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Google Fiber - Customer Service Department of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: Google Fiber Inc, Mountain View, CA, USA
Company Description: Google Fiber provides ultra fast broadband access as well as subscription and over-the-top TV service to residences and small businesses in cities across the United States. A subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, Google Fiber started offering its services in 2012 in Kansas City and has since expanded to eleven more cities across the country.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Telecommunications

Nomination Title: Google Fiber

Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (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:

Google Fiber started offering internet and pay-TV services in 2012 with the mission to bring “awesome customer service at scale” in an industry that, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranks last in customer satisfaction.

Our team strives to add value across all facets of the customer experience including online help, social media, call centers and retail operations (called Fiber Spaces), and covers issues such as technical support, billing, construction experience and home installs and service appointments.

The period since July 2016 has been one of learning and optimizing for Google Fiber. Through moments of challenge and transition, we stayed true to our goal to “transform our customers’ day especially when something needs fixing”.

A key decision was to pause operations in some of our potential markets. This allowed us to focus on innovation on fiber deployment, while continuing to provide high touch service to our growing customers base. We were particularly excited to welcome new customers in Huntsville, Nashville, Louisville, San Antonio and Atlanta.

Support complexity also increased through additional plans and hardware options that challenge the ISP offerings norm, such as the Google WiFi router, the Nvidia ShieldTV and YouTubeTV. Getting this right, required our support teams to design seamless experiences and refreshed employee training programs to match the 62% YoY increase in the employee to customers supported ratio.

Within this high paced change environment, we found purpose in safeguarding the Fiber customer experience and continued adding value across the customer lifecycle.

Customer experience improvements

Network construction: Shallow trenching, our new construction method, is now our primary network deployment. It is much faster than traditional methods, and far less disruptive to the communities where it is being performed. This has resulted in a 60% reduction in customer/resident reported construction issues from 2016 to 2017.

Sign up: We simplified the customer signup process by consolidating the account creation steps from seven to one and removed the $10 deposit requirement.

Average time to installation: Through KPI monitoring and strong partnerships with our local teams, we set out to improve waiting times from sign-up to install. While still in its early stages; In 2017 we have seen up to 50% reduction in average wait times for new customers vs 2016.

On-time technician arrival: Maintained our appointment time policy as opposed to appointment windows for our home service visits. We achieved on time arrival for more than 97% of our appointments and compensated our customers, when we were late to an appointment.

In-home installation experience: We leveraged the technology in our customer equipment to monitor, in real time, the installation progress for up to 95% of our cases. This allowed us to optimize the time our technicians stay at customers’ homes during installs and improved the customer experience by replacing intrusive in home time-motion-studies.

Advance equipment returns: Implemented an equipment failure early detection system enabling proactive equipment replacement. During the program pilot, the target group scored 5.7% above average in our customer happiness surveys.

Service outages: We continued investing in an improved customer experience during service outages by launching our external outage search page (fiber.google.com/outage). We automated outage alerts and resolution notifications over the phone and provided our technical support teams with a real time outage heatmap showing services impacted and estimated resolution times.

Social media: We started measuring user satisfaction from support offered through our Twitter handles @googlefiber and @googlefiberhelp and improved the first response time by 300% vs 2016.

Customer happiness

Fiber customers have been taking notice: In August 2017, we crossed 1,000,000 satisfied customer interactions, while in September 2017, our team achieved an all time high customer satisfaction score. Our customer satisfaction surveys are on a 7-point scale and we only count scores of 6 and 7 as satisfied. Our performance was recognized in the Fall 2016 Consumer Reports Telecom survey that gave our Tech Support “Highest Ratings”.