Case Study: Hitachi Energy Delivers Global Follow-the-Sun Support


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Supporting the Shift to a Sustainable Future

Hitachi Energy is a global organization that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. It provides customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services.

Hitachi Energy employs around 38,000 people in 90 countries.

The Need to Deliver Global Multilanguage Support

As a global organization with B2B customers in 140 countries, Hitachi Energy needs to deliver full 24x7x365 support in multiple languages.

This is provided by its Customer Connect team, which deals with all incoming interactions across voice and digital channels. Based in five contact centres in the United States, Mexico, Poland, India, and China, Customer Connect delivers “follow-the-sun” customer support in 14 languages.

Queries range from routine information requests to high-value sales enquiries and technical support calls.

These are either dealt with directly by the Customer Connect team or passed to country or business units. The team is supported by a global Salesforce CRM solution which captures and shares relevant customer case information with both team members and the wider business.

Integrating Across Regions for Seamless Support

However, while CRM was unified globally, Hitachi Energy’s legacy voice contact centre solution was divided into three separate regions.

Incoming interactions were trapped within a region, as the system made it impossible to pass them on to other areas, impacting the customer experience and overall efficiency.

For example, it could not route a query from a Spanish speaker in Spain to the Mexican team when suitable resource in Europe was busy or outside working hours.

“Customer Connect is the front door to the wider Hitachi Energy organization,” says Ron Palinkas, Head of Customer Connect – Americas, Hitachi Energy.

“We enable customers to quickly and easily connect with the best available skilled resource on any channel. This reduces our customers’ effort and improves their experience while delivering efficiency for both customers and the business.

“As part of this we always endeavour to answer queries in the customer’s native language, but our legacy contact centre system didn’t allow this. We needed a solution that treated our global team as if they were all in the same room, making it easy to collaborate and meet the organization’s needs.” 

Hitachi Energy had tight timescales to replace its legacy solution – without changes causing any impact on the service provided to customers.

Taking a Phased Approach to Improve Customer Service

After reviewing the market, Hitachi Energy chose Enghouse Interactive’s Cloud Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution to provide a global platform for Customer Connect.

CCaaS delivers flexibility, agility, continuous improvement, and cost optimization while offering extensive contact centre functionality across all channels.

It integrates closely with CRM solutions, including Salesforce and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Most importantly, Hitachi Energy felt that Enghouse offered a future-proofed platform that could continue to evolve, adding more capabilities and innovation.

“We wanted a partner that would grow with us,” explains Palinkas. “While we initially had a pressing need to replace our voice solution, we knew there were other capabilities that we wanted to explore and implement down the line. Enghouse gave us confidence that they could deliver on our current and future needs.”

Unifying the Voice Channel and Supporting the Business

The programme first replaced Hitachi Energy’s voice solution, with implementation taking just 3 weeks. Customers now call a local number which joins the global queue and is routed to a native speaker, based on their country code.

Information from the CRM is automatically provided to the team member answering the call. If a local native speaker is unavailable, calls can be transferred to team members in other regions, based on their language skills.

Delivering Multilanguage Chat 24×7

Phase two added new capabilities, focused on multilanguage chat.

“Our goal is to remove any barriers to delivering fast, high-quality service to our customers,” says Palinkas. “That’s why we want to move customers to chat, as it is easier to share and check information, such as serial numbers, ensuring accuracy and increasing satisfaction for everyone. This is where using Enghouse’s chat translation capability is delivering real results.”

If a native language speaker is unavailable (such as out of office hours for a specific country), customers are now offered the chance to chat with an agent in their own language.

The system’s IVR detects the preferred language by analysing the call’s country code and then sends a local language text message with a link to start a chat session.

During the chat, the solution automatically translates from any of 14 languages into English in real time, with the Customer Connect team member then writing a response in English.

This is instantly translated and provided to the customer, enabling a seamless conversation without requiring a common language.

This increases the use of chat and means Hitachi Energy doesn’t need to engage an out-of-hours service to deliver support in specific languages, increasing overall efficiency and ROI.

Supporting Agents Across the Global Team

Close integration with Microsoft Teams enables collaboration and further increases efficiency by reducing telephony costs.

Agents have a unified desktop giving access to all the functions, knowledge, and resources they need to do their job, while they can chat seamlessly with colleagues both locally and globally, whether based at home or in the office.

“Enghouse CCaaS has been an amazing tool. It has facilitated the way of auditing interactions with our clients, which has allowed us to improve our processes,” describes Susan Orta, Technical Case Specialist, Hitachi Energy.

“The information it provides helps to obtain more reliable statistical reports, all this adding to the fact that it is an extremely easy to use.”

Opening the Front Door to Global Support at Hitachi Energy

Thanks to its Enghouse platform, Customer Connect is now delivering on its aim of being the first point of contact for all incoming interactions globally for Hitachi Energy. Interactions are rising rapidly – increasing by 500% between January 2021 and January 2022.

Multilanguage Support

Through the platform’s ability to seamlessly transfer calls and chat translation, the department is delivering improved multilanguage service to customers, even if there is no native speaker available.

Interactions that previously would have been difficult to handle due to language issues are now answered successfully. Deflecting calls to lower-cost channels like chat increases efficiency while boosting customer satisfaction.

Empowering Agents

The agent experience has been transformed, with the ability to work flexibly and collaborate via Microsoft Teams and Salesforce CRM. Through access to information and effective collaboration, agents can focus on delighting customers rather than having to switch between systems or search for answers.

Providing a Platform for Future Innovation

Tapping into Enghouse’s latest features, Hitachi Energy plans to extend the system to collect customer Pulse Check feedback and run agent evaluation across every channel.

Longer-term plans will harness AI to automate agent performance monitoring through the SmartQuality application and better understand customer needs through sentiment analysis via the Vecko Voice of the Customer (VoC) solution.

“As a B2B company, every interaction is important and high-value for us,” concludes Karl Young, Group VP Customer Care, Hitachi Energy.

“When it comes to supporting our customers, technology is changing rapidly. Enghouse Interactive is therefore the perfect long-term partner that can continually grow with us and innovate to meet our evolving needs.”

To find out more about Enghouse Interactive, visit their website.

Published On: 27th Oct 2022
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