Melita used digital tools to overhaul its after-sales service and went from a -26 to a +50 NPS in just 18 months!

Photo Harald Rösch - Apax PartnersSince 2016, Melita has been using Net Promoter Score (NPS) and digital tools to transform its customer service. Harald Rösch, the cable operator’s CEO, explains how better use of data and targeted investments have significantly improved his company’s  customer satisfaction.

Why did you make NPS central to Melita’s transformation?

Harald Rösch : For the simple reason that a company’s long-term future depends largely on customer satisfaction! Before 2016, Melita did not win high marks in customer satisfaction. We had to sort things out, and quickly. To start with, we needed a tool for measuring our NPS. So we created NiceReply, a questionnaire we sent to all customers after they had contacted our call centre.

Customers indicated their level of satisfaction with the service, and they could also leave a message to explain why, for example, they had given a low score. NiceReply proved to be very useful for assessing customer satisfaction and monitoring it on a daily basis. In the end, the negative comments enabled us to clearly identify the weak points in our organization and remedy them.

What were the priority areas, given the feedback from customers?

H.R. : We started out by reducing the wait time for answering calls at our centres. Three years ago, people had to wait between five and ten minutes to speak to an agent. That’s far too long. So, we increased our headcount and committed to answering every call within one minute. If no one was available during that time, we promised to call the person back as soon as possible.

Our second priority was creating a complaint management system. Before, we didn’t have anyone to respond to complaints. Now, we have a dedicated team that handles them and usually responds in less than a day. This helped us to see a quick improvement but certainly wasn’t enough to achieve those high marks.

What other initiatives have you launched to improve your NPS over the long term?

H.R. : In 2016, our developers created a personalised, constantly-updated interface for our employees that brings together all the key information about a customer. This means our agents have a 360-degree view of their customer during the call.

To further improve our customer service – and to lighten the load on our agents – we rolled out a powerful diagnostic tool in 2017 that lets us identify network problems quicker and deal with customer requests. In one click, employees can launch 23 verification procedures on the network, such as checking the status of the signal. The tool will even look into our CRM database to check that the service has not been discontinued for non-payment! And our agents are not the only users of the tool. With our digital platforms, customers can also run the same diagnostics.

We are also better organized today when it comes to repairing outages. Our system now centralises all incoming calls, analyses them, and then displays them on the call centre’s main screen. This means that engineers can immediately see any emerging failures and set about resolving the issue.

Finally, we have been working for the past year with 17 Philippines-based agents specialized in digital support (email, chat, and social media). This international collaboration increases our pool of English native speaking agents. Customer satisfaction levels with this team are at more than 95%, whereas the average in our sector is around 83%.

What are your plans for 2019?

H.R. : A number of projects are being finalized, such as a new online community. It’s real peer-to-peer management: approved Melita customers can reply to questions from other clients, or share good practices.

We are also working on the development of an artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant that could answer customer questions with the know-how of an expert. Obviously, these chatbots will never replace human interaction, which is still important for our customers. But they are an additional tool for our agents.

Meanwhile, certain projects have already been completed since the start of 2019. We have just introduced our SLA management. When a customer has an issue that we cannot solve at the front desk because we need, for example, IT specialists, then we give the customer an expected time for resolution. Our digital system confirms this timing to the customer and will send out automated messages as soon as the issue is resolved. And the system will also internally escalate matters when we approach the deadline without having solved the problem yet. In case we are not able to maintain the initial deadline we will again automatically inform the customer about the change in status. But that should of course remain the exception.

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Apax Talks is a digital magazine aimed at company managers. It presents growth levers for SMEs, with a focus on TMT, consumer, healthcare and services sectors.