Thibault Guérard is VP Customer Experience at Pluxee (formerly Sodexo Benefits & Rewards Services). He tells us about a strategic project (still in progress) to optimise the customer experience through an approach combining local deployment and central management.
Can you tell us about the background of this project on customer experience and customer relations?
Until 4 years ago, the tools and processes needed to fulfill our customer service mission in the 31 countries where we operate were managed locally. Since then, we have sought to globalise our approach by deploying tools, processes, and KPIs consistently from one country to the next, using Genesys and other partners such as Salesforce, which we use more for case management.
Genesys is our preferred tool for all the omnichannel aspects, as well as for routing/managing voice flows and potentially also chat flows. But it doesn't manage emails or level 2 incidents. We are seeking to harmonise the customer experience in the different countries where we operate by smoothing out the processes associated with customer relations. Deployment is carried out locally by business/IT teams, with management at our head office, where we coordinate relations with the Genesys teams. But France, Belgium, and Romania each have their own Genesys tool. Support takes place locally, with the help of the central teams who, thanks to their expertise, distil the 'methodology' and consistency at local level. Our integration partners can be Genesys Professional Services consultants, or Gold or Silver partners recommended by Genesys.
What were the major challenges you were pursuing with this change?
Previously, we tended to do very customised deployments (processes, definition of the different perimeters level 1, level 2, routing, interaction, etc.) country by country. Today, we have a tool that is virtually off-the-shelf, while customisation takes place as part of the integration of self-services, APIs, and other building blocks. The result is a consistent approach to managing and steering customer care services in the countries where these solutions are deployed.
Another of our major concerns was to make our customer care services more efficient. Thanks in particular to the tools we selected and installed, we were able to gather key information about our customer's history, routing calls effectively, and reducing transfers. Interaction management has been improved, thanks to powerful and efficient self-services. This has enabled us to reallocate human resources, and therefore expertise, to higher value-added tasks such as customer onboarding and incident management.
How did you know it was working?
The results followed immediately. Average Handling Time has fallen, SLAs (Service Level Agreements) for response times have improved, and service quality has stabilised. What's more, the number of interactions handled by our agents is greater now than before the roll-out. This is clearly demonstrated by the results of our on-the-spot surveys, as well as the Customer Effort Score (CES). Customer satisfaction after the interaction has improved.
What type of customer are you dealing with?
We have three different types of customer: BtoB customers, consumers who use our solutions (with or without dematerialised cards), and our network of merchants and restaurateurs. We are present in 31 countries, and these customer groups have very specific characteristics to which we can adapt thanks to the power of the tools deployed, such as Genesys and others. For example, for SMEs in the catering sector in South America, WhatsApp is a key communication channel. Other channels are also very popular, such as Instagram. That doesn't stop us from continuing to handle the rest of the interaction volumes that we receive mainly by telephone and email in Europe. With Genesys, we have the capacity to integrate chatbots and dynamic FAQs with predefined scenarios.
How was the roll-out carried out?
The roll-out included a pilot phase in an important country for us in terms of business volume: Belgium, where we have more than 150 men and women who embody our internal and external customer service for the country. The test roll-out took place in 2021. This enabled us to structure the project approach and get to know Genesys better. That said, we have rolled out the project in other countries such as France, Romania, and Luxembourg, to name but a few. We have just deployed in Spain and the Czech Republic. There have also been deployments in Chile. We are currently working on other countries in South America (Mexico, Brazil, Colombia). There is a natural balance between the ability of countries to roll out the project locally and our ability to support them. No fewer than ten countries use Genesys, given that we combine Genesys and Service Cloud.
Do you have any particular lessons to draw from this project?
I think the main lesson we've learnt relates to data synchronisation issues. This is both a difficulty and an opportunity. These deployments give us the opportunity to clarify the structure of the databases, to determine who is the master and who is the slave within the framework of a target architecture that allows the countries to approach the project in a clear and pragmatic way. This often requires starting with a data set that is adapted and specific to this new receptacle that is Genesys.
At another level, I'm also thinking about the commitment of users to the tool. It was essential not to wait for 'go live', but to show them very quickly what it was going to be like. The adoption of the tools had to be optimal at team level. We were able to measure this in before-and-after surveys.
Do you have any remarkable improvements to report?
Today, we monitor First Contact Resolution (FCR) in real time. It's a very important point to ensure that following an interaction, whether it's an email, a call, or a chat, the customer's request is properly resolved and that we don't need to escalate, to create an incident or an internal procedure. We now have FCR rates close to 80-85%, depending on the country, and the characteristics of our offers and products.
The more complex part (escalation, incidents, etc.) is not managed in Genesys, but in Service Cloud. We have been able to reallocate resources to sort out these more complicated cases. What's more, we've been able to put in place more consistent incident classifications from one country to another, by reducing the range of incident typologies that tended to proliferate before.
What other projects are you launching with the CX?
We want to make the most of the functionalities offered by Genesys, including everything to do with voicebots (voice guidance comparable to a chatbot). We're going to be working on a voicebot initialisation project to reduce the number of interactions, because we have a high volume of recurring calls in our European countries, and we want to make full use of our capabilities by using interactive voice servers as well as voicebots.