Taking experimentation on the road

To get wider input on generating new experiment ideas, Simon and the team run an experimentation roadshow. They ask different functions to share their most pressing customer challenges, and use this information to decide what experiments to run. This direct input from the wider business ensures that Sky’s service represents the true customer needs.

The experimentation team regularly visit Sky contact centres and sit with the teams taking calls from customers day in day out. By asking for agents' opinions on what they should be doing to improve the offerings, the team can run experiments on real time issues.

“No one knows more about customers than our call agents, because they speak to them every single day. We always show the agents the tests that we’ve run and how they’ve impacted the customer experience. Agents are excited about coming to us with ideas now because they see how it all works. Everyone’s being brought on the journey.” - Simon Elsworth, Senior Experimentation Manager, Sky

Having the ability to demonstrate quantified value in experiments taken from ideas from the business helps achieve buy-in from the wider organization, from the executive team to contact centre agents. The experimentation team always circle back to the teams submitting ideas to talk through the results, explaining why certain ones worked, which didn’t, and what they learned. Highlighting the good results that came out of it and showing the agents how they’ve impacted Sky is key to creating an empowering, innovative environment.

The differentiator for us is ensuring that we experiment our way to a better customer experience.

Abdul Mullick
Head of Digital Transformation, Sky - Best Digital Team - Customer Approach at DXA2019

Digital first mindset for all

The Sky experimentation team are working hard to build a culture of experimentation across the business. When the team first started using Optimizely the main focus was to improve customer experience across all digital touchpoints through the website, and other digital touchpoints more broadly.

Now that experimentation is a standard process, it allows the team more time to think about how to apply a multi-channel approach — and run offline experimentations too. Simon and the team spend a lot of time identifying the additional business functions which spend the most time interacting with customers, such as contact centres, and working with emerging technologies such as chatbots to provide these customers with a positive and personalised journey, whilst encouraging them to move to a digital-first mindset.

What's next?

Simon believes it is examining how industries should harness the power of experimentation together. “Technologies like chatbots are a hot topic right now, especially with the automation of everything, but what we really need is for industries to come together to discuss experimentation. Are we all hitting the same issues? Or the same positives? Talking about experimentation will allow us to make real progress with our innovations.”

Experimentation is a key part of the fabric of the way Sky develops, and the secret to having an award winning digital customer service.


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