EX Propels CX: Rapid Workstyle Innovation Born Out of Necessity*
When people started to work from home as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Japan Insurance Co. was one of the first insurance companies in Japan to move to a fully operational remote call center. While we had the technology to move our 700 call center and operational staff home, once remote, the number of calls per hour decreased and customer hold-time increased.
In practice there was something missing: in an office-based call center, employees can “flag” available senior colleagues at nearby desks to get help answering customer questions.
Hearing this, Japan Insurance Co.'s agile Innovation & Transformation Team X developed and launched a brand-new communication app in just 48 hours. The app allows call center workers to see each other's availability and to virtually "raise their hand" to rapidly answer customer questions. The result: 67% of users said it reduced the stress of remote work, 78% said it made it easier to ask questions, and 85% said it made it easier to see the availability of supervisors.
The key to such agility and creativity was forming a multi-disciplinary “squad” of Design Thinkers, agile developers, and end users, for a twice-a-day iterative cycle. The app itself was developed by people working from home, using best practices and online collaboration tools.
“I was able to make a customer very happy when I answered a complex question on the spot. At the start of the pandemic, I’ve had angry callers because I didn’t have a way to get a quick answer.” – Call Center Staff Miki
“The app packs in all of our hopes and dreams!” – Call Center Manager Yasuko
Happy employees equal happy customers. As we near the close of 2020, Japan Insurance Co. experiences double-digit growth in number of customers, while call-per-hour recovered to last year’s levels for the now-permanently “hybrid” call centers, which adjust between remote and office as the pandemic continues.
* EX: Employee Experience; similar to CX or Customer Experience. The idea that “happy employees equal happy customers” emerged out of successful tech companies, and the same Experience Design techniques are applied to both EX and CX.
On-Demand Customer Interviews, with Design Thinking & Tech Delivery (※October 2020 YTD):
AGILE: On-demand, low-cost shared-service for any business line
CUSTOMER IMPACT: 60 customers interviewed; 16 projects, 89 interview hours (YTD)
SCALED: 73 Design Thinkers & 21 Interviewers are trained in Japan Insurance Co. to date
EFFICIENT: DevOps Tech Delivery, portfolio of Agile projects
E.g.) Shortening customer process: 10 days to 2 (Insurance Claims Project)
E.g.) Customer feedback to rapid web delivery (Product X web guidance, AI & UX interviews)
E.g.) 76%-user-approved remote Employee Experience “reaction” app, created in 2 days
E.g.) BCP automation of XYZ Claims Process under covid lockdown, delivered in 2 weeks