e.g., timing of service)
N: New updates shared with the customer, consistently
O: Offer solution recap and confirm solution
M: Create memorable interactions

For MacDonald, Ritz Carlton and Apple are two great examples when it comes to memorable customer service. More specifically, they stand for consistency and high-level personalization — two hallmarks that Phenom strives to emulate in their customer care approach.

“Both Apple and the Ritz Carlton define steps of service — which is one of the things we do — to try to make sure that they guarantee consistency in every interaction and experience,” he said. They also collect data points on customer preferences and use them to deliver individualized experiences. Likewise, Phenom stores special handling notes on customers in its CRM to enable tailored interactions.

Taking a cue from the Ritz Carlton and Apple, the team also receives training on three value-enhancing activities:

  1. Validate the customer’s choice to use Phenom. “It’s important to remind customers in those moments that we’ll fix the problem,” MacDonald noted

  2. Coach customers on how to best leverage their investment

  3. Offer new features and functionality that will better serve the customer

What results has the Phenom team seen so far?

A recent pilot of the new service experience revealed results showing MacDonald’s team is on the right track:

  • 100% SLA compliance

  • 20% reduction in case duration

  • 10% improvement in customer health index

Faster response times, application performance monitoring, more self-service options — it’s all about evolving from reactivity to proactivity, MacDonald noted. “We rebranded our team from Customer Support to Customer Care really for this reason,” he said. “We recognize that every single interaction with our customers … is a reflection on Phenom’s brand.”

Serving as a technology partner to nearly 600 companies and achieving over 1,000 go-lives, it’s our obligation to obtain and implement feedback to continuously improve the customer experience. We’re excited to see those efforts come to fruition and empower our clients even further with our new customer care model.

Kasey Lynch

Kasey is a content marketing writer, focused on highlighting the importance of positive experiences. She's passionate about SEO strategy, collaboration, and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys camping, cooking, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones — including her dog, Rocky. 

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