Customer Support—e-commerce                                    A Case Study by Diane Jacobsen                             ...
Result: Utilizing the Curiosita Design Thinking Process, the team was able to refocus thehelp function onto the end user c...
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Customer Service using Design Thinking Case Study

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Approaching a common problem in an uncommon way, read this white paper on a successful use of the design thinking process.

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Customer Service using Design Thinking Case Study

  1. 1. Customer Support—e-commerce A Case Study by Diane Jacobsen curiosita, LLC January 2011Background: A global leader in online e-commerce had uncovered signifcant issues withthe way it was addressing its customer support demands. These issues focused on, (butwere not limited to) the following areas of concern: • Inconsistent and conficting responses to customers requesting help. • No master knowledge/content management system or process in place to support members or agents. • Issue identifcation, categorization and naming conventions vary drastically across channels with members left to rationalize relationships and continuity. • No centralized system, framework or process existed across stores, or geographies. • Data related to responses was growing exponentially with existing data base nearing maximum capacity.The result to the company of these cascading issues caused a signifcant increase inprocessing costs and margin loss due to refunds and returns. In addition, customers wereincreasingly confused and disappointed in terms of gaining resolution to their supportinquiries and internal customer service ratings were further proof of this situation.Desired Solution: The approach for this solution was focused around the replacement ofmultiple, disparate systems with a single, unifed effort involving both the front-end andback-end of the data base. The goal was to reduce the number of redundant systems,reduce data and improve process resulting in signifcant reduction in refunds and returncosts while improving customer service ratings.Design Approach & Testing: In the Context phase of this project, existing systems and datamodels were evaluated in order to set the groundwork for the creation of a new globaltaxonomy for all e-commerce stores and help related systems. Global stakeholders wereinterviewed in the US, EU and Asia to fully understand the current situation and thereasons for and barriers to change. In the ideation phase the team evaluated bestpractices for on-line customer service and working closely with stakeholders collaborativelydeveloped a single taxonomy for all help requests and responses. The recommendedtaxonomy was extensively tested with end users and then further challenged by scaling alarge sample of existing data to test the long term viability of the both the short and long-term strategies.Copyright 2011 curiosita, LLC All Rights Reserved 1
  2. 2. Result: Utilizing the Curiosita Design Thinking Process, the team was able to refocus thehelp function onto the end user creating a customer-centric vision of the future.Requirements for a single desktop application were developed to facilitate the RFP process.Standardized templates and metadata were created for the entry of data and the processwas improved and standardized across all stores and geographies. The team trainedadministrators and established a governance process and board to maintain the changeslong term.The entire process and system was simplifed resulting in shorter service timeswith more consistency and accountability. The new structure allowed the administrators todelete redundant fles resulting in available capacity, this allowed the team the time neededto design and build a replacement solution.The reduction in eNotes responses (a result of thenew taxonomy) eliminated 2/3rds of the data which allowed the team to easily transition theexisting system. #For More Information, please contact:Diane Jacobsen, Principalcuriosita, LLCSeattle,WAemail: dianej@curiosita.bizweb: www.curiosita.bizCopyright 2011 curiosita, LLC All Rights Reserved 2

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