SHARED SERVICES & OUTSOURCING NETWORK (SSON)Shared Services & Outsourcing   Excellence Awards 2012“Excellence In Customer ...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”General InformationYour Contact Details                  ...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Number of Countries you areServicingWhat is the strategic...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”                        Excellence In Customer Service   ...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Improvement MethodologiesTell us how you made the improve...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”It provides strategies for meeting customers’ expectation...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Complexity of ChangeHow complex was this culture change t...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Benefits Achieved/Hard ImprovementsHow successful has the...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”DifferentiatorsWhy do you consider this improvement to be...
The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Don’t forget to apply for an Award yourself.             ...
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Winning application for "Excellence in Customer Service 2012"


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Unisys’s Customer Service was deemed so “excellent” by 2012’s SSON Awards judges, that the company won first prize in that category. We share their winning application — so you can benchmark against a recognized leader.

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Winning application for "Excellence in Customer Service 2012"

  1. 1. SHARED SERVICES & OUTSOURCING NETWORK (SSON)Shared Services & Outsourcing Excellence Awards 2012“Excellence In Customer Service 2012” WINNER: Unisys
  2. 2. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”General InformationYour Contact Details UnisysCompany NameYour Name Cindy BerryYour Title Director, Finance Organization ExcellenceSelect the Industry which best describes your business (Please select One) Fast Moving Consumer Goods Retail Food and Beverage Financial Services Public Sector (Government & Non Profit) Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare ManufacturingX Technology, Media & Telecommunications Other – Please SpecifyYour Shared Services Organization (SSO)Head Office of SSO – City/Country Blue Bell, PA - USANumber of Staff (Full Time Equivalents 660Date Shared Service Operations 1992Started (MM/DD/YY)Awards Previously Received for st 2010 SSON Excellence Award in People & Communications -1 PlaceShared Services and related Awards and 2010 SSON Excellence Award in Culture - Runner upShared Service Centers – Geographic LocationThis application represents Shared Service Centers (SSC) located in the following geographic area:X Asia/PacificX EuropeX Latin/South America Middle-East/AfricaX North America/CanadaSpecific Country/Countries US, Brazil, India, Australia, Netherlands, and Hungary*** Entries will be accepted for any regional award program on the proviso that either your SSOand/or majority of recipients of your services are based in that region ***Customer Information – Scope of SSC / BPOFor all the business units served by the SSC applying for this award:Number of business units served 3Number of Employees 22,000 40+ 1
  3. 3. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Number of Countries you areServicingWhat is the strategic growth or transition plan of your SSC for the future? For Example Expansion of services to morelocations/introduction of new services/outsourcing existing services etc. Introduction of more services into existing SSC locations.What Services do you provide in your SSC today? 1. 2. 3. Centralized Service Is this process Fully Automated? Offering Outsourced? (F)Accounts Payable X N NAccounts Receivable X N NAuditingBenefits and Rewards AdministrationBudgetingBusiness Performance AnalysisBusiness Performance ReportingCall Centers: Employees, Suppliers, CustomersCall Centers: IT Help DeskCollections X N NCost Accounting x N NCredit X N NCustomer Billing X N NEmployee Data ManagementExternal ReportingFacilities and Real Estate YFixed Assets x N NForecastingGeneral Accounting (G/L, I/Co. Inventory) x N NManagement ReportingPayroll x Y partial NPlanningPurchase Order Processing x N NStaffing ServicesSupplier ManagementTax Services x Y partial NTime & Attendance YTravel Expense x N NTreasury X partial N NWorkforce DevelopmentOther: Order Management X N NOther: Product, Supplier, and Customer Reference X N NData AdministrationOther: HR Help Desk X N NOther: Contract Document ManagementOther: Misc. HR ServicesAffidavitDo you grant IQPC the right to publish key metrics and promote Winners of Awards?X Yes, we grant IQPC the right to publish key metrics if we become finalistsX Yes, should we win, we grant IQPC the right to promote us as award winners No, we do not grant IQPC permission to publish key metricsDo you agree to participate in a presentation/discussion outlining your SSO’s achievement should you win?X Yes, we will participate No, we will not participate 2
  4. 4. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012” Excellence In Customer Service Your StoryStrategyDescribe the background on why you wanted or needed to improve or make changes toCustomer Service • What was the business objective of the change? – I.e. Improve service, enhance Customer satisfaction, respond to business changes, improve efficiency etc.? • What was the pain you were trying to remove? What was your starting point or metric? • Which process or processes were subject to this improvement? • Please specifically describe and quantify the benefit that you were trying to achieve, whether cost savings, cost avoidance, roles eliminated, efficiency improvement, increase in Customer satisfaction etc.Given the tough economy, especially in the technology sector where Unisys competes,our company has made it a priority to support the sales force so that they can, in turn,boost the company’s top line. Our mantra across the company, often reinforced by ourCEO Ed Coleman, is that “we are all in sales.” In other words, those employees whoare not in direct sales roles need to remove administrative barriers and provide serviceto our sales force, as internal customers, so that the sales force can be as productive aspossible.Since we are in the technology services business, another theme at Unisys for those inclient-facing delivery roles is providing great customer service to our clients. Our CEOoften quotes Leonard Berry, a Texas A & M University professor, who has writtenextensively on the principles of excellent customer service. The SSC has been echoingthese principles in all of our employee communications, including our Knowledge Cafévirtual learning events and messages from leadership, to ensure we are embracing andmodeling them.Our business objective in the Shared Service Centers, therefore, was to align theShared Service Centers with the rest of the company to achieve a sharp focus onproviding excellent customer service to our internal customers, especially the salesforce.This focus was especially evident in the 2011 cascading organization-wide objectives: • CEO: Provide consistently high levels of client service and satisfaction • CFO: Provide consistently high levels of internal client service, responsiveness, and satisfaction • SSC: Provide consistently high levels of internal client service and satisfaction, being proactive with our customers to manage and meet their expectations, engaging in regular dialogue with them and listening to their voice.Specifically, we wanted every one of our 660 SSC employees focused on providingexcellent customer service, every minute of every day.Our 2010 customer satisfaction survey had yielded good results, with an overall qualityof service rating of 7.27 on a 10 point scale. However, we wanted to “take it to the nextlevel,” exhibiting over the top service to our internal customers. 3
  5. 5. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Improvement MethodologiesTell us how you made the improvement – what you did • What were the specific steps in the improvement in Customer Service? What change did you make? • How long did it take? What was the timeframe and stages? • Describe your new Customer Service philosophy and CRM model. How do you communicate, discuss and report with your Customers? • Who worked on the improvement? Were consultants or specialists used? • Technology used – What packages or technology did you purchase or use? • Did you use an Improvement Methodology? I.e. Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean? What part did this play? • What have you done that you consider to be innovative to achieve excellent Customer Service?We set out to improve customer service in several ways: implement an SSC culturalchange, upgrade every SSC employee’s customer service skills, and implement a helpdesk to assist the sales force directly.Cultural ChangeWe changed the culture of the SSC organization to one that valued and embodiedspecific traits and skills to ensure even better customer service than in the past.The leadership team identified seven traits that we wanted our customers to use whenthey described the SSC employees: 1. Passion 2. Empathy 3. Resourcefulness 4. Optimism 5. Enthusiasm 6. Proactive / responsive 7. ImaginationWe launched a Culture Club, where each SSC location concurrently celebrates andrecognizes specific employees who have demonstrated the traits in their day-to-daywork. The recognition is based on nominations by coworkers. The 7 winners receive asmall prize and accolades in an Academy Awards-style ceremony. In addition, someonereceives the “cultural icon” award for exhibiting all 7 traits. The winners are responsiblefor organizing the celebration and choosing the winners from the pool of nominees thefollowing quarter. Not only do the quarterly celebrations generate a lot of positive energyand fun, but we are succeeding in changing the behavior of employees in theirrelationships with their internal customers and each other.Skills ImprovementEmbodiment of the seven traits is important, but we also wanted to ensure that ouremployees were equipped with the right skills to provide excellent service. All SSCemployees are required to complete at least 40 hours of annual training anddevelopment activities. We expanded our SSC curriculum to include more courses onall aspects of customer service, from soft skills such as listening, communications skillssuch as effectively using email and telephone, and short videos and case studies, suchas “The Angry Caller: What’s Your Plan?” We also included suggested coaching andpractice activities.In addition to courses and tip sheets, we launched book study groups in two of ourBismarck SSC work teams (Travel & Expense and Commissions Processing Services).The groups began studying the book Delivering Knock Your Socks Off CustomerService by Performance Research Associates. The book is written in a humorous stylewith examples that are easy to relate to. 4
  6. 6. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”It provides strategies for meeting customers’ expectations and satisfying their needs,being easier to do business with, determining the right times to bend the rules, andbeing powerful problem-solvers. It also references Leonard Berry’s RATER principles ofcustomer service, which our CEO often espouses to external delivery teams: • Reliability – the ability to provide what was promised, dependably and accurately • Assurance – the knowledge and courtesy shown to customers, and ability to convey trust, competence, and confidence • Tangibles – physical facilities, equipment, and employee appearance • Empathy – the degree of caring shown to customers • Responsiveness – the willingness to help customers promptlyWe made the book study enticing and fun by kicking it off at the public library, sendingmysterious invitations resembling library cards, and handing out sock-shapedbookmarks. The groups study one chapter per session and discuss how the conceptsrelate to the work they do and the customers they service. Responsibility for facilitationrotates amongst the team members. Things are going very well, as evidenced byfeedback from a recent session:We had an exceptionally fun book study session today. After reading the chapters andhaving our discussion, we each participated in a role playing session. The facilitatorshad six real-life scenarios planned where each participant was either the customer orthe Travel processor. I’m very impressed with the amount of thought that went into eachscenario. The “customer” was given the reason for calling, an attitude to portray, andwhat information should or should not give to the Travel processor. Each team membertook their turn in front of the group and acted their role. Everyone did an excellentjob! Although there were giggles and laughs, we had very good discussions about waysthe scenario could have been handled differently and what we could have been done toimprove the service of the call. Everyone received a round of applause for their effortsand agreed this was our best book study session yet.A side product of the Book Study was a colorful handout depicting the RATERprinciples, which was created and sent to the book study group, as well as all SSCemployees, to display at their workspace as a reminder of how to provide excellentservice.We will roll out the book study to other SSC teams in 2012.Sales Help DeskAs part of improving internal service to the sales force, The SSC organization wasasked by the CEO to set up a help desk service for a selected group of sales people toresolve any administrative issues they encountered which were preventing them fromspending time with their customers. We quickly established a hotline service called“Sales Gold Service” staffed by SSC employees to log, resolve, and document all salesrequests within 48 hours.The goal of the program was to test the concept of a help desk for sales reps, but alsoto identify improvements to the process, policy or technology to benefit all sales reps inthe future. The team provided quick, effective service, and identified 24 improvementsto individual Sales, HR and other processes in the first 90 days. The initiative continues,with a focus on newly hired sales reps. In addition to improving these reps’ productivity,we are identifying improvement opportunities in the standard on-boarding process tobenefit all new hires. 5
  7. 7. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Complexity of ChangeHow complex was this culture change to make? • Was there a resistance to the change? Which area(s) did it come from and how did you overcome it? • How big a change was this? How many employees, business units, countries etc. were affected? • Did the change prove more complex and difficult than you had thought? Were culture changes required within SSC and within Customer groups? • Describe how hard or easy it was to create Customer Service excellence? – What were the main leadership challenges for you and the team?Many employees felt they were already providing great customer service. And theywere, as evidenced by the customer satisfaction surveys. However, we needed toconvince them to “take it to the next level.” It was very helpful that this was a focus areaacross the company, and that our company is in the services business.We launched a major communications campaign, weaving the customer servicemessage into all of our normal processes and leveraging all of our normalcommunications channels. There were feature articles in our monthly newsletter (TheStandard) about the importance of customer service and the various initiatives. Theimportance of customer service was introduced in the annual objectives message by theVP of Shared Services and embedded in every employee’s 90 day performanceobjectives and their individual development plans. We created a new section in our SSCportal for the Culture Club that explained the important traits and listed the quarterlywinners. We talked about the RATER principles in our Knowledge Café broadcasts andinvited sales leaders to speak to our employees about how their service, in the new helpdesk and in what they do every day, helps the sales force and the business.We tied all of our messages to the corporate goals and direction so that employeescould understand how they fit into the “big picture”.The Culture Club was introduced in a very upbeat way and has been very well received.After all, it’s a way to be recognized (and rewarded) for behavior, and it’s within thecontrol of the employees rather than management.The managers of the book study participants were concerned that their employeeswould view the initiative as additional workload. But because it was launched in a funway with an air of mystery, it too has been fully embraced, and employees say they cansee how it is actually making a difference in the way they service their customers.In summary, the change management aspect of the initiative has been smooth becausewe carefully thought through the communications strategy. We emphasized how thechanges related to the overall company goals and the positive and fun aspects of thechanges. 6
  8. 8. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Benefits Achieved/Hard ImprovementsHow successful has the culture creation been? • What has been the hard improvement vs. the original objective or aim? Please quantify with clear metrics. • What has been the Customer response to the improvement? Please detail any changes in Customer satisfaction or other measure of Customer feedback including impact of change on the wider organization. • Has the change had unexpected benefits on other areas, employees, processes? • What has the SSC Employee response to the changes? Has a customer centric organization evolved from these changes to Customer Service?Our 2011 customer satisfaction survey resulted in an overall quality of service rating of3.75 on a 5 point scale (the rating scale changed, so this rating equates to 7.5 on a 10point scale). Numerically, we improved our customer satisfaction rating by 3%.However, there is other evidence that points to a bigger change, and momentum wasestablished which will continue into the future.The sales leader of our biggest Business Unit spoke to our SSC employees in aKnowledge Café (webcast) in October 2011. He described very positive businessresults, year to date, and was effusive in his thanks and appreciation for how theShared Services organization helps the business and the sales force, especially in thecontract-to-collect cycle. He described employees who go over and above the expectedeffort to understand the business needs, and be proactive and responsive in not onlysupporting them, but actually moving the business forward. He also mentioned thesales help desk as an example of our contribution.There has been lots of great feedback from our customers at all levels of the company.For example:From a region finance leader: Some of my requests were vague, some quite intense,and almost all of them required further analysis…my requests were turned around withamazing speed with an extremely pleasant and helpful manner.From a sales executive: Your execution in the back office was precise and contributedto how we delivered the expected results to the customer.From a controller: Thank you very much for all the work your team did that enabled usto resolve a major issue on the xxx account. I really appreciate that despite the largevolumes, how quickly and efficiently the invoice copies were provided; when I had anissue it was handled straight away without any delay…your team did amazing work.From a financial analyst: I am writing to ask that xxx is recognised for the efforts he putin this month …whenever I have asked him for assistance, regardless of whether hewas familiar with my requests or not, he responded promptly, courteously and withaccurate information. His support has been phenomenal.From a sales executive: Please receive our appreciation for your dedicated efforts, thisis an outstanding job! A precise execution!From a service delivery manager: Let me take a moment to pass on my sincere thanksand compliments. You are always responsive, supportive and truly a pleasure to workwith.I am very proud to be associated with this “Team of Professionals”. Our relationshipwith the customer is significantly enhanced by the support you give! 7
  9. 9. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”DifferentiatorsWhy do you consider this improvement to be Excellent? • What differentiates your achievements over other organizations?Our approach was unique and creative. Rather than aiming solely to improve ourcustomer satisfaction scores via traditional methods, we wanted to build a self-sustaining culture that would be empowering to all Shared Services employees. Bytying the initiative to overall business objectives and making it fun, we could achievebuy-in at the grass roots level, which is where we touch our customers. In our Shared Services organization, seven overall priorities (the “7 Cs”) driveeverything we do: Customer Service, “Co-Quality” (quality of inputs and outputs),Continuous Improvement, Compliance, Capability, Cost, and Culture. The approach wetook to improving Customer service also encompassed other Cs, such as Capability andCulture.This approach also met other organization objectives, such as employee engagement,employee retention, aligned performance objectives, expansion of our SSC portfolio ofservices, and ultimately a positive contribution to the success of the business. 8
  10. 10. The winning application for “Excellence In Customer Service 2012”Don’t forget to apply for an Award yourself. 9