Google Fiber - Customer Service Department of the Year

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Company: Google Fiber, Mountain View, CA
Company Description: Google Fiber is a sub-division of Alphabet (formerly Google). We provide ultra fast broadband access to residences and small businesses in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, most recently adding service in Salt Lake City, Raleigh Durham, Charlotte, Nashville and Atlanta.
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 2015 (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:

We began providing Google Fiber to customers in 2012 with a simple support mission: to provide awesome customer service at scale. In a challenging industry where customers have come to expect the worst (as indicated by ASCI ratings for pay-TV providers), our goal was to transform the support experience and change those expectations. Our support team digs deeply into improving the experience across all facets of the customer experience: this includes everything from help desks in our retail locations (called Fiber Spaces), phone, email and chat support across various issues including technical support, billing, construction complaints, on-line help and Social Media support (e.g. Twitter), and home installs and service appointments.

In order to achieve our mission, we have built a cross-functional support team focused on key commitments to customers including install appointment times (rather than broad appointment windows) and respectful support interactions. In the past year, consistent with our objectives, our team has reached new heights across growth, support excellence and team development metrics:

Business Growth: Core to our success as a customer service team has been our ability to grow our subscriber base significantly while maintaining our customer service levels. While we don’t release overall subscriber numbers, we’ve doubled our scale since 2015. In 2016 alone, we expanded service to 5 new US markets while supporting key product launches, including a major TV user experience upgrade and the introduction of the Fiber Phone offering. Despite the challenges that come with growth, we saw continued performance improvements with our team members supporting 42% more customers per person.

Service Excellence: If we’d kept up with growth but shirked quality, we’d have failed our mission. Instead we saw on-going excellence and improvements in core metrics while successfully supporting subscriber, city and product growth. Examples of our ability to provide awesome customer support at scale include:

-- Customer Happiness: We hold ourselves to a high standard when measuring our transactional customer satisfaction, and we only count our top survey scores (6 and 7 on a 7-point scale) towards our customer satisfaction goals. We see evidence of this working consistently in customer feedback, and our performance was recognized as earning an “Excellent” rating for Tech Support in the Fall 2015 Consumer Reports Telecom survey.

-- Service Outages: Through a set of specific technical initiatives, we reduced customer out-of-service time due to home-specific outages and repair needs by 98%, implemented automation for outage notifications, and improved our proactive outage credit processes (our customers automatically receive a service outage credit after an outage is resolved).

-- Education: We revamped our vendor training program and launched the Fiber Academy, a vendor training facility, as a way to handle the growth and improve our customer experience.

-- On-Time Arrival: In an industry where typical complaints include missed, late and long service windows, our service calls are scheduled at a customer-selected time with 97% of install techs arriving at the exact scheduled appointment time.

Team Excellence: Lastly, but most importantly, we have focused on our health as a team. In our company-wide happiness survey, our Customer Service team garnered top employee happiness scores across multiple areas including role, peers, leadership, culture, ability to innovate and work life balance. Our team members were recognized by peers over 400 times in 2016, while managers recognized above-and-beyond team member performance nearly 300 times in company-wide awards programs.

Consistent with our mission, we seek to inspire the broader Google Fiber team as well. Customer Service Satisfaction is a core metric we report on every week across the Fiber team, and we reward cross-functional peers through an award program to recognize stellar customer focus.