Adopting a jobs to be done framework, investing in fresh technology and encouraging a test-and-learn mindset are key to Foxtel overhauling service capabilities in a way that meets modern customer expectations, its marketing and customer service leaders say.
Speaking as part of the recent Salesforce Live Australia and New Zealand virtual event, Foxtel group director customer marketing, audience enablement and corporate technology, Adam King, and director of customer experience design and change delivery, Jason Smith, detailed the 18-month transformation program underway to turn the media company’s customer service from siloed operations by channel to a seamless omnichannel approach fuelled by digital and data.
In describing the Foxtel service story, Smith said the business had been challenged by being part of a disrupted industry.
“Post-COVID, customer expectations on customer service have generally changed. We can’t control when people’s favourite TV shows go on time of day – when things go wrong and or when they need access, being able to offer real-time digital solutions is becoming more of a necessity than a nice-to have,” he explained.
“As we have gone digital, customer expectations when they call our call centres are also more complex – the simple transactions have disappeared. The challenge is every interaction now with our call centre is usually a more complex case, as customers solve simpler stuff online. If they aren’t as digitally capable, our agents need better systems and simpler processes surrounding them so they can wrap their arms around those customers to ensure they get the support they need.”
As a result, it became vital Foxtel started addressing some of these service experience issues. In late 2020, an 18-month program of work commenced to do just that.
While the team knew Salesforce would provide the technology solutions for a longer-term, seamlessly integrated omnichannel play, Smith said finding quick wins was an imperative.
“We had a longer-term strategy on what we’d like to do with Salesforce, but rather than wait to be able do it all at once, we started picking off the opportunities that could help us to build those foundational pieces,” he said.
Knowing 25 per cent of its customer support was orchestrated through messaging, the company deployed Salesforce Messaging as a first step last October.
“We saw that could partner nicely with us moving across our social platforms, so we started building Salesforce Social as well, then started wrapping Salesforce Knowledge to make it easier for those customers as well,” Smith continued.
Longer term, the plan is to complement these new components with information in Foxtel’s voice channels, and a broader CRM and digital approach build on top of Salesforce.
“But first it was looking for those quick win opportunities and start getting agents and customers familiar with the platforms,” Smith said. “Then we’ll rapidly scale in 2022.”
Having now deployed Messaging, Social and a non-integrated version of the Salesforce Knowledge platform, Smith said it wants to bring the full Salesforce Vlocity media industry suite of products online. This is about building both a richer digital experience but also a data-led contained CRM experience for agents.
“We have lot of non-integrated, siloed tools our agents are using that are quite disconnected from what we are doing digitally with our customers,” Smith said.
Short-term results, long-term ambitions
Off the back of its initial service steps, Smith cited significant team efficiency and experience gains. Within two months of being deploying Messaging for example, Foxtel had seen a 50 per cent lift in efficiency with agents and a 20 per cent improvement in voice-of-customer scores.
Smith and his team have also started building out automation and bots through Salesforce Einstein on the Messaging platform, with 40 per cent containment in channels for bots achieved so far.
“It’s important we bring that seamless omnichannel experience to bear, whether it be troubleshooting issue, trying to find next best show to watch, or want to make a change to their services, such as adding a new box or package,” Smith said of Foxtel’s long-term service ambitions.
“It’s about letting customers start their troubleshoot on our website, bringing in set-top box and streaming rich data into the issues they’re experiencing, wrapping our chat teams around that, and if they get stuck, speaking to someone in call centres who has the right diagnostics information, customer history and visibility of everything they have done.”
King positioned the customer service work as part of a broader mission to reposition Foxtel and provide subscribers with a premium experience so they continue to enjoy the product.
“That’s the key – lifecycle,” King said. “We’re building and enabling through this new program. It’s not about just ensuring the service journey is on customer’s terms… it’s also about making sure we have a clear sales process, re-acquisition journey and marketing piece around retention.”
To get there, King highlighted the importance of adopting a ‘jobs to be done’ framework to its 18-month program of work. This sees work broken into jobs required to be done, prioritising those, and conducting each as a form of sprint, testing-and-learning as the team goes along to create more of a learning platform. Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks enables the team to be very focused on business objectives, he said.
“Most big programs struggle with rigidity – you go in with the best intentions of knowing where you will end up in 18 months,” King commented. “But the last 18 months has taught us that’s not the most prudent approach. You need something that can be agile in terms of what you’re building as much as the way you’re working. That correlation is key.
“For us, it’s around how to prioritise the function you’re putting in the capability. For example, in the implementation of a bot – what jobs does the bot do? How do you prioritise those jobs in terms of the value they bring versus complexity of the implementation? How do we pick the right jobs to accelerate, so we deliver improvements not only to customer service but efficiencies, while we get to those more complex jobs done?
“The hard question internally is which things we choose not to unpick right now. The future will be more about IP, digital delivery as opposed to satellite, so it’s also about how do we start to apply that kind of thinking in terms of where are we going to place our big bets.”