Quality management: VIER Interaction Analytics in use at Hermes
There were several triggers for the decision in favour of VIER Interaction Analytics: On the one hand, an extensive tender was due and with it the change from three to six outsourcing partners. In the midst of the Corona pandemic, Hermes was faced with the challenge of not only ensuring the onboarding and training of the new partners completely online. On the other hand, the call quality was also to be raised to a uniform quality level - and preferably automated. Since on-site appointments with the outsourcing partners were not possible - or only possible to a limited extent - new approaches came into focus.
Automated quality checks of voice communication turn call quality into an emotional differentiation factor. Interaction Analytics supports consistent quality management. Factors critical to success in customer dialogue are systematically identified and integrated into training and coaching. This ensures positive customer experiences. Rainer Holler, CEO of VIER GmbH, explains: "We are very pleased to implement this successful project for Hermes together with our partner, Deutsche Telekom. It illustrates how we optimally realise holistic solutions for our joint customers."
The promise Hermes makes to its customers is: "It matters to us because it matters to you!" For customers, the delivery of a shipment of goods often involves a high degree of emotion. It is about much more than the physical transport of a parcel from a warehouse to the customer's address. Shipments can be gifts, important spare parts, the urgently needed new coffee machine. Punctuality and intact shipments therefore have a high impact on customer satisfaction. In order to fulfil this expectation, it is important to understand the customer's concerns correctly, to know the customer's expectations, to correctly classify the associated emotionality and to conduct a good conversation with empathy. Only when it is really understood what the customer wants or expects, can the case-final processing of the customer's concern succeed. And this means ensuring quality standards with a very high contact volume.
Every year, Hermes handles 7.9 million contacts via calls, emails, Whats App messages, the live chat and the automated chatbot. Via the chatbot alone, the company reaches 2.5 million contacts per year. Since December 2021, Hermes has also been offering an automated voicebot. Since Hermes not only operates its own contact centre, but also works with six European and non-European outsourcing service providers, Hermes requires standardised quality assurance across all locations. Especially in voice communication, misunderstandings can easily occur due to regional peculiarities, for example. In addition, Hermes offers its customers a multitude of communication channels; harmonising these and always acting consistently in terms of content/technicality, linked to the brand promise, is an athletic challenge.
The goal is to achieve a uniform communication at a high level that follows Hermes' objectives. However, it is time-consuming and costly for employees to check this quasi-manually, and it only ever covers a small part of the contact volume. Therefore, only an automated, AI-based solution came into question. In 2022, Hermes will launch a comprehensive quality initiative at all levels and will also use VIER's solution for this purpose. VIER's software will be used to
- check the voice quality and communication skills of employees,
- check the success of trainers and trainings and
- to ensure process and communication consistency in terms of defined procedures and uniform wording.
Goals and future
Hermes expects significant advantages for the entire customer experience from the use of the software:
- Faster goal achievement for customers and employees
- Increase in resolution rates
- Reduction of AHT
- Better communicative understanding of each other
- Targeted measures in training and coaching
In the future, Hermes plans to introduce a uniform, comprehensive customer feedback system with the customer survey tool "VIER Voice of the Customer" - across all channels. The results from Interaction Analytics are also an important source for other departments at Hermes to identify improvements along the entire process chain and optimise the overall process. The decisive factor for the focus on conversation quality is the fact that Hermes, as a service provider, can optimise the "last mile" of the customer journey through customer feedback.
This is of central importance for the service provider because, according to Kahneman's "peak end rule" (Kahneman et al. 1993), the last impression of the customer has a decisive influence on the memory and thus on the perceived overall satisfaction of the customer. This becomes all the more important in competition, since due to an amendment of the law the customer will be able to choose his service provider for delivery himself in the future. The customer's perception, his experience at the various Hermes touchpoints, therefore has a major impact on the choice of service provider for future deliveries and thus a direct influence on Hermes' revenues!