Spectrum

The Client

Spectrum Communications

The Duration

02/16 – 01/17 (12months)

Available On

Smart phones,
Desktop Computers,
Tablet Computers

Skills Used

Research, Storyboarding,
UIUX Design, Acceptance Testing
Graphic Design, Axure RP

What is it?

This project is a client facing portal for accessing personal information, troubleshooting basic problems with services and communicating with customer service representatives. (Note: this is specifically focused on mobile due to the nature of their business).

The Challenge

The challenge was to optimize their mobile experience by solving for disclosing tech identity, schedule maintenance feedback and their troubleshooting basic services flow.

I designed this application with my grandmother in mind. I pitched a few ideas to her and we decided to go with a few of her suggestions concerning button location and overall intuitiveness. Our mantra was ” Make it so easy Maurice’s grandmother could do it.” I flew her on location to perform UAT and took her feedback with other qualitative data performed during our user acceptance testing process. This invaluable feedback allowed me to think more critically about problems users would be confronted with and marry those findings to an enjoyable experience. I established branding requirements with the marketing team and articulated those requirements to our visual designers.

Overview

I designed this application with my grandmother in mind. I pitched a few ideas to her and we decided to go with a few of her suggestions concerning button location and overall intuitiveness. Our mantra was ” Make it so easy Maurice’s grandmother could do it.” I flew her on location to perform UAT and took her feedback with other qualitative data performed during our user acceptance testing process. This invaluable feedback allowed me to think more critically about problems users would be confronted with and marry those findings to an enjoyable experience. I established branding requirements with the marketing team and articulated those requirements to our visual designers.

Starting Out

I started my process by gathering data from research on their subscribers. The average subscriber believed that powering down and up a machine for an arbitrary amount of time would fix most internet/Phone/CableTV issues. On average their subscribers did have an understanding of how their equipment worked and the names of each. When presented to my grandmother, she was able to accurately pick out a cable box and a telephone line/jack. She was not familiar with her internet equipment. I posed the question, do you know where your modem is? Her Response: NO! Do you know what function it has in receiving internet? Her Response: NO! Can it give you wifi? Her Response: I think so. How many lights do you see? Her Response: I see four. what are their names? Her Response: Power, US, DS, Online. Do you understand the significance of each light? Her Response: NO! I asked her to unplug the power cord and plug it back in. Her Response: Which one is the power cord?

This test led me to believe that many people calling in are calling in about internet problems. I wanted to speak to customer care representatives to see what their take was.

Interviewing Reps

While interviewing 45 representatives, I wanted to understand what were customer issues were, how reps handled those issues and how they could empower and inspire existing customer to handle their own service issues in an interesting way. There were 3 major concerns for the customers: Internet troubleshooting, unannounced scheduled maintenance and introducing a tech repairman.

Surprisingly, the company had a solution that the reps already used called IRIS, a troubleshooting tool internally used by representatives to solve most customer-related service issues. IRIS starts out with the type of problem (internet, phone, television). The next step introduces the rep to common problems most customers have with those services. While looking for examples of other companies handling service-based troubleshooting, I realized that there were other companies doing the same thing. For instance, AT&T, competitor to Spectrum, had its own solution called BOSS. I envisioned providing the customer with same tool as the one used in-house. I meticulously took the current troubleshooting process and designed it for the user.

Test Findings

Station 1

4 out of 5 participants were able to find the network and connect to the wireless network. Their feedback was commonly, “my network is always easy to find; its just hard to get online.” The one participant who could not find the wireless network found it to be challenging to locate the network name because another two networks had similar names Netgear23 and NetgearIV

Station 2

5 out of 5 participants missed correctly identifying the physical devices with both its name and function. Items the users had to identify were their coaxial cable, their modem, their router and their Ethernet cable. Many other customers had the same problem according to troubleshooting reps. 

Station 3

2 out of 5 were able to open a command prompt to verify their IP address. When I took a closer look, I found out from the participants that they used the search feature to find the command prompt. “The rest was easy,” as they put it.

 

The users had a difficult time performing basic tasks because they had not been properly trained on how to use the tools. We asked what would have made the process easier for them. They all agreed that having a visual of the equipment and/or a demonstration to accompany the task would make performing tasks a lot easier for them.

Rewarding Customers Builds Loyalty
Rewarding Customers Builds Loyalty

Empower The Customer

Spectrum is a great company, but what about their customers? I’ve noticed on several fronts that the customer is met with many challenges in understanding the language of the company. From day one, I tasked myself to understand why a barrier existed between the customer and the company. Spectrum, like most companies ran a majority of their business in the fine print. After performing a field study with 45 customer service representatives, I found that a lot of the questions customers had the company answers, but not in customer focused ways. Customers would call in about problems with their services (Internet, Video and Phone), challenges with understanding liability and risk when events pose problems for the customer (i.e outages, terms and conditions, property damage and pirated material) and the occasional “I just want to understand how to use my equipment better” customer. All of these are valid concerns. How does the company fix them? You fix them by being more transparent and making things simple. 

Transfer View- Low fidelity
Transfer View- Low fidelity

User Centered Design

Instead of the typical fine print approach, I wanted to steer the direction toward transparency and simplicity. Another idea that came about during our research was rewarding the customer. When the customer heard the words ‘great job’ or experienced a representative praising them for their work, I noticed a 92% increase in customer service rep’s satisfaction score. In typical fashion, the customer would give that representative a higher rating. Also, when asked if they would leave the company, 100% of them said they would continue to stay with the company because of the experience. I took that data and included a customer praise model into the flow.

The longer the phone call with the customer agents, the more pricey the interaction for the company.  We solve for this through an improved system that establishes greater rapport by empowering them to solve their own problems.

VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER

“Having control over my account and having quick and easy access to help where necessary is what great customer service is all about.”

It was important to me for the customer to feel safe. Having a technician come to a customer’s home without them having any knowledge of that person was both scary and unsafe. As a result, I designed a tech id section for customers to view information about the tech and to communicate directly with him if needed. I was inspired by Time Warner as they also had this feature. It added a level of security to the customer and it showed them that the company was serious about earning and establishing trust.

Tech ID View Mock Up

It was important to me for the customer to feel safe. Having a technician come to a customer’s home without them having any knowledge of that person was both scary and unsafe. As a result, I designed a tech id section for customers to view information about the tech and to communicate directly with him if needed. I was inspired by Time Warner as they also had this feature. It added a level of security to the customer and it showed them that the company was serious about earning and establishing trust.

During discovery, I noticed a common issue with outages. Outages were frequent and often without warning. However, they alone were only a part of the larger issue. Our research suggests customers were OK with outages if they knew about them ahead of time. I designed a feature that informed customers when planned outage were scheduled to take place. The user simply clicks on the date with the event indication and an overlay provides details regarding that event. This feature allowed the user to effectively plan for alternatives while their services were down.

Event View Mock Up

During discovery, I noticed a common issue with outages. Outages were frequent and often without warning. However, they alone were only a part of the larger issue. Our research suggests customers were OK with outages if they knew about them ahead of time. I designed a feature that informed customers when planned outage were scheduled to take place. The user simply clicks on the date with the event indication and an overlay provides details regarding that event. This feature allowed the user to effectively plan for alternatives while their services were down.