Hilti is a world market leader for professional fastening and demolition technology and operates in more than 120 countries with more than 24’000 employees worldwide.
Hilti prides themselves on their customer service, which is dedicated to providing fast and efficient support to all Hilti customers creating a unique selling proposition. The Hilti employees responsible for handling inbound customer calls make up the largest group within the customer service department. They have mere minutes to answer the customer’s question and therefore the tools they use must be efficient, intuitive and help them to carry out their workflow with ease.
The project between Ginetta and Hilti focused on understanding how customer service employees work, what their current pain points are and creating first mock-up screens to visualize the requirements of the key user stories.
What should the next generation of working tools look like so that Hilti can maintain their industry leadership? By employing a mixed approach of user-centered design and co-creation, we helped Hilti to think ahead strategically, identify opportunities and visualize a vision for the future of customer service.
The main challenge was that the tools needed to fit the needs of different customer service groups. One group supports customers with general questions like creating orders or receiving a complaint, a second one helps with software related questions and a third one with engineering and calculation issues. They all use similar tools but in a very different way.
Our main goal for the research phase was to understand the customer service workflows and processes and the current tools those users interact with. We started by reviewing the existing quantitative data so we could derive questions we wanted to ask the users in interviews and contextual inquiries in major customer service centers (UK, DE, CH). A contextual inquiry approach (observing users while they are working) was important because of the complexity of the questions and scenarios they had to handle on a minute by minute basis. It simply would not be possible to explain their challenges at work without observing it first hand. The results from the research phase formed the foundation of our design principles and concept.
The next step was a three-day co-creation workshop with 25 participants flying in from different Hilti regions all over the world. We took advantage of everyone’s insights and ideas and the diversified knowledge and perspectives. We worked together in groups to map out the as-is user journey and develop a to-be user journey as a base for our design solution.
With the results from the co-design workshop, we started working on the prototype for the new solution. We had a very short amount of time, so we kept the designs simple and focused on addressing the most vital user pain points and the most common user journeys.
The innovative solution our team designed was centered on a cockpit concept from where the customer service person, no matter their profile, could launch the necessary actions and tools to help the customer on the phone as quickly as possible.
The final designs were later used by Hilti as a model of how the future work experience for customer support employees should be. The eventual platform would be built using a SAP CRM module, but with of our research, our design principles, and prototype, we highly contributed to a user-centered result.
We felt the ambition and motivation of the Hilti project team from day one and the outstanding result is a direct reflection of our close collaboration with them.