VIZIO Inc.: Drew Goodell

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: VIZIO Inc., Irvine, CA
Company Division/Group: VIZIO Contact Center, Dakota Dunes, SD
Company Description: VIZIO's Contact Center is located in Dakota Dunes,South Dakota. The site has 200 employees, taking over 2 million contacts a year. It's mission is: To Help People. The VIZIO contact center takes phone calls, chats, emails, along with managing social media sites. While the contact center is in South Dakota, VIZIO's headquarters are located in Irvine, CA.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year

Nomination Title: Drew Goodell

Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Every good contact center has some form of Knowledge Base (a.k.a. KBase) for their agents to obtain information and answers. VIZIO’s KBase was, in a word, awful. That is until Drew Goodell got his hands on it.

Drew took pity on this pitiful instrument and began playing beautiful music with it. And that’s not too much of a surprise because he’s also a part-time professional musician who plays with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. He’s been playing Cello for 22 years and has a degree in music education.

Reviewing how Drew managed the project of improving Knowledge Base is like reading the sheet music for Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; it looks complex, intricate, and requires coordinated efforts, but in a masters’ hands it becomes a beautiful work of art.

BD. Before Drew, the VIZIO contact center KBase had over 2,000 unique articles. It’s important for agents to quickly find what they’re looking for to keep Average Handle Time (AHT) down while improving First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). With over 2,000 articles, each search returned numerous results. This meant our agents had to read through each to find the right one. KBase became a last resort instead of a valuable tool.

AD. After Drew, the KBase articles were corrected, cleaned, and consolidated to the degree that we now have just over 200 Product Pages. Each page has links to the relevant, important articles the agents need. Agents have begun to embrace KBase, to go to it FIRST and are quickly finding the correct answers.

Here’s Drew explaining how his love of music helped to guide his efforts: “When playing music, you must interpret what is meant and how to respond to the notations set forth in the score. Then, you must be able to alter the information in a form that is accessible to the target audiences so they understand and can hear the meaning behind. The same is true when designing and disseminating information to contact center representatives.

Working in our knowledge base is like playing a musical instrument in the fact that you must be clear and precise in handling the information to make sure that everything is accurate. One wrong note can lead to a poor listening experience just like one incorrect word can change the customer experience from excellent to poor.”

Drew goes on to say, “In music, you must be able to multitask to make sure all of the components of the piece and instruments come together to make one harmonious sound. In the technical writing of the VIZIO Knowledge Base all of the parties involved with the information must be on the same page to ensure the same message is distributed correctly and accurately.

In the music world, practice is key to making sure everything fits together the way it should just like training is to the customer service/technical support world.”

Drew is focused, intelligent, has great attention-to-detail and is genuinely talented. These traits allowed him to overcome the challenges associated with change: Complacency, Lack of Vision, and Letting Obstacles get in the way of Success, to name a few. Agents were not using KBase, their behavior had to be turned around and Drew did that through communication, retraining and then having a consistent, correct product. He also had to learn HTML code and database management. It was also important to meet the goal of having KBase updated before the Holiday shopping season. All while maintaining a high quality of work.

The outcome of Drew’s work is that AHT has lowered by 30 seconds a call across multiple phone queues and chat inquiries as well as improving FCR and CSAT. That means our customers are happier and so are the agents.

Speaking for all of us at the VIZIO contact center, that’s music to our ears.

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