Françoise Clemes is passionate about customer relations. Sunrise’s Chief Customer Services Officer (CSO) isn’t satisfied with quality alone – she strives for excellence. Just like Roger Federer, who has been Sunrise’s brand ambassador since 2014.
“Before you speak, ask yourself whether what you want to say is more beautiful than silence.”
When asked about the fact that this private telecommunications provider won the Swiss Digital Transformation Award 2017, Françoise Clemes puts it into perspective: “This award was naturally a tremendous honour for us, but it doesn’t mean the culmination of our efforts, rather just the beginning. We were trailblazers in this area, a transition that’s of great importance to our customers. Since then, though, Sunrise has achieved much more. Our digital approach has become highly refined.”
In other words, the Sunrise teams are now increasingly focused on the mishaps, which they analyse and correct to ensure that they don’t recur.
Speed and pragmatism
Specifically, the CSO advocates a transversal, interdisciplinary approach. “It’s not the digital team that takes the lead; rather, the entire company is devoted to solving customer issues. This allows us to make changes practically in real time. We can act quickly and pragmatically, because we experience the customer’s problem first-hand.”
The speed of response is enormously important because customers want immediate answers to their questions. “Electronic devices are now a central part of people’s everyday life. If you’re offline for more than two hours, you start to panic,” she says
with a laugh, admitting that for her it doesn’t even take two hours.
The lesson from all this: as products become more complex, service needs to become ever faster yet. The know-how of the teams therefore had to be significantly improved, something which is now happening through practically constant supplementary training. “Although our profession has become very technical, customer service may never be technocratic,” the CSO is convinced.
The voice of our customers
From an organisational point of view, this approach has led to a certain coalescence of the executive suite and the front. Every two weeks, a discussion forum is held where the customer advisors can state their opinion on what works well and what has caused problems. “And each week, we on the Management Board review these points. Our consultants are the voice
of our customers. They’re the ones who draw up the roadmap.”
Outside of these meetings, all eyes and ears are focused on the frontlines also in everyday business. “I follow customer feedback practically in real time. We’re firmly anchored in reality, and that’s what steers our strategy.”
The company’s employees today have greater competencies and more freedom to act. Sunrise wants to ensure that each advisor can handle 99 per cent of the cases in order to avoid escalation, i.e. “customers being forwarded to several other contact persons before they get an answer to what they’re actually calling about”. To that end, “our people receive regular training and have constant access to updates, all of which greatly increases their motivation”.
Competence, commitment and quality: these are the keywords of customer service à la Françoise Clemes. On top of that is passion. “The advisors have to be passionate about their work because this energy is perceived by the customer, and it’s contagious.” Whatever the case, Françoise Clemes’ passion is definitely there!