Altair Global – redefining relocation as an ‘experience’
Scour the internet for a list of major life changes and you’re bound to find ‘moving’ right up there. For Altair Global, a global mobility company, experience management (XM) is the key to providing premier journeys for their customers, clients, partners, and team members. We caught up with SVP of Customer Experience, Kelly Tepera, to find out how the company has re-focused its business on XM.
Perspective on XM and the global mobility industry
Global mobility is a specialized industry. The number of B2B companies who possess end-to-end global service capabilities and reliability are limited. Merger and acquisition activity, financial strength, worldwide reach, staff scalability, and compliance are continuous hurdles for many players.
Corporations are ready for dramatic change in relocation program administration and the relocation experience itself for their mobile talent. They are open, accepting, and willing to listen to prospective partners who offer value propositions which are both customer-centric and digitally forward. Their organizations are facing similar pressures to digitally transform and elevate their product or service simultaneously.
In today’s environment when procuring B2B partners stable ownership, strong balance sheets, global footprint, and adherence to compliance standards are considered table stakes. Real differentiators are defined as partners who offer flexible models, robust technology, and consistently deliver premium B2B and B2C experiences.
Delivering on that ambition is no easy task either, not in the least due to the multitude of different stakeholders and the numerous individual experiences along the way.
For more than three decades, Altair Global has been recognized as the hallmark provider for delivering outstanding customer service in the relocation industry on behalf of some of the most recognizable global corporate brands. So why XM?
'All In' on experience management
Over the years, Altair’s focus has never wavered - they have always been there for their clients. Their reliability and customer-centric culture has become a differentiator when compared to other firms. Two years ago, Altair began the Experience Management (XM) journey with Qualtrics. Why? Altair recognized the powerful impact brands can have for the B2B companies they strategically support, if they have expanded customer success metrics and have an integrated technology platform to leverage customer intelligence.
We have learned the leap from providing service to experience is vast. It is not executed overnight. We’re using Qualtrics to establish digital listening posts throughout the B2C journey.
Altair’s journey towards becoming an experience company started at the top, with a firm, executive commitment to direct significant investment toward outcomes which would elevate the level of consumer-style experiences Altair is able to provide. Altair’s target is to curate experiences similar to the brands we all recognize and choose to do business with because they have an experience-centric reputation.
A common challenge in the mobility management industry is connecting the corporate client, relocating customer, downstream supply chain, and global mobility company. All involved are aiming for minimal defects and a superior experience for the customer.
To really begin solutioning for this, we created our own experience management model which closely aligns to the standard. Altair is accountable for positively impacting four interconnected journeys which we’ve identified as our pillars. These pillars are now at the heart of every business decision we make.
Those four pillars provided the basis for a major shift in the organization’s thinking. Altair is “all in” — as evidenced by their leadership team aligning their strategic goals with their XM model. They then communicated, both internally and externally, about initial milestones that had been achieved to align CX and EX. all the while, they marked business process changes were being made along the way.
No more status quo
Altair’s approach to collect customer feedback is well on its way to being in stark contrast to the status quo in the relocation industry — typically issuing a short customer survey at the beginning of the journey, followed by a comprehensive survey once the relocation is complete.
Altair has collaborated with technologists, customer behavioral specialists, employee engagement organizations, and other experts to revamp their CX program and platform. They will now have on-the-go actionable insights collected through new channels and the ability to combine experiential data with operational data to provide powerful predictors of future behaviors.
The relocating customers don’t have the ability to choose the relocation management company their employer is working with. There is an inherent expectation our customers have to ensure the B2B partners their employers utilize are an extension of the brand who employs them. Customer sentiments define our success – period.
A critical decision made early on by the project team was to open the Qualtrics platform to the entire global organization.
We could have kept this closed off to a select few who are going to govern experience management for Altair. Instead, we decided everyone should hear the voice of the customer in real-time.
Expanded access proved, very valuable for Altair who is hyper-focused on team member engagement. Additionally, corporate clients will soon access customer experience feedback in Altair’s secure web portal via SSO into Qualtrics. Altair is casting a wide net with the XM technology internally and externally. Global mobility companies are “O-data rich” but often “action poor” due to lack of awareness of the value of the experience (X-data), along with a technology platform and discipline to govern their CX program.
When Altair deployed the platform customer feedback was streaming in based on the notifications and dashboards configured. Numerous team members approached the implementation team appreciative of the real-time, digital customer gratification or opportunities they were presented with to elevate customer support.
Instant gratification isn’t a ‘nice to have’ in today’s world – it’s expected with all the education, talent, and tools we have at our disposal.
Altair’s B2B clients are fully onboard with this strategic business process change. Altair is very appreciative of the client partners and their willingness to partner with Altair to lead this change in the mobility industry.
Altair is on track to conclude the implementation of the Qualtrics platform and their CX program in early 2020, if not before. Altair is busy designing the framework for the other pillars within their model.
Looking ahead at the end-to-end experience
Altair strives to provide experiences which live up to their brand - APPROACHABLE. ACCOUNTABLE. AUTHENTIC.
Qualtrics has made customer feedback data approachable to all team members, suppliers, and clients.
Internal systems and business processes have been architected to formalize a true closed loop CX program backed by a strong commitment to customers, promising to follow up on their feedback in one to two business days depending on their CSAT score, and a delivery structure that puts the onus on frontline staff to take action.
The X-data Altair is collecting has enabled their team members to approach the customer from the very onset of the relationship with a more conversational style which can then carry throughout the journey. Additionally, Qualtrics is expanding Altair’s CX feedback channels and frequency.
We have discovered Qualtrics breaks down a barrier between our team members and the customer. We hold ourselves accountable for all experiences, not just one experience.
Altair Global is mastering XM by being authentic and creating its own model reflecting its key stakeholders throughout the journey.
Those interconnected experiences have led to changes outside of the core customer service functions too, with the company’s HR team re-organizing itself to mirror the set-up of the XM program. New processes and systems have been introduced to integrate B2B partners more closely so they can improve even those touchpoints and experiences they don’t directly control.
And while the transition from service delivery to experiences is actively maturing through a phased implementation, the feedback so far has vindicated the change.
When I was asked to lead Customer Experience and the Qualtrics XM platform implementation for our company, my greatest worry was that internally and externally the outcome would be relegated to Altair changing their survey process. Those trepidations have long passed as our Innovation, Operational Excellence, Supplier Partnerships and Technology teams are busy using the voice of the customer to chart their roadmaps and take action for the clients we mutually support.
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