How Gamification can Power Up the Customer Service Experience ft. Klarna
As Product Manager at payment solution provider Klarna, Roshni Bharadwaj leads a team responsible for designing the strategy around channel management for the company’s customer and merchant services. With over 12-years-experience in the customer services field, she has held roles from testing and development to business and technical analysis. Today, Roshni directs her attention to creating the best possible experience for those on both sides of the customer service coin.
‘The agents are the bridge between the Klarna brand and the customers’
Taking the time to sit down and speak with customer service agents on a monthly basis, Roshni works to develop insight into the pain points of those on the front-line. Facing high attrition rates exacerbated by the frequent cost of training new customer service personnel, it became evident that Klarna needed to that gives a fresh face to the role of its 1,000 agents. Roshni spearheaded the move to create a new platform that adequately and accurately address employee dissatisfaction and, in turn, improve the Klarna customer experience.
‘We don’t assume there is a problem, buy a solution and then push it to agents,’ explains Roshni ‘We actually on-board them during our pre-study phase.’ At Klarna, this phase begins with a series of interviews, co-listening and co-viewing sessions that shed light on agents’ day-to-day experiences. Speaking on the findings from this stage of the process, Roshni shares that sometimes there can be a perception, even internally, that customer service is ‘an easy, mindless task that is just about answering repetitive questions. From an agent’s perspective, this equates to a role that is both boring and mundane’.
'When you include everyone, you get to understand the nuances of what you want to build, rather than acting on assumptions.'
Next, the management team instigates a round of discussions to validate their learnings before entering the focus group stage. Here, the company’s top performing agents are invited to help to improve the new customer service tool that has been designed on the back of the pre-study’s findings.
The end result? Aptly named Almighty, Klarna’s new and improved customer service portal appears as a ‘one-stop shop’ in which agents are able to support customers, connect to different internal systems and view their overall customer service rating. Freeing agents of humdrum tasks and providing them with a gamified experience alongside timely updates about Klarna’s new and future products, Almighty empowers the company’s agents to take ownership of their roles and provide customers with the holistic experience that the c-suite envisions. ‘In the old ways of working, a customer service agent was given a set of rules and would be instructed to operate only with that rulebook’, says Roshni ‘We don’t want to do that’.
Applying familiar aspects of electronic arcade games, Klarna’s customer service portal works to incentivise agents when taking calls and answering emails. ‘At the end of the day, they will be placed on a leader-board, be rewarded with some goodies or move into a next level’, explains Roshni. With this new gamified interface, agents are motivated to provide customers with a fast and effective experience while finding greater satisfaction in their daily roles.
Perhaps most essential to the introduction of Almighty is Klarna’s simultaneous debut of conversational chat-bots. With the bots’ ability to understand a customer’s sentiment, detecting emotions like anger and developing an appropriate response, customers are unable to recognise that they are not communicating with a human to the point where Klarna can sustain the legal market standards that it holds on CSAT. For Klarna, the bots offer a ‘win/win situation from both a customer and company perspective as they work to maintain customer satisfaction and increase employee satisfaction too’. The ability to articulate all of this into a cost/benefit analysis was what provided Roshni with ‘a breakthrough’ in getting c-level management to buy in.
All of Klarna’s technology is developed in-house. ‘That’s an informed decision that we’ve made,’ explains Roshni. ‘This way, the bots not only understand the context of what the customer is talking about, it also provides an arena where [Klarna] can play around developing more innovative solutions’.