Calls to call centres are one thing above all for companies: time-consuming and therefore expensive. Nevertheless, it is of course essential for the long-term satisfaction of customers to offer help with questions and problems. Therefore, the media company Sky commissioned us with the conception of a service app. This should cover technical problems, questions about invoices and payments as well as contract and data adjustments and thus noticeably reduce the effort in the call centre.
The "Mein Sky" service app accompanies customers throughout their entire use of Sky - from the moment they sign a contract through the entire usage cycle. In addition to the classic service topics, it also displays extended information about Sky's programme content. This expansion of the app's content turned out to be essential for the success of the project. And this is measurable: calls to the call centre were reduced by up to 30%.
To achieve this success, a complex quantitative and qualitative research process was necessary. We started by evaluating call centre calls according to their cause in order to better understand which problems and questions are on the minds of the callers. With the help of affinity mapping, we assigned the causes to superordinate topics. This method is best suited to bring order to a multitude of information and to get an overview. The topics collected and prioritised in this way formed the basis for an initial ideation.
We fleshed out the first, still very roughly formulated idea for the app in an exchange with users. To this end, we conducted a quantitative online survey with 300 participants. On the other hand, we exchanged ideas with over 180 users in online group discussions. Based on the findings, we developed the customer journey in a storyboard workshop. With the help of design thinking, we then developed a prototype.
In the exchange with the users, we surprisingly encountered a problem: Although the planned functions of the app were rated as very useful, many respondents were sceptical about whether they would actually use them. A service app represents very specific, hopefully rarely occurring use cases. If one of these use cases actually occurred, the users found it easier to call the call centre than to install an extra app.
On the basis of these indications, we established a thesis: The app must offer added value beyond the service topics so that it plays a role in the everyday life of Sky customers. Only then will it be used as help in case of problems. We therefore expanded the prototype to include personalised information about Sky's programme content. Our thesis was confirmed in the subsequent extensive testing with 12 users.
As is often the case in user experience, this project showed the importance of validating a strategy with real users. The initial focus of the app on problem solving and service issues turned out to be an "insider" perspective. What the users really wanted in an acute problem was quick and personal help. And they thought of the call centre first. This only changed when they were given a service app, which they used regularly anyway thanks to personalised programme information. From that moment on, the users first looked for support in the app. The introduction of the service app reduced the call volume in the call centre by 30%. A real success!