With more than 13,000 employees, our client is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates multiple businesses, including movie theaters, restaurants, amusement and leisure, film digital commerce, and media. Auxis was tapped to support its industry-leading digital media company, which has provided end-to-end digital signage solutions globally for some of the world’s biggest brands for more than 20 years. The client’s digital merchandising solutions are commonly found in retail, restaurants, bank branches, healthcare facilities, government agencies, and more. Their mission is to ensure that every screen becomes a powerful connection point between a business and its customers while improving consumer engagement.
The company’s signage solutions are powered by its own proprietary, cloud-based platform, creating a secure, scalable, and reliable foundation for its customers. These customized screens are installed at customer locations and can be fully integrated within the customer’s network.
As a result, the client must maintain a growing volume of digital content at various endpoints. Since these screens are essential to their customers’ operations, it’s critical that they remain up and running year-round with minimal interruptions.
To accomplish this, the client operates a two-tier model for technical customer support: an outsourced Level 1 help desk and a Level 2 internal team staffed by specialized engineering resources that can handle more complex issues. Support is divided into two main areas:
- Activations - Resources activate digital signage solutions for an entire store, including managing third-party vendors and troubleshooting faulty devices.
- Monitoring and support - Resources offer day-to-day remote support by phone and email to store owners, managers, and technicians onsite. They provide end-to-end support throughout a ticket lifecycle for customer locations.
Unfortunately, the company’s previous IT help desk outsourcing partner couldn’t keep up with its rapid growth, providing poor service from a low-tier location in Central America/the Caribbean. That created some significant challenges, including:
- A high volume of tickets requiring the involvement from Level 2 engineers and high-level resources in Canada
- High turnover and lack of available talent that met the expectations of the Level 1 role at the IT help desk outsourcing operation
- Inadequate documentation and lack of a proper structure to effectively train Level 1 staff
- All these limitations translated into long resolution times and poor service levels to the end customer
Staffing such a specialized skillset was a key concern; the previous outsourcer struggled to find employees who combined technical troubleshooting and network skills with the ability to successfully manage vendors and provide excellent customer service.
The previous provider also wasn’t equipped to meet the client’s need for 24x7 support to accommodate customer locations scattered worldwide. Instead, the organization was forced to utilize an answering service to handle after-hours calls or overflow during regular business hours.
Not surprisingly, the company’s in-house resources were bogged down with queries that should have been handled by Level 1 support. And unfortunately, that left internal IT staff with little time for higher-value projects, growth, and product development activities.
Auxis was engaged by the client as it searched for a new IT help desk outsourcing partner with the maturity, sophistication, and experience to support its accelerated global growth and high service quality expectations.
From the beginning, Auxis’ executive team brought its consultative approach to help the organization identify key gaps within existing systems and processes. These gaps needed to be addressed to build a best-in-class customer support platform. Some of Auxis’ early recommendations included:
- The need to implement a more robust ticketing system and call center platform with the ability to track and monitor key operational metrics that were currently unavailable.
- Restructuring the support team. Under the old model, support calls could be answered by any help desk agent, whether they were new activations or ongoing maintenance inquiries. Auxis recommended dividing the support team by function. Creating teams with a specialized focus speeds resolution times by routing calls to staff with specific expertise while preventing day-to-day issues from clogging the activation pipeline. It also creates consistency among resources who work with field technicians.
With these recommendations in mind, Auxis worked hand-in-hand with the client to develop a dedicated resource model housed within Auxis’ Nearshore Delivery Center in Costa Rica. Under this customized model, Auxis maintains a 24x7x365 support team exclusively for the company, developing deep expertise in its systems and processes. This type of solution also allows the customer to play a more active role in key operational areas, such as getting involved in the hiring/interview process. The client wanted to lead management of the new system implementations internally as well.
Nearly two years later, the relationship continues to be a proven success – offering 24x7x365 support for 44,000+ devices located in more than 25 different countries throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
While the client initially focused its partnership with Auxis on supporting locations in North America, it soon tapped the multilingual capabilities of Costa Rica to support its expansion into other parts of the world that require Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Auxis successfully implemented a world-class IT help desk outsourcing platform that continues to serve as a seamless extension of the client’s in-house team. With 24x7x365 access to skilled, multilingual help desk staff who can perform both remote diagnostics and proactive corrective actions, tickets are resolved quickly and efficiently - ensuring continuous operations for the client and its customers.
Some key benefits that have been achieved through the client’s partnership with Auxis include:
Improved Service, with First-Time Resolution Rates as High as 82%
The quality improvement is tangible: Auxis’ Level 1 Support Team is delivering a first-time resolution rate of 82%, significantly reducing involvement from Level 2 resources. This first-time resolution rate is considerably higher than the average industry benchmark (60%-70%), allowing the client’s engineering team to increase its focus on more complex, higher-value activities related to business enablement and growth.
Cost Reduction & Scalability
Nearshoring technical support to Costa Rica brought the client labor cost savings of at least 20%, compared to hiring the same type of skills at its Canada headquarters. In addition, the client benefited from increased scalability as it continued to grow and almost double the number of devices under management without needing to expand the support team at the same rate.
The higher level of service from Auxis’ remote team further helped reduce the number of third-party dispatches to customer locations – and therefore the associated cost. The fact that Auxis can solve tickets more quickly and proactively without the need to wait for an onsite technician has also improved average resolution time and customer satisfaction.
Access to Best-in-Class IT Talent
Costa Rica’s highly educated workforce enabled the client to quickly staff a dedicated, multi-layered team with the specialized skillset that the previous outsourcing partner had struggled to find. Auxis has also been able to provide a constant flow of new talent as the digital media company’s business expands.
In addition to finding the right talent, Auxis has played a key role in formalizing and improving the training process by helping maintain proper documentation and knowledge base.
Simplified, Global 24x7 Operation
The Auxis team’s 24x7x365 structure and multilingual capabilities enabled the client to conveniently place all its global technical support services with a single provider. Auxis’ comprehensive service also allowed the company to simplify its solution and further reduce operational costs by eliminating the need for a call overflow function.
Increased Operational Flexibility & Agility
Auxis’ outsourcing model provides the client with the flexibility to quickly scale resources up or down as its business evolves. During pandemic lockdowns, for instance, the client experienced some customer losses within the hospitality industry. Auxis was able to quickly reduce operations and costs for the client so it could focus on more critical aspects of its business. As the economy rebounds, the Auxis model allowed the company to add resources just as nimbly without the headache of recruiting and hiring skilled workers.
The resiliency of the Auxis nearshore model also enabled a seamless transition to a work-from-home structure during COVID, with no impact to the client’s operations. In fact, shortly before the pandemic began, the client had decided to relocate its activation support team to the Philippines to further reduce labor costs. Unfortunately, it quickly learned the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. Within months, it moved the team back to Auxis’ Costa Rica Delivery Center after the Philippines’ shaky infrastructure and often substandard living conditions left outsourcers struggling to maintain quality service from employees working from home.
Improved Visibility & Metrics
Now almost two years into the relationship, the client has implemented a much more robust ticketing and call center platform that allows the IT help desk operation to measure and monitor key performance metrics that were not available before. For example, the client now has a clear understanding of the volume of Level 1 tickets generated per screen, which allows it to better predict the associated technical support cost that should be embedded as part of the pricing to the end customer. Armed with such increased visibility, the organization can now provide a formal service catalog to its customers, aligning service-level expectations and putting it in position to negotiate better pricing structures.
As a next step, Auxis and the client are discussing the evolution of its relationship from a dedicated resource model to a true consumption-based, managed services model. The goal is to align the company’s customer service levels and metrics with Auxis’ SLAs.