User-Centered Design: Developing a Customer-Facing Employee Performance Management Platform

RevGen helped our client design, develop, and deploy a customized performance management platform with the goal of improving overall customer experience through better feedback. 

Project Overview

Our client, a global telecom services firm, was looking for a technological solution to improve their overall customer experience through behavior-based coaching. With tens of thousands of frontline employees, they needed an effective way to customize their coaching efforts, as well as aggregate several key performance and customer experience metrics, such as AI-derived sentiment measures and NPS survey feedback, into a single view to help improve sales and operational metrics.

Client Challenge

After a thorough investigation, it was abundantly clear that our client was not going to find an existing tool on the market to meet all their needs.

No single platform existed to coach and measure effectiveness

While the client had a multitude of tools and dashboards, this made coaching complex and ineffective. Their existing coaching tools were either not comprehensive enough to support a productive conversation or not user friendly, making feedback prep challenging in the allocated time. Additionally, some of the tools in use had high licensing fees, were slow and expensive to customize or change, and had very low adoption throughout the company.

Frontline channels had differing needs

The client needed flexibility. Performance metrics and coaching processes varied greatly across channel, geography, and role. The new solution had to support the entire ecosystem while also delivering a best-in-class user experience, a daunting task.

Source-of-truth data was distributed

Since no centralized source of data was trusted by all, data would need to come from a variety of sources to be aggregated and normalized. Bringing all that data into a single new tool would require significant data alignment and attention to detail so it would be accurate and trusted. Otherwise, it would prove a barrier to adoption for the new tool.

Compressed timeframe

Not only did the client need an entirely new, innovative technological solution to these problems, but they needed it quickly. The design phase had to be completed within two months so that development could begin within the same quarter.

Approach

RevGen needed a design approach that could scale to gather feedback from a large group while maintaining anonymity to avoid group think scenarios and could be conducted virtually. We selected a user-centered design approach called Design Thinking that would extract the critical jobs to be done (JTBD) to define the functionality for the new performance management platform.

Solution

Using the Design Thinking methodology, we were able to gather feedback, ideate, and begin development all within the strict timeline our client had laid out.

Divergent thinking

RevGen conducted Design Thinking sessions over several days with representatives from every sub-section of the company’s customer-facing channels. The brainwriting sessions covered an array of topics related to coaching, performance measurement, and the related processes today and in the future. The feedback from the divergent thinking became the fuel for the design.

Finding the jobs to be done, personas, and guiding principles

The first step after the large brainstorming sessions was to analyze the 3000+ ideas into logical groupings. Next RevGen identified the JTBD and guiding principles that were borne from the groupings. After that, we sorted the JTBD into user group profiles that became the basis for the user personas.

Microburst drawing sessions

With the design input extracted, RevGen facilitated a prioritization of the personas and critical JTBD to begin some low-fidelity sketching sessions. The sketching sessions included several iterations that were tested until the best drawing was selected to be converted into a high-fidelity prototype with clickable functionality.

User testing and development

The prototype was tested with actual users in one-on-one sessions. Armed with early feedback, the design was revised and broken down into user stories that were refined by architects and developers from the RevGen in partnership with the client’s backend development organization. Platform delivery was organized into sprints using the agile framework.

Results

From the start, the new coaching tool was widely adopted, as it was a solution that truly took the user experience into account. The behavior-focused platform leveraged positive reinforcement as its main guiding principle, which resonated with the frontline agents. It encouraged productive, data-backed coaching sessions that resulted in a meaningful lift to customer satisfaction metrics. 

Over 20,000 users

The platform scored second place in the client’s internal tool satisfaction survey with over 20,000 users and coaches, across all frontline organizations. Its scores beat out several well-known off-the-shelf tools.

Lift in NPS

Once deployed, the client saw a lift in their transactional NPS scores of 8 points, proving its value in improving the overall customer experience.

Technological consolidation

All frontline employees key metrics could now be found in this single platform, alongside personalized recommendations for areas of focus, and congratulation messages for high achievement. No longer did supervisors have to spend hours compiling their own reporting and analysis, freeing them up to spend more time having meaningful conversations with their agents. 

Additional future rollouts planned

While conceived as a tool for performance management solely for teams that have customer experience, operational, or sales metrics, the new platform has already been rolled out to teams that wanted to use its coaching-only functionality. Currently, there are plans to extend the functionality to be able to deliver critical job-related communications with engagement and acknowledgement tracking to propel the platform’s usage well beyond the initial vision.

Success Stories

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