Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Lifetime Girl Scout Theresa Szczurek of Boulder recently received the Volunteer Service Award from GSCO for decades of service. One of Radish’s core values is Community Service. Here is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. Read about lessons learned here: http://gscoblog.org/tag/theresa-szczurek/
During the SpeechTEK 2017 session, Medical Case Studies: Improving Healthcare Outcomes with Digital Platforms & Live Visual Assistance, speakers Jo Roman (Clínica Tepeyac), Theresa Szczurek (Radish Systems), and Prab Goriparthi (Montuno Software) as shown in photo, explained the positive capabilities of the award-winning “Dosecast with ChoiceView” platform for medication adherence, tracking, and patient telecare.
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Companies strive to keep customers happy. Why? Because happy customers buy more and this leads to higher revenues. Yet a firm also needs to manage its customer service expenses to produce profits. Therefore many firms are moving to more self-service in order to reduce calls to live people. This move from full-service to self-service can have unintended consequences, especially if it’s not a match with the culture, customers, and product.
Consider Widen, a Software as a Service (SaaS) firm headquartered in Madison, WI that is a trusted leader in Digital Asset Management. At the SpeechTEK 2017 conference section on Customer Service Experience, I heard Lanita Haag, Director of Customer Support (right in photo), and Melanie Olson, Community and Events Manager (left), share the Widen story of self-service and full-service support. It’s an inspiring pursuit of passionate purpose.
Widen is a 65-year-old company with a history of being high-touch and hands-on. They value responsiveness — the expectation is to get back to customers in the same day. Widen has over 500 loyal business customers in more than 150 countries around the world.
Widen is a WorldBlu freedom-certified organization built on 10 core values: integrity, transparency, fairness & dignity, choice, purpose & vision, accountability, reflection & evaluation, dialogue & listening, decentralization, individual & collective. Widen’s theme is Eudaimonia. It’s a Greek word that means happiness, health, and prosperity for everyone. It’s often stated as human flourishing.
Around 2009, a new CEO came in with a new strategy to create stand-alone applications for the consumer market. The revised purpose was to move from hundreds of customers to 10,000+ customers. This strategy was in line with the software trend toward self-service. Widen moved all services into the cloud to gain efficiency so less staff would be needed for support. They defined repeatable, one-size-fits-all processes.
When they assessed progress for the 2012-2014 period, they found that customers were not happy. There was a 1.5% decline in customer satisfaction. Employees as well were not finding meaning in their work and were not connected to their customers. An assessment showed Widen was not living true to its core values. This move had taken away choice and transparency. It had make the job harder for customers. The move into the consumer market was not a fit.
Widen went back to reaffirm who it was by aligning its values with its talents and competitive advantage — to discern its passion. It then aligned that passion with its purpose. It stated the Widen Experience: We work to develop products, services, solutions, teams, and relationships that drive connected experiences.
It pursued that purpose by increasing engagement with customers through running the Widen Summit, changing its website, expanding the help desk team, conducting more training to grow its people, doing in-person customer visits and dinners, and much more. It invested in its culture.
Note that firms can also do other things to improve customer engagement. An example is ChoiceView from Radish Systems. ChoiceView allows customers to visually interact during phone calls and chat sessions with the company, whether it’s with an automated voice system, bot or live agent. According to the best-selling book Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina, stimulating more of the senses — such as seeing and hearing — increases understanding, recall, and retention by as much as 600%.
When Widen assessed progress in 2016, it found amazing results. Customer satisfaction increased by 11%. Net Promoter Scores, or the likelihood a customer would recommend Widen to a friend or colleague, went from 34 in 2012 to 48 in 2016. Customer retention went from 89% in 2012 to 95.4% in 2016 with a goal of 97%. Attendees in the Widen Summit grew by 146% in 5 years. Employee headcount grew by 38% from 2014. WOW!
In its return to its core principles, Widen discerned its passion, aligned it with a clear purpose, pursued that purpose, and assessed progress. Although Widen did not name it as such, they followed what I call the Pursuit of Passionate Purpose process which can produce extraordinary results.
Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems and lifetime Girl Scout, received the Volunteer Service Award from Girl Scouts of Colorado for decades of service. Dr. Szczurek is an active member on the Zephyr Service Unit leadership team, which supports Girl Scout troops in the Boulder, CO area. A Girl Scout since fourth grade and a leader for two years in NJ and over 15 years in Colorado, she now is co-advisor of a Senior / Ambassador troop of high school students throughout Boulder County, especially focusing on helping scouts “Go Gold” to earn the highest award.
Szczurek said, “I love being a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts builds girls with courage, character, and confidence and prepares girls to be leaders. Over 64% percent of today’s women leaders in the United States in civic, corporate, political, and entrepreneurial arenas were once Girl Scouts including Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and many others.”
According to Inc. magazine , more than two thirds of the female members of Congress and an incredible 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts.”
CHALLENGE: Nationally, utility companies spend millions of dollars answering phone calls with live representatives because customers can’t or simply won’t use the voice-only IVRs (interactive voice response) systems.
SOLUTION: Gas, electric, cable, water and other utilities can increase customer self-service by adding easy-to-use, instant visuals to their IVRs. With visuals, customers immediately SEE and can quickly navigate visual menus options on their smartphones, SEE and easily complete forms (no tricky alphanumeric inputs), SEE and HEAR messages, and SEE and save visuals such as confirmations and receipts.
BENEFITS: With the ChoiceView Visual IVR, utility companies can decrease transfers to live reps and decrease call times while improving customer experience and satisfaction.
1. Customer calls electric company. She sees and hears automated options via Visual IVR and selects “Change Billing Address.”
2. Customer receives interactive form, then easily enters the requested alphanumeric information, and submits.
3. Customer receives visual confirmation and saves it to her smartphone.
RESULT: Call is easily completed in IVR at any time without a live rep. Clear, simple forms allow accurate inputs that are saved to company databases. Customer is happy to self-serve and is reassured with saved confirmation. Radish Systems is the visual IVR vendor of choice.
Learn more at https://telecomreseller.com/2017/06/05/use-case-choiceview-visual-ivr-handles-utility-service-changes/ via @TelecomReseller and http://www.radishsystems.com/choiceview/newsletters/RadishNews053117.html