Cover photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash
My role at Coolfire Solutions involved working on internal product initiatives as well as client-service work with our investors and partners. One investor, a global rental car company, had an initiative to reduce support costs by in-housing their roadside assistance division. They needed a robust dashboard for managing those inbound calls to help customers in trouble. Due to the nature of our engagement I cannot share visuals of the project or process - but I can talk about it.
In another life, I worked in a call center for Verizon (in collections... ugh) so right away I could empathize with the frustrations of dealing with angry / upset people over a phone. I built additional empathy for the users and the callers by flying on-site and observing the current call center. I interviewed agents, shadowed their work for a day, and took special note of their tools, language, and pain points as they solved hundreds of calls a day.
After this investigation phase, I conducted design sprints and workshops with client stakeholders to understand the product's focus and business value. Enterprise-level applications tend to focus on workflow automation - scoping the vision of a product to how people do their jobs. I encouraged the leaders to think in terms of product, seeing this software as a tool that does a specific job not a guide for how agents need to work.
In the end we balanced prescribed call flows with tool flexibility, delivering a product that simplified three major pain points.
I worked closely with our development team to iterate through versions of the UI, simplifying interactions and bubbling up more relevant data and actions. The developers had great insights about the mapping API and offered up ideas for cool features in the app.
Opportunities for delight included simplified search, easy-to-use mapping, a wizard for identifying problems, mapping vehicle features to specific solutions to simplify call flows.
The call center is live and being actively used for roadside problems. The client passed on feedback from a training session with new workers...
...we got some rave reviews today in the training class
'I’ve worked at a lot of Contact Centers, and in a lot of systems, and this is the best system I’ve worked in. It’s very smooth and user friendly.'
Sr. Product Manager at [Client]
The product has been rebranded and is actively being converted to a stand alone commercial solution by the client.