High-Tech & Software
As cyberattacks escalated in 2022 as a result of the geopolitical conflicts, so did inquiries to a leading cybersecurity provider’s customer service center. To uphold its reputation for responsiveness and high customer satisfaction, they had to find ways to increase contact center productivity. That’s where West Monroe came in.
Looking at operations through multiple lenses, we uncovered opportunities to speed up ticket handling and do more with current resources by accelerating the digital-first journey.
faster ticket resolution
estimated reduction in cost of services sold
The geopolitical conflicts compounded cybersecurity issues, with activity targeting users in NATO countries increasing by over 300%. Many companies that had been slow to shore up their cyber positions now wanted to be sure they were adequately protected. This resulted in an influx of inquiries to the customer service center. But the numbers were just part of the story. Service expectations also changed, with customers wanting more personalized assistance. Eventually, the increase in activity strained the company’s service operations, and our client began to notice some warning signs in key indicators such as client satisfaction (CSAT) score.
Our client wanted to know how it could respond to new inquiries sooner and resolve them faster to meet customer expectations. Increasing staff wasn’t the answer—competition for talent would make it hard to grow at the pace of demand. The goal, then, had to be improving productivity and enabling the current team to do more.
The answer? Become digital.
Guiding companies to capture the benefits of being digital is what we do. We understand that this requires multiple perspectives, so we assembled a team from various backgrounds for this specific situation—with expertise in customer experience, operations excellence, and the high-tech industry.
The other unique aspect of our approach is our predisposition for collaboration. We want our clients to be able to run with our solutions once the work is done. We got to work with our client’s team—analyzing data, solving problems, and working together to manage process enhancements.
We conducted a productivity study that involved an analysis of the case lifecycle that identified a 1% process cycle efficiency ratio, indicating non-value add time was bogging down the end-to-end ticket resolution time.
From this, we found opportunities to improve processes by automating previously manual activities—for example, making better use of the company’s existing Salesforce technology to improve the ticket workflow. These process improvements move the company toward true digital processing to elevate both productivity and customer service. While customers were seeking human assurance, digital still enabled our client to increase efficiency and put more value-added time back in customer support agent’s day. We helped our client transition to a 100% digital-first model which allowed for improved ticket prioritization and allowed for highly skilled customer service agents to focus on more complex work.
But being digital is as much about people as it is technology. So we made sure the operating model best leveraged the team’s skills. The changes enable junior team members to contribute sooner by handling low-complexity inquiries—while ensuring that it is culturally acceptable to ask for help and pass difficult tickets to more tenured agents. At the same time, tenured agents now have more time to tackle the most difficult and critical customer issues.
With our digital lens, our client was able to quickly update its operations to meet contractual agreements for response time, despite facing a dramatic shift in customer demand and behavior. The changes, once fully implemented, reduced ticket handling time by 10%, while also reducing annual cost of services sold by about 5%.
All operational KPIs—including initial response time, CSAT, and ticket escalation rates—have returned to historic levels. In particular, CSAT is within 1% of levels prior to the recent uptick in cyber activity. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to satisfying customers while meeting significantly increased demand.