By Domenica Maciocia, Senior Vice‑President, Client Experience
Transforming client experience to serve Canadian businesses better
It’s clear that the pandemic has had a significant impact on customer experience and expectations in Canada and globally. According to McKinsey, it has accelerated the need for digital‑first, contactless and insights‑driven experiences.1 And IDC advises that the vendor‑buyer relationship has shifted from transactional to collaborative, with customers looking for trust, a deep technical foundation and a customer‑centric approach.2
At Bell, we are rising to this challenge thanks to our dedicated client services team and our relentless pursuit of digital transformation. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been laying the foundation to provide the self‑serve, on‑demand customer experience businesses expect. We’re now building on that foundation to empower our customers with more control over their Bell services than ever before – and we’re just getting started.
What a digital‑first customer experience looks like
Bell has always been committed to helping Canadian companies use communications and IT solutions to support their own customers and grow their businesses – a role that goes beyond just providing technology. Businesses want a trusted partner who will work closely with them to define and deliver solutions that meet their needs. Our new digital platforms and tools allow us to be that partner in ways that were not possible before.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA) and other innovations, we are developing a truly digital‑first customer experience. We provide these innovations to make it even easier for customers to do business with Bell and meet their need for speed, simplicity, control and customer centricity.
With the pace of business accelerating, reducing the time to implement new services is a must. We’ve re‑engineered our order provisioning workflows, bringing in automation and AI to shorten lead times and dynamically forecast workloads for more accurate estimates for completion dates. The next step will be to enable on‑demand feature changes. In the near future, organizations will be able to get a bandwidth boost on demand, ahead of major holidays and events, and then seamlessly scale down afterward.
We’ve already onboarded over 85% of our enterprise customers to our digital, self‑serve centre, which allows clients to easily submit move, add and change requests as well as track order progress through a “single pane of glass.” In addition to giving customers more visibility and control of their services, the Bell Business Self Serve Centre saves customers time and money – minimizing time‑consuming and error‑prone data entry with built‑in logic and pre‑populated data fields. Service assurance will be included in the portal by the end of 2021, enabling customers to monitor performance in real time and use that information to make better decisions. Looking further ahead, we will be integrating additional ordering capabilities (pick‑your‑own appointment, enhanced milestone tracking), business wireless solutions and all billing and payment activities.
We have revamped our predictive service management tools to bring even more stability and availability to our services. With advanced alarm correlation, we can identify the root cause of issues faster, rapidly troubleshoot, and resolve any issues before they become problems that affect our customers. These enhanced tools help us ensure that customers experience maximum availability for their services – and we’ve already seen a 40% decrease in customer‑affecting incidents.
Our new tools give us the freedom to develop solutions jointly with our customers, tailoring them to their specific workflows. While every customer’s self‑serve portal is built on a common technological foundation, the highly agile, configurable templates that sit on top allow us to adapt the experience to their needs. Recently, one of the major banks established a joint design team with us. By learning from each other and leveraging data analytics, we’ve really been able to deliver detailed service insights.
From “doing digital” to “being digital”
Digital transformation involves more than just rolling out digital tools. It’s also about culture: how teams think and work together, always with the customer in mind.
As part of that, we’re bringing more diverse experiences, thinking and perspectives into our teams. That has meant bringing on data scientists, software developers, user interface designers, business intelligence analysts, robotics engineers and more. We have also established a rigorous up‑skill/cross‑skill program to help people upgrade their technical certifications or learn all‑new digital skills if they’re interested in shifting to digital‑first areas of focus.
To ensure these capabilities are being used to benefit more Bell customers, we’re actively breaking down silos and integrating digital skills and know‑how throughout our organization. Instead of having an isolated data science team, data science is being embedded in every team. And through internal conferences and hackathons, we’re drawing out new solutions from a broader range of employees, including those who might not have otherwise had the chance to bring their ideas forward. Tapping into creativity and innovation from the ground up will be critical to keep the momentum of our transformation going in the years to come.
Empowering Canadian businesses
At Bell, we prioritize personal accountability and loyalty to our customers, doing everything possible to make sure Canadian businesses can overcome any challenges and be successful. With the digital‑first capabilities already in place and those still to come, our team will continue to empower businesses across the country to pursue – and fulfill – their business aspirations.
Visit bell.ca/CX to learn more.
- McKinsey & Company May 2020. Elevating customer experience excellence in the next normal.
- IDC Vendor Spotlight, sponsored by Cisco, IT Supplier Customer Experience and the Acceleration of your Digital Transformation, doc #EUR146949020, October 2020