3M is one of the world's premier manufacturing companies, with operations in
more than 60 countries. The company's research and development portfolio features
100 leading technologies, which include abrasives, adhesives, non-woven fibers,
films, precision coatings, fluorochemicals, ceramics, optics, and microstructured
surfaces. 3M has developed thousands of products from these technologies in the
The Challenge: Provide Relief for Experts and CSRs
The scope of 3M products expanded during the 1990s, and the range of
customer questions expanded accordingly. Customer service representatives
(CSRs), who field questions on all of the company’s products as well as financial
queries and other questions, simply could not keep up. It became difficult to train
new CSRs in all of the areas of expertise they needed. The 60 CSRs who work
in the Corporate Contact Center and have to deal with more than 50,000 SKU
numbers had an especially difficult job. The CSRs tried to improvise ways to keep
information at their fingertips, but nonetheless, company experts found that their
time was consumed by answering the same questions over and over again. In
fact,18 percent of customer calls had to be referred to experts. Customers reported
receiving different answers depending on who they spoke to.
The volume of calls referred to experts (call escalations) began to take a toll on
productivity and to threaten the continual innovation that 3M is known for.
Management decided to implement knowledge management and customer
relationship management technology in order to free up the experts to innovate
and to allow all CSRs to share in—and contribute to—a pool of expert knowledge.
Primus® Software Integrates Easily Into 3M’s Workflow
A 3M task force of customer service managers, call center agents, IT analysts,
and documentation developers chose Remedy® Corporation’s Action Request
System® for call center management. The Action Request System integrates...