How Start.ca transformed the customer—and support representative—experience with RouteThis
Written by Erin Green
Written by Erin Green
Start.ca is a Canadian Internet service provider (ISP) that delivers high-speed internet, TV, and digital phone solutions to customers across Ontario. For 25 years, Start.ca has shone a spotlight on customer service—always looking for new ways to make things easier for customers, and ensure everyone has a positive experience.
RouteThis Core, LiveView, and Self-Help
For any ISP, support is a big deal. The Internet has become an integral utility for our society, and when a user experiences an issue with their connection, their ISP needs to be able to get it back up and running as efficiently as possible. But to do that, support representatives need visibility into exactly what’s happening within a customer’s home network so they can properly identify the issue and offer a solution.
For Start.ca, support has always been a top priority; the company focuses on the customer experience and offers 24/7 availability for service and support. The Support Team receives the highest percentage of the company’s calls. The majority of those calls require Reps to collect specific information about the customer’s network, including ping traceroutes, router details, connected devices, and more.
To gather that information so they could offer the best possible troubleshooting and support tips, Reps were left with only a slow, manual approach—one that saw them spending increased time on the phone with customers, asking questions and trying to patch together solutions based on the answers.
At the same time, the Support Team was growing quickly in size, so they knew they needed to find a way to make things simpler for new and tenured Reps alike. And in 2017, they discovered RouteThis.
In 2018, Start.ca rolled out RouteThis across the Support Team to help run live diagnostics without having to rely on customer answers. When a customer called in to report home network problems, instead of asking a multitude of questions, Reps could ask the customer to download and run the RouteThis app so they could see into the system for themselves.
“For our reps, that was a huge win,” explained Al Uniac, Director of the Customer Experience Group at Start.ca. “Reps could run RouteThis and within a few minutes, they would be able to access an abundance of reliable and usable technical data.”
Naturally, any new solution introduced into a workplace may bring its fair share of resistance to change, especially from more tenured personnel—but overall, the Start.ca team adapted quickly.
“Even some of our most technical people have really bought in completely because it’s so easy for them to get this level of detail from the customer now,” explained Dave Robson, Customer Experience Manager at Start.ca.
As new Reps joined the Customer Experience Group (CXG), the team discovered another benefit of using RouteThis. Regardless of how much technical experience a new Rep had, they could get up and running much more quickly with Start.ca’s technical processes and terminology—to the point that they could identify almost immediately if a customer was having an in-home or out-of-home issue.
“Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, everybody can use and benefit from this tool.”
–Al Uniac, Director of the Customer Experience Group, Start.ca
When the pandemic hit in full force in 2020, things changed very quickly for the Start.ca team. As customers shifted to a work-from-home environment, Support Reps started experiencing the highest call volumes and highest contacts they’d ever seen. They had already been in the process of shifting from a traditional support desk model to a customer experience model, and were in the process of exploring new tools to help Reps perform at an even higher level.
RouteThis had approached Start.ca to see if the Support Team would be interested in testing out some new features, including Self-Help—and because it aligned with the company’s goal of building and providing resources for customers like online FAQs, informational videos, blog posts, and more, Start.ca was on board from the beginning.
“Timing was everything,” Uniac explained. “We needed to get things out there that were going to make it easier for the customer—easier for them to start troubleshooting and, potentially, even to resolve their issues by using the RouteThis app without having to contact our team.”
“The Self-Help part does two important things,” Robson added. “It can deflect customers from having to call in by empowering them to solve their issue on their own using RouteThis, and it also shows the customer that something actually is going on with their service because they can see the information themselves.”
Ultimately, Start.ca’s goal is to improve the overall customer experience, which can be a difficult metric to track. From what Robson and Uniac have seen so far, though, using RouteThis has been a major contributor to the company’s higher rates of customer satisfaction.
As Robson explained, “When customers call in, they no longer have to navigate instructions through their computer, work with command prompts, or get lost in technical steps. They can click the link their rep sends them, and then let the app do the rest of the work to get information back to the Rep—that can then be analyzed and used to quickly identify solutions.”
Additionally, by using RouteThis, the team has been able to create consistency in the experience customers receive. After all, customers won’t necessarily deal with the same Rep every time they call. By using a tool that can consistently and accurately help Reps diagnose issues, Start.ca can ensure that customers get the same awesome experience—no matter who they speak to.
“From my perspective, [RouteThis] makes for a spectacular customer experience, whether you’re technical or not."
–Dave Robson, Customer Experience Manager, Start.ca
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