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IQMS - Customer Service Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: IQMS, Paso Robles, CA, USA
Company Division/Group: IQMS
Company Description: IQMS offers ERP and MES software for manufacturers to run a comprehensive end-to-end suite for their business, backed by real-time performance and scalability with strict customer and regulatory certification and compliance. With offices across North America, Mexico, Europe and Asia, IQMS keeps manufacturers lean, competitive and profitable in eight languages around the world. Visit www.iqms.com.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year

Nomination Title: IQMS Product Support Achieves World Class Status

Tell the story about what this nominated team has achieved since 1 January 2016 year (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

In 2016, the IQMS Product Support department set a goal: to become a world-class support department. Termed “Project World Class,” the team developed initiatives to improve the customer’s experience through process improvements, departmental restructuring and employee development.

RESTRUCTURE:

In Q1, Product Support restructured, providing new growth opportunities for specialists with tiered position titles and nine new management/supervisor roles, with 100% of the roles filled internally. The Support Engineering Team was also created, providing higher level escalations and account management, which has proven to be a great asset in resolving tough issues. This restructure provided more engagement with staff and specialists while improving first call resolution and swarming.

Since the restructure, there has been a 52% decrease in the Open Case Backlog, with 10% increase in Close Rate (from 2015’s 77% Issue Close Rate Within 7 days to 87% in 2016), and 70% Same Day Resolution in 2016 (vs 62% in 2015). These increases occurred in conjunction with the customer base continuing to grow; previously, this increase would have caused Close Rates to decline.

TRAINING:

IQMS is known for its extensive 120-day training and evaluation program. New hires in the Product Support team undergo 90 days of core hands-on product training in the lab, followed by 30 days of shadowing and mentoring with Senior Specialists on the floor, concluding with both written and verbal testing on product knowledge and an evaluation of call handling and customer service skills. In 2016, 34 Specialists entered the program with 94% success rate.

IQMS also invested in leadership trainings, including partnering with Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) to gain new insights into industry standards while researching new initiatives for the current year through utilizing their market research data.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:

In March, the Product Support team implemented Five9 cloud-based contact center software. Five9 delivers an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) software, enabling the team to resolve several pain points that customers and specialists experienced, including call queuing, which reduced the average speed of answer and eliminated voicemails during normal business hours.

Five9 also integrates with IQMS’ CRM system, allowing specialists to automatically identify who is calling while retrieving previous issues, improving the support experience. This integration allows customers to enter their case information in the system for direct and efficient transfer to the assigned specialist. After implementing Five9, Product Support went from multiple complaints a week regarding connecting with a specialist to none post-implementation.

In 2016, the Product Support team also rolled out an optional 24/7 support service, providing round-the-clock support for customers with critical needs. Leveraging both on-call as well as IQMS European Specialists to assist with call coverage, this new support offering gave customers additional options for utilizing the Support department.

In addition to the new structure and processes, Product Support also implemented process improvements.

The first process improvement was employing resolution types in CRM. Now issues are tracked with resolution categorizations. This tracking enables IQMS to improve inter-departmental feedback loops, providing insight into new training opportunities for customers, as well as corporate software improvement ideas.

Secondly, the team implemented Severity Types within CRM. This rating assisted with prioritizing resolutions, ensuring critical issues received the team’s attention first versus the former “first in, first out” method.

PEER RECOGNITION:

In the fall of 2016, as part of Project World Class, the Product Support team rolled out a “World Class Support Hero” peer recognition program. Now, fellow team members can recognize one another for going above and beyond. This new peer recognition program has raised team morale and camaraderie within the team.

CONCLUSION:

In 2016, the IQMS Product Support team went through a departmental reorganization that could have caused chaos in the team. Instead, the team leveraged this opportunity to train, create process improvements and increase their team morale and camaraderie. During 2016, the Product Support team truly achieved “World Class” status -- both internally and for customers.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated team since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Initiated Project World Class, focusing on creating a World Class Product Support Organization through process improvements and leadership training
-Team restructure, including creation of new department, with 100% of roles filled internally, providing growth across the department
-52% decrease in the Open Case Backlog over 2016
-10% increase in Issue Close Rate within 7 days and 70% Same Day Resolution in 2016 (from 2015’s 62%)
-120-day training and evaluation program with 94% pass rate
-Implemented Five9 cloud-based contact center software with 100% customer satisfaction
-Rolled out 24/7 support option for customers, improving international specialist engagement
-Initiated leadership training for management, including seminars, conferences and partnering with TSIA for industry-specific research capabilities
-Implemented CRM process improvements for resolution and severity types, improving inter-departmental communication and prioritization of customer requests
-Implemented World Class Support Hero peer recognition, increasing team morale and camaraderie