Swisscom Offers Customers a Little Help From Their “Friends”
Partnering with Mila Friends, Swisscom offers its residential customers help with basic computer, internet, and TV issues by linking them with experts in their neighborhood.
Swisscom’s residential service – including mobile communications, internet and digital television – involves some set-up and device interoperability issues that can be confusing for customers. However, Swisscom had found that getting their services to work well with customers’ devices often involved solutions that were relatively straightforward for technical professionals. In order to help meet these customer needs, Swisscom was interested in finding a way to provide this type of basic problem solving and support to customers without placing an undue burden on their customer support professionals.
Swisscom partnered with Mila Friends to develop a scalable, agile marketplace for local customer support. By entering their postal code, customers can access a network of certified “Friends,” often off-duty technical experts, who provide services such as trainings, advice, customer support or installation. Swisscom determines which individuals have the skills necessary to provide support for their products and services. Mila connects the customer with the Friend, enables them to set up appointments, and facilitates direct payment to these individuals. In addition, the Friends earn additional income from putting their skills to use in a convenient location – their own neighborhood.
The Swisscom Friends platform, powered by Mila, has helped the company achieve the following results:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Decreased cost of customer support and service
- Growth in revenue from online sales due to the promise of affordable local service
Swisscom attributes the success of the program to two elements of their approach. First, Swisscom employed a strategy that was novel for the company: empowering people to offer value-added services around their core business. Second, they started small with a pilot project in a single city. This enabled them to test and refine the concept before rolling it out more broadly.