Case Study: Customer Experience Management Differentiates GBS Model at HP

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Ajit Velu

As shared services organizations, we all appreciate the strategic importance of elevating the experience and satisfaction of all our customers, be it our clients who we have contractual relationships with, or the customers/users of our service on a day-to-day basis. New initiatives and approaches in building a truly customer-centric organization are fast gaining in momentum. In this article, we would like to share our experiences and learnings in the journey towards building a service excellence culture in our global business services organization.

About GBS

Global Business Services (GBS) is the internal shared services organization of Hewlett-Packard (HP). We provide a wide array of transactional, analytical and sales support services to HP Europe. Our 2,000 employees are predominantly located in our 2 large centers in Wroclaw, Poland and Bucharest, Romania, and a scattering of employees across country front-offices throughout Europe.

Organizational context

During the first 12 years of its existence, GBS has built a strong track record in process delivery with high productivity, quality and client satisfaction. GBS client priorities determined everything from our operating model to our delivery priorities. But while the customers/users of our service were always on the receiving end of our client priorities, they were never the driver of GBS or client priorities. This had to change… after all, happy customers lead to happy clients.

Small steps in this transformation

We believe that our Total Customer Experience (TCE) vision to evolve from a client-focused service provider to a customer-experience-driven process & operations platform for HP customers, that also creates business value for clients, is a breakthrough in SSO evolution.

This may sound simple, but it involves many different stages that an organization needs to go through, on the path to becoming truly customer-centric:

1. Understanding our customers

All employees really need to understand who our clients and customers are, their respective priorities and needs, what types of experiences they actually have with us, and the kind of experience we want them to have with us (GBS).


2. Interaction experience management

To capture customer feedback at every interaction point with GBS is a vital step; further, we need to improve the interaction experience by elevating customer-handling skills and empathy; by simplifying customer-facing tools and processes; and by empowering employees to prioritize the customer.

3. Process experience management

We need to capture customer feedback across multiple interaction points in an end-to-end process; to enhance the overall process experience through experience-based process reengineering; and to incorporate appropriate tools & technology.

4. ‘Role-based’ customer experience management

We need to capture customer feedback and experience across multiple processes used in the performance of our role – as an employee, manager, vendor, channel partner, client, etc. Hand in hand with this goes the need to understand the drivers of role-based experiences, and to collaborate across organizational boundaries (pan-HP) to elevate this role-based experience.

"While the customers/users of our service were always on the receiving end of our client priorities, they were never the driver of GBS or client priorities"

Expected tangible benefits

This Total Customer Experience transformation was expected to positively impact all stakeholders - namely, customers, clients and employees, and indeed it did as the following demonstrates:

  • Best-in-class GBS customer satisfaction scores: Improved from <58% satisfaction in November 2010 to >90% satisfaction in October 2012.
  • Elevate GBS client satisfaction by eliminating delivery-related client and customer escalations. In 2010, there were 10 executive-level escalations related to GBS.
  • Experience-based process improvements yielded around $25m of P&L impact in 2011 through revenue generation and cost reductions.
  • Improvement in GBS EMEA employee satisfaction score in the annual ‘Voice of Workforce’ survey. Baseline of 68% in 2010 jumped 8.5 percentage points to 76.5% in the 2011 survey.

Over the course of a series of future articles, we wil cover each of these stages in greater detail to share the initiatives we put in place and what we learnt over the course of this journey.