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PayPal: an innovative Customer Care model

CASE STUDY PAYPAL Published on the Italian online magazine CMI, November 2015.

The partnership between PayPal and Transcom started out in 2008, in Tunis, to manage Customer Care in the French and Italian market, and it’s getting stronger as years go by. In 2010, the service was extended to the Lecce branch to meet the growth of Italian volumes. Since 2014, PayPal has entrusted the management of users from 32 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to Transcom’s branch in Tunisia, ensuring support in four languages (Arabic, French, Italian, and English). Moreover, PayPal has just entered into a new three-year contract appointing Transcom as its sole partner in Italy. Today, we’ll have a chat with PayPal Italia’s General Manager, Angelo Meregalli, to get to know more about this leading company providing e-commerce and online payment solutions.

What made you choose Transcom as a sole partner in Italy?

Ever since it was established back in 1998, our company has experienced an extraordinary and continuous growth. Right now, we have over 152 million active accounts all over the world, and we process about 9.3 million transactions every day in 203 countries and 100 currencies. Transcom has proved it can support our rapid growth and combine flexibility and openness to new solutions with quality Customer Service. In fact, in 2014, it achieved a 66% NPS (net promoter score based on the customers’ positive feedback) in the Italian market, the absolute best among our users on a global scale.

On what model is your Customer Care based? 

This important partnership is based on an innovative Customer Care model (the so-called inverted pyramid) promoted by PayPal and successfully interpreted by Transcom. This model promotes employee empowerment actions and aims at delegating the responsibility for user satisfaction to the front line, i.e. to the people who interact with consumers on a daily basis. The Middle Management plays a supporting and monitoring role to solve customers’ problems more easily and help the front line provide the best customer service possible. In the latest evolution of this model, Team Leaders become coaches to assist the front line more effectively.

What are the other distinctive features of this new approach?

The short answer to your question is that the beating heart of our business is a genuine and deep passion for our customers. But if we want to go deeper into detail, we can mention eight key points in this management model: 

being the end customer by personally testing the service to create pleasant customer experiences;

affirming the concept of a team mate, so that every player involved can feel part of the team with one goal in mind, i.e. ensuring an excellent customer experience;

promoting empowerment, being flexible enough to find new solutions even with the help of supporting figures;

ensuring the presence of resources that have experience as both end customer and team mate (Product Specialist, Team Leader, Business Manager);

providing the support of coaching and feedback giving professionals (Team Leader);

creating a training department with Trainers and (Process and Quality) Analysts coordinated by a Training and Quality Manager to further support the Team;

identifying the Business Manager, who is in contact with the entire organisational structure, as an important point of reference for enhancing and seizing People Engagement and Customer Relation opportunities. The BM and TQM hold Coach the Coach sessions;

promoting continuous exchange with a win-win approach between PayPal and Transcom on various levels to ensure the continuous improvement of the services provided.

How does Transcom interpret and implement the PayPal model?

Transcom pays great attention to internal communications for motivating and training the personnel and guiding them towards the common goal (customer satisfaction) and the full understanding of the service provided. Transcom agents base their relationship with the end customer on the interpretation of the Universal Call Flow, which includes four stages:

welcome: greeting the customer with a smile, identifying and validating them on their internal security systems;

discover: discovering the reason behind the call, connecting it to the technical systems through a series of open- and closed-ended questions;

deliver: finding a solution and/or providing the Customer with all the information to meet their request;

done: guiding the Customer towards the end of the call with a smile.

All this leads to behaviours that add value, thanks to the ability to put oneself in the Customer’s shoes, anticipating needs, and supporting them until their request is met. PayPal’s Shared Behaviours, which serve as Transcom’s guidelines for managing contacts with users, are the following:

- behave professionally;

- show genuine interest;

- take responsibility;

- exploit your skills to manage requests;

- listen carefully;

- communicate clearly.

Speaking of innovation, Transcom has created a Knowledge Management portal for you. What is that about?

It’s a tool in Joomla suggested and created by Transcom for PayPal’s Italian market to improve the sharing of processes, procedures, and best practices. Today, all our suppliers and in-house structures use this portal, which has helped provide the best customer experience on a global scale for years. Among other things, the portal allows you to quickly view – 2 or 3 days from contact – the results of the satisfaction survey filled out by end customers by email.

The Key Performance Indicators used to measure PayPal customers’ experience are the following:

NPS (Net Promoter Score), which measures the willingness of an acquired customer to recommend PayPal to family and friends;

ASAT (Agent Satisfaction), which measures the satisfaction with the performance of an agent;

RR (Resolve Rate), which expresses the ability to solve a problem or meet a request.

AHT (Average Handling Time) is another important KPI, which measures the average time required for an agent to handle a contact and determines the number of contacts handled by every individual team mate.