24/7 customer service, FibreOnline


Building 24/7 customer service – together

​Based on customer feedback and a user research project, Metsä Fibre has completely revamped their online services. Today, these services have become a holistic tool where customers can find everything they need and even download certifications to pass on to their customers. It’s all in one place – online – easily accessed 24/7 at the push of a button.  

7/18 TEXT: LISA KETTMAN-KERVINEN, PHOTOS: METSÄ GROUP

“Our customers’ wishes and their words formed the starting point for our project to completely overhaul our online service,” says Tari Väätäinen, Technical Customer Service Manager at Metsä Fibre.

Although Metsä Fibre already had an online portal to access order information, it clearly needed updating to meet the needs of today’s customers. 

Advances in software have happened so rapidly that customers have come to expect the same easy user interface for tasks they do at work as they do at home. If you can easily manage your bank account – why not have that same usability when managing a pulp order from Finland? 

Metsä Fibre customers were used to calling and getting reports sent via email, simply because it was faster than finding them online. Some reports were not even available online. Even worse, some customers didn’t realise such reports existed online. The old ways of receiving information worked – although too slowly and time consumingly. 

So how to go about redesigning an online portal with everything in one place, accessible 24/7? 

BUILDING FROM FEEDBACK

“We chose a business digitalisation company which could carry out one-on-one interviews and lead us through the journey of completely overhauling our FibreOnline service,” Väätäinen explains. “The goal was to make FibreOnline the single online door our customers need to interact with Metsä Fibre in a holistic way.”

“We wanted to create this service by listening to the input from our customers – and to continuously improve it in the future through ongoing feedback and dialogue with our customers. We want to make this a tool they really want to use on a daily basis. It needed to be easy so that they can find whatever they are looking for whenever they want – day or night.” 

According to her, the new online platform had an ideal team to build it. It consisted of the digitalisation company along with Metsä Fibre’s ICT team and representatives from the different business units who deal with customer requests on a daily basis. 

“Our two main goals were to make FibreOnline very functional with an engaging visual user interface. That’s what helps people use online services. It motivates them to access the service because they have confidence they can find the information they’re looking for, download it quickly and use it in their daily business operations. They are then encouraged to visit the site on a regular basis,” Väätäinen says. 

REACHING HIGH WITH OBJECTIVES

Other key objectives were to improve accessibility and reliability. Customers need to trust that the data on FibreOnline is correct and timely. The user experience needed to create a ‘wow’ effect, with an attractive look and feel. And the site needed to be constructed so that the online service can be further developed and maintained over time as new features and functionalities become available. 

“For that, we have a two- to three-year roadmap of how we plan to systematically improve this service. And we also see the role of our customers as vital in helping us further develop the online service to continue to match their evolving needs.”

FibeOnline service

NOW READY TO ROLL 

In April 2018, Metsä Fibre’s fully revitalised FibreOnline started to roll out – customer by customer. An important element of this launch is to train the customers to use the new service and to get feedback for further improvements along the way. 

“We’re using a very soft launch approach – primarily to ensure that customers using our new service feel very comfortable with finding all they need. We’re making the service available slowly and surely to all our customers throughout this year,” Väätäinen says. 

“During the training sessions, we review all the information that is now available and teach our customers how to access it and put it to use in their operations. Although just a very short time has passed since this service was launched, we have already received positive customer feedback and valuable development suggestions.”

NEW INFORMATION AVAILABLE 

Besides having a great look and feel, FibreOnline now offers many new advantages with its wealth of information and data. It truly gives a holistic view on any purchase.

“Another brand-new section is the Contact Centre,” states Väätäinen. “Customers appreciate a dedicated contact person who knows their business. Our centre offers a ‘My Messages’ area that works like Outlook. Its purpose is to support the close contact we have with our customers and complements our continued personal customer service. If you have questions, all you need to do is take a screenshot of a document and send it. Your contact person will be in touch with an answer.” 

A growing area of interest is in sustainability and quality reports. The service now includes an area where all sustainability reports and quality certificates are housed. A customer can now download these easily for their customers. 

TRACKING TO KNOW

Another essential and new section will be the improved tracking system. As this is such an important part, it has been in parallel development with the FibreOnline redesign. 

Minna Aksila, Logistics Coordinator, took on the role of managing the project and building a logistics tool for FibreOnline to effectively track all shipments and deliveries. 

“We realised we needed to be more proactive, letting customers know where their shipment is at any given time and when to expect it. If there are delays, we want to inform them directly, rather than having our customers hear about it from the shipping company,” she says.

Now with FibreOnline or via email, Metsä Fibre will send information on any schedule change immediately. 

“We can also analyse why this delay happened and how we might prevent it in the future. With growing pulp volumes in our global markets, it’s essential to have a tool that improves our service and provides better follow-up,” Aksila explains. 

The timetable for completing the new tracking capability is late this spring with full implementation in FibreOnline during the summer. 

DEVELOPING COMMUNICATION TOGETHER 

The brand-new FibreOnline service is just the start of a brand-new way of working together. 

In the near future, Metsä FibreOnline mobile application will be available with fewer features than the full-scale FibreOnline. 

Plus, continuous customer feedback will be used to further enhance the overall online experience, ensuring that this service provides all relevant information needed – with the push of a button. 

Tuomo Niemi

IdeaBooster streamlines innovation

Metsä Fibre’s Botnia IdeaBooster is an online service that enables customers to submit ideas and suggestions for improvement without constraints of time or location. This tool brings a significantly larger number of participants into the innovation process compared to conventional brainstorming and feedback sessions. A facility enabling participants to comment on and jointly develop one another’s ideas is particularly useful.

Tuomo Niemi, Director, Technical Customer Service at Metsä Fibre explains that IdeaBooster has mainly been used with the company’s key customers as a tool for improving collaboration. The ideas presented may accordingly help Metsä Fibre in such areas as enhancing customer competitiveness, boosting product innovation, or benefiting from sustainable development themes. Some practical results have also been achieved:

“Using IdeaBooster with one customer, we formulated as many as 70 collaboration ideas that attracted nearly 100 comments. This enabled us to identify four principal themes for implementing concrete projects. The outcome streamlined the customer’s production process and improved end-product performance,” Niemi explains.

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