Happy, motivated employees are vital for maintaining happy, satisfied customers. Transforming existing processes and services with new technologies has the potential to both increase and decrease employee satisfaction. We asked Simon Shaw, who heads up Eurostar’s Customer Contact Strategy, to share his recipe for success.

What is your vision for customer service at Eurostar?

Passenger numbers are growing and we need to be able to provide great service regardless of the volume and variety of requests we receive. That means we need to rethink how, when, and where we engage with our customers. We want to make things delightfully easy for people – and that includes both our staff and our customers. The more effort people have to put in, the less satisfying the experience.

How are you using new technologies to transform customer service?

With help from Salesforce, we are going digital, mobile, and social. And it’s really exciting! For example, the team can now follow and join social conversations with customers. We’ve also developed a couple of apps to make it easier for customers to make compensation claims and onward travel arrangements when services are disrupted.

Tell us more about the compensation app 

We think it’s great, and so do our customers. Compensation claims are both easier to request and to process. All eligible customers can now receive their compensation in less than 24 hours – in the past this process could take weeks. We can also provide more compensation. With government legislation getting tighter around compensation claims, the new app, which is built on App Cloud, also helps us maintain compliance.

How do you ensure new apps and other innovations are well received by your team?

We involve people from the customer service front line right from the start. After all, they’re the ones dealing with customers every day. For example, 10 front line advisors from our customer service team carried out the user acceptance testing (UAT) for our compensation app. They sat with the Salesforce professional services team to explore every aspect of the new solution and fed detailed information back to the developers. It meant they really felt part of the solution. 

What happened when the compensation app went live?

Following the launch, the testers became our ‘change champions’. They walked the floor for a month from go-live to support their colleagues and drum up enthusiasm. Twelve months on, and the app has made a huge difference to the customer contact team. In the past, it could take a long time to clear the backlog of customer requests following a major disruption. As a result, everything else had to be put on hold, including important staff development reviews and service improvement initiatives. Now, we’re normally all done and dusted within 24 hours, which means the team can go back to having the usual positive conversations with customers again.

What’s next on the transformation agenda?

We’re currently rolling out web chat in the contact centre as well as self-service knowledge articles. The knowledge bank contains more than 250 articles on common queries, such as travelling with pets and booking international connections. At the moment, it’s just being used internally but we’ll be opening up access to our customers from early 2017. With Salesforce, there’s pretty much no limit to what we can do – it’s like being a kid in a sweetshop! 

What advice would you give to other organisations embarking on a customer service transformation?

It’s about getting the right people involved at the right time. We all know executive sponsorship is essential for any new initiative, but so too is peer support. Champions are an effective way to encourage faster adoption and foster greater enthusiasm.

Read the full success story to find out more about how Eurostar is using digital, mobile, and social technologies to transform the travel experience for millions of customers every year. 

To set you on the path to creating exceptional experiences for your customers, check out our e-book Creating a Connected Customer Experience for insights and tips from leading experts.