Every company has to constantly learn from its customers. But when you’re pioneering a new market, it’s even more important to quickly find out what customers want and to deliver great service and support. That’s why iRobot—makers of the award-winning Roomba® Vacuuming Robots—has embraced RightNow CX, the customer experience solution that gives iRobot the power to manage the experiences that matter most to its customers. With RightNow CX, iRobot can hear and react quickly to what its customers are saying across all communication channels—including multiple social channels.
Having sold more than 6 million home robots worldwide, iRobot is the undisputed home robots leader. RightNow helps the company provide exceptionally responsive support via phone, email, the web, chat, and social channels while maximizing agent productivity, lowering costs, and driving revenue. In addition, RightNow’s highly automated marketing capabilities help iRobot nimbly and cost-effectively pursue a full range of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
Because few of iRobot’s customers have ever owned any type of robotic product before, effective technical support was absolutely critical for driving broad consumer acceptance of the Roomba line. iRobot uses RightNow to provide exceptional service whether a customer comes to them through the web, through iRobot’s contact center, or via a social media channel, assuring the company offers effective, immediate assistance.
With web self-service, iRobot delivers knowledge and subject matter experts available 24/7, empowering customers to research, purchase products, and resolve issues online with or without agent assistance. iRobot incorporated existing material from manuals as well as pictures and video clips into its RightNow knowledge base, which it continues to build on from customer questions and feedback. The “Top 20” list of most commonly asked questions ensures that a maximum number of users can find the information they need without initiating a search. As a result, iRobot’s web self-service rate is over 97%, the company experienced a 30% reduction in incoming phone volume with headcount reduced accordingly, and call abandonment rates average 1-2%.
“RightNow enables us to get the most value out of every communication channel and every contact center agent,” says Maryellen Abreu, iRobot’s director of global technical support. “It provides a complete, well-automated environment for getting customers the information they need, when they need it—while at the same time providing us with rich insight we need to ensure that all of our business decisions are truly customer-driven.”
In addition to using RightNow to create a great service experience, iRobot is leveraging its automated campaign management tools to execute upwards of 20 unique mailings per month to drive up-sell and cross-sell revenue—as well as to attract first-time buyers—by sending recipients targeted promotions. When customers register their products or contact technical support, iRobot captures information to send them appropriate offers. With RightNow Feedback, iRobot sends customer satisfaction surveys to 4,000 customers every month, helping iRobot track its customer experience and pinpoint any emerging problems before they adversely impact the business.
Because the company is committed to servicing the customer via the channel they choose, iRobot was an early adopter of the social channel. “Traditionally, customer service meant the contact center—it was an agent addressing the issues of a customer,” explains Abreu. “In today’s landscape dominated by social, customer care and delivering a great experience extends beyond the contact center—it’s no longer one to one and it is no longer controlled by the company! Social transformed customer service from an era of messaging to our customers to listening and engaging with our customers.”
iRobot began engaging in the social channel as a form of brand defense because conversations about iRobot products were happening on external user forums. The company knew it could either let the comments stand and potentially influence customers or get involved. Abreu admits that some people were skeptical of involvement. “A lot of companies and executives shy away from social—not wanting to draw more attention to people negatively bashing their products or services. But in reality, these people just want companies to do the right thing and when you address these issues and listen to your customers, more often than not a negative experience can be turned into a positive one.”
To meet this need, iRobot utilized RightNow to develop its own user forums and online communities where customers could seek product information, technical support, or convene with other users. iRobot also created innovation forums to test out new product ideas and provide quick feedback to engineering on prototypes. Cloud Monitor tracks conversations about iRobot’s products in social channels like Facebook and Twitter and listens for feedback across the web so the company never misses an opportunity to provide an exceptional customer experience. In addition, the SmartSense emotion detection technology prioritizes the incidents so iRobot can provide customer service where it is needed most. “RightNow allows iRobot to collect valuable feedback from our customers,” says Abreu. “That ability to hear the customer’s voice and quickly respond to it is a major business advantage.” With the help of RightNow, iRobot has successfully turned unhappy customers into powerful brand advocates.
iRobot has experienced measurable ROI from their partnership with RightNow, successfully reducing its customer service budget 20% year over year since 2007 even though the volume of units in the field is continually increasing. “RightNow is a great partner,” reports Abreu. “I believe RightNow is bringing my organization to a new level in allowing us to deliver that cutting edge customer service experience that our customers demand.” Introducing the social channel with RightNow has also provided iRobot with the benefit of additional call deflection. “If we get one million hits a month and even 30% of those are calls or emails deflected, that’s a lot of savings,” says Abreu.
iRobot is quickly moving into new markets and RightNow’s SaaS solution enables them to implement solutions globally and get new markets up to speed quickly. iRobot recently expanded in Europe and Latin America and were able to roll out the RightNow solution in a matter of weeks due to the success of their North American deployment. “It’s remarkable that we can accomplish that on a global scale with this small team of people, Abreu says. “Our RightNow solution has enabled us to do this in rapid deployment.” iRobot is also focusing on ways to bring different social strategies together across the organization.
For companies entering the social channel, Abreu reminds them to consistently listen, monitor, capture, and manage relevant customer conversations, whether they occur inside or outside of the company’s branded domains. With that capability, Abreu recommends companies engage across all channels of interaction with consumers who look to solve problems, voice opinions, discuss needs or ideas, and seek assistance. Finally, Abreu points to the importance of collaborative effort across every organization to uniformly manage social demands and consumer experiences, as every touchpoint is a stake holder.
The RightNow CX Suite provides iRobot with all the capabilities it needs to control costs and drive revenue while focusing on being a successful customer-centric organization. With RightNow, iRobot takes care of the experiences that matter most to its customers, now and as the needs of customers change. “Customer experience is the new brand,” adds Abreu.
iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, and its government and industrial robots protect those in harm’s way. The award-winning Roomba vacuum cleaning robot has been revolutionizing the way people clean their homes since 2002, and iRobot has sold more than six million home robots worldwide. In addition to the Roomba® vacuum cleaning robot, iRobot created the Scooba® floor washing robot, Verro® pool cleaning robot, and the iRobot Looj® gutter cleaning robot. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.