- Don't forget for our #HTCMom contest: A haiku is three lines: the first has five syllables, the second has seven, the third has 5. :) ^eo
In July 2009, Rogers established the Office of the Ombudsman. Our ombudsman, Don Moffatt, investigates and attempts to resolve customer complaints and problems. While the vast majority of customer service inquiries are resolved by our front line employees , the Office of the Ombudsman is in place to review customer inquiries when a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with Customer Care or the Office of the President, Rogers highest level of support for customer escalations. Recently, I sat down with Don to get a better understanding of what Rogers is doing to improve the customer experience. Here are the highlights from our conversation.
What’s the story behind the Ombudsman’s office?
The Ombudsman’s Office was created in July 2009 as an impartial avenue of appeal and review for Rogers customers. My office is unaffiliated with the customer service organization at Rogers. I review all sides of an issue and make sure customers are treated fairly. To me, fair means fair for the customer and fair for Rogers.
What is a typical day like for you?
Each day, I personally review all of the escalations that come through the Office of the Ombudsman.
I work with the Office of the President to determine their role in a customer inquiry. If the Office of the President has already been engaged, we ensure the customer inquiry is a priority for them and we establish a commitment that the Office of the President will get back to them. If the issue has not previously been escalated to the Office of the President, we advise the customer that we’ve engaged them to help resolve the issue.
If the customer is still not satisfied with the resolution after engaging with the Office of the President, I advise them to come to me so we can further investigate.
And what would you do at that point?
We seek the customer’s consent to access their records.
Then I ask the customer for their side of the issue. Next, I ask Rogers for their side of the issue. Then, I sit down and review the material and provide a recommendation in writing or over the phone. I would say that in 95% of the cases, we’re able to get the issue resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.
Do you look at customer inquiries as customer feedback? What’s next?
Yes. Absolutely. In the Ombudsman’s Office, I really have two mandates. The first is to provide an independent review of issues on behalf of customers. Secondly – and as importantly in my view - is identifying the root cause of issues. Often the issue relates to policies or processes that aren’t customer or employee friendly. Once we identify the cause, we work with the various departments within Rogers to recommend and implement policy and process changes. In 2010, there were actually 17 policies and procedures that were changed at Rogers as a result of cases that had come into the Office of the Ombudsman. I’ll give you an example. A customer was having trouble sending text messages to China in Chinese characters. They were able to receive Chinese character messages from China and they were able to send and receive Chinese text messages within Canada but when they originated a text message to China, in Chinese characters, it wasn’t going through. So we spent a lot of time investigating the root cause of the issue and traced the source to a new software upgrade involving one our partners. This was a case that took a lot of time, but we were able to resolve it – not only for him, but for many others that were experiencing a similar issue.
What are some of the key changes that Rogers has made to make it easier for customers to do business with us?
We’ve been making important changes to customer experience. For example, we found that there were some system-related errors with order confirmation. The system that was supposed to send an email confirmation to customers confirming exactly what they had just purchased and agreed to was not functioning properly. We found the issues, investigated them with the business and got those resolved.
We’ve also implemented things like a data alert tool that alerts customers when they’ve reached 80 and 100 percent of their data use, 1 and 2 year contract terms and a variety of self-serve tools available through MyRogers.
Why the Ombudsman’s Office? What do you enjoy most about your job?
The most satisfying thing about being the Ombudsman is helping people resolve issues. In the majority of the cases I get involved in, there is an opportunity to help customers and I enjoy that portion of the job immensely.
Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard