Service Journey Day Recap: Creating Connections that Shape the Future at Verizon

Verizon Headquarters

In today’s post-COVID world, service and support has been transformed. Customer expectations have shifted, digital demands are on the rise and service is becoming more commercialized. This has left organizations big and small exploring strategies for setting themselves apart from the competition.

In early April, 50+ service leaders from Becton Dickinson, Daktronics, DISH, TRANE, McKinstry, Schneider Electric, ThermoFisher Scientific and more, gathered at Verizon Headquarters in Boston, MA for Service Council’s Service Journey Day. The goal: learn how Verizon has transformed their enterprise business model and remote support strategy.

The half day of learning began with a tour of Verizon’s Innovation Hub. Verizon began the workshop by discussing how they have merged two technologies  ̶  5G and Edge computing – to create 5G Edge, an enterprise mobile edge computing platform. With this new technology, Verizon is helping customers bring to market increasingly transformative use cases that were previously untenable or impossible.

Attendees were treated to an exclusive inside look at how the telecommunications leader is leveraging this new technology to reinvent retail customer experiences, remote worker enablement, worker safety and more. 5G Edge also signaled a shift in Verizon’s support strategy.

Driving Towards Outcomes – A Unique Use Case

In previous years, Verizon’s selling model was more reactive, with customers buying a technology stack or solution. However, as customer expectations shifted, Verizon realized that enterprise organizations want simplicity. They were no longer interested in buying expensive, one-size-fits-all technology or outdated break/fix models of service. What they wanted were outcomes.

With this realization, Verizon has shifted towards selling outcomes instead of infrastructure. New solutions also prioritize customer experience over uptime management. This also means that each solution that Verizon sells is custom-built to fit a challenge that the customer is facing.

A unique use case that Verizon shared was with a popular sports arena. The arena was struggling with the management of their garbage and recycling bins filling up and overflowing during events. To address this, they had workers constantly walking the arena to monitor the level of the bins, a solution that was inefficient and ineffective. Verizon was able to solve this challenge for them by using 5G on a private wireless network to digitally monitor the level of the waste bins. When a bin reached a certain level, the facilities team would be notified that it was in need of emptying so that they could proactively dispatch a waste management team member to empty the trash receptor. Service Council has documented the benefits of proactive service extensively over the years which can include a reduction in cost to serve (less rush on people/parts, avoidance of downtime, etc.), increase in customer satisfaction and in some cases an increase in revenue and profitability.

In this case, the outcome was fewer overflowing garbage and recycle bins. The customer also has its own service level agreement (SLA) with Verizon to track success and ensure they are delivering on the expected outcome. Not only was this solution able to eliminate the challenge the customer was facing, but it also freed up workers to focus on other areas of their job necessary to ensure a positive experience for arena visitors.

This switch from infrastructure to outcomes has proven a success for Verizon because it has simplified solutions for enterprises by streamlining technology and management for tangible outcomes. By 2026, they predict that at least 40% of all full-production, private wireless network deployments in industrial manufacturing alone will be 5G based, compared to just 15% in 2023.

Unlocking the Self-Service and Remote Support Engine

Like many organizations around the globe, COVID was an eye-opener for Verizon. They quickly realized that their remote strategy needed to be more proactive. What could they do before the customer knew there was a problem? This is a question that many service leaders across all verticals are asking themselves.

Attendees also shared their own experiences with support post-COVID. Many discussed how surprised they were that customers adapted to remote and self-help as quickly as they did. Still, many are still trying to figure out how to make sure the journey is right for the customer. Usually, whatever channels customers start on is what they’re more comfortable with (or their preferred channel is less accessible which is problematic and could increase customer effort which is causal in nature to erosion of customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the last several years we have witnessed customer support strategies evolve from prescriptive to personalized to now adaptive journeys, which removes a forcible experience based on the providers preference and which empowers the customer to choose and journey across these channels flexibly.) For instance, some people will always be more comfortable with a phone call, so pushing them to digital channels isn’t necessarily the answer.

Additionally, organizations are also trying to figure out how to adapt to the customer throughout their journey. Lack of integration across support channels is often an inhibitor to a successful remote strategy. As one attendee remarked, there are often too many tools used in different stages that don’t integrate. Additionally, for organizations that serve multiple languages, time zones, etc. the remote strategy becomes even more complexity and murkier.

For Verizon, self-help has been their leading strategy and is built into their B2C product development. Their vision is to establish full plug and play solutions that will have a nearly 100% self-serve component. Additionally, they are simplifying their training and technician support tools to make them more clear, concise and visual.

They are also harnessing the power of AI and computer vision to create more intuitive self-help workflows. Other innovations on the roadmap include hands-free voice interaction, guided “smart” coaching, and AI and machine learning troubleshooting. As they embark on this new stage of self-help and mobility support tools collaboration will be key, with both field technicians and end users having input.

Additionally, the future state of their tech support call center experience will be transformed as well. Verizon is planning a more omni-channel hand-off that will eliminate redundant and duplicate troubleshooting. Agents will be focused more on the human touch, building a relationship with the customer, while the troubleshooting will be driven by generative AI and automation.

For Verizon, quantifying both the hard and soft savings will be critical in this endeavor. Already, they are seeing improvements in their customer experience score, dispatch rates, and call volumes. They have also been able to reduce headcount in their call centers, which has helped ease pressures felt from ongoing workforce and talent shortages.

Final Takeaways from the Service Journey Day

While it may be impossible to replicate Verizon’s service model, the workshop provided a lot of great elements that organizations can adopt to move towards an outcome-based delivery model. Below are some questions that we discussed in the workshop, which service leaders should consider as they begin designing their own organizations remote support structure.

  • What are the elements that could vs. should be part of your remote service structure? Which elements are the most critical and how will your organization allocate efforts across these elements?
  • What does your business case for investments in remote support look like?
  • What elements of your remote support structure will require investment in new technologies and what can you develop internally?
  • What currently drives, or will drive, your remote support traffic, and should these interactions be prevented, anticipated, or efficiently reacted against?
  • What resources do you have to turn data into actionable intelligence for remote support? What is the level of customer intelligence that you have vs. desire?

The Service Council has announced plans to dive deeper into Remote Support strategies in ‘24 with the announcement of two benchmark surveys:

  1. Remote Support Strategies: geared towards leadership (Link)
  2. Voice of the Contact Center Agent: geared towards remote support agents (Survey currently being drafted which builds off of the popular Voice of the Field Service Engineer series)

Service Council will be hosting future events across the US on a variety of topics. Click here to learn about our next Service Journey Day at Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Tags: Customer Experience (CX), Customer support, Digital transformation, Remote Service, Remote Support, Verizon
ServiceExperts™: The Role of a Service Leader – Fostering a Culture of Dignity and Respect
Recruitment Recommendations: How to Interview and Onboard the Right Candidates into Your Organization
Similar Posts