Finding the cause of poor human experience where no-one thought to look
DHL customers expect to be able to send and receive packages with frictionless transactions, in the same way that staff at DHL expect to be able to comfortably manage the volume of mail that each branch processes.
Critical to this logistical behemoth is a company-wide CRM system, logging and associating parcels to their respective recipients. When DHL began to experience issues causing their CRM to perform at the fraction of the speed it would normally run, the impact to the customer facing arm of the business was catastrophic. The time taken to service each customer trying to send or receive mail increased enormously, causing backlogs, queues stretching outside branches and an influx of customer complaints and multiple trouble tickets from thousands of locations.Persistence of the problem was so great that customers were turned away, unable to complete their transaction and forced to use an alternative service.
Panic increased throughout the company forcing DHL’s parent company to hire performance experts to identify and resolve the problem. We do not know how long the experts worked on trying to identify the cause; but we do know that they were completely ineffective. So bad had the company-wide issues become that National Newspapers ran with stories of street-long queues and customers being unable to collect their mail as the situation continued to deteriorate at DHL and complaints flooded in.
Meanwhile in an underbelly of DHL IT support, UK based Human Experience Management pioneers, Actual Experience were conducting a proof of concept. The AE team caught wind of the ongoing issues at DHL and the resource they had used trying to overcome. The team stopped the PoC right away and instead implemented a Human Experience Audit of the company’s entire digital infrastructure, fully deployed in 12 hours, assessing the human experience of DHL’s critical applications – including their troublesome CRM.
When the HXA Report made its way to DHL’s key decision makers, the actionable information within highlighted precisely where to focus resource to fix the problem.
The resolution lied with DHL’s network partner, something that both parties at first believed was not the cause of the issue. After spending €3m fixing a part of the system not linked to the true cause of their problems, operations were deployed to remediate the areas highlighted in the HXA report.
Following this, evidence of improved human experience, and of the digital word working properly for DHL and its customers was irrefutable as the company experienced its first day in a calendar year without a single trouble ticket, having been inundated with thousands only a week prior.