Professionals throughout the world are familiar with LinkedIn's social platform, as the company's underlying vision focuses upon creating economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce. However, LinkedIn soon realized that the organization didn't embody its mission to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Known as its 'Members First' initiative, LinkedIn shifted its primary focus from products to members by developing an infrastructure that brings people, processes, and technologies together in an effort to transform operations and enhance engagement. LinkedIn powered this transformation by partnering with Oracle Service Cloud, which facilitated the capture and analysis of member data. Originally, LinkedIn's support team was part of the product team, meaning employees often focused on resolving technical issues above all else. But, because employees were conditioned to work reactively using manual methods, such as spreadsheets and documents, it became difficult for LinkedIn to track cases and maintain knowledge across channels. Ultimately, information remained in silos, hindering the company's ability to gather, analyze, and react to support issues and member feedback.
Andy Yasutake, director, GCO tech solutions and operations at LinkedIn, notes that, if the company truly wants to embody its 'members first' mission, it cannot ignore the customer in its pursuit of exceptional metrics. While many departments were eager to meet quantitative goals within their business unit, LinkedIn recognized that employees needed to be able to reach outside their given expertise and proactively halt issues in their tracks when necessary. This mindset shift allows support staff throughout the organization to bring added value to the member journey and create opportunities for personal and professional growth.
"Deflection isn't a 'members-first' metric. However, by investing the right resources and eliminating issues by preventing problems from happening, we can fulfill our biggest opportunity, which is adding value to the customer journey," Yasutake adds.
Thus, in an effort to increase member satisfaction and build strategic, long-term relationships with its members, while also gaining operational efficiencies, LinkedIn established four pillars for global support success: Prevention, deflection, efficiency, and adding value. LinkedIn also created its Global Customer Operations (GCO) team, which listens to what LinkedIn members are saying, both directly and indirectly, to support its member-centric vision and mission, while also identifying behavioral trends and service gaps that need special attention.
For instance, LinkedIn revealed that member satisfaction increased when response times decreased, spawning an initiative that encouraged agents to respond more quickly to inquiries. Since then, LinkedIn has seen an 85 percent decrease in average initial response time and a 68 decrease in average final resolution time, thereby leading to a 23 percent increase in overall customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), up from 6.6 to 8.1. LinkedIn also now boasts 350 million worldwide users, with an explosive growth of more than two new members per second.
LinkedIn also recognized that nearly 21 percent of people accessing its knowledge center were not there to solve a specific issue. Instead, they came to learn more and further their professional development. Thus, LinkedIn chose to devote more resources to the creation of knowledge base articles and increase the collaboration capabilities of its existing products. Ultimately, by enhancing its Help Center and facilitating self-service, LinkedIn's deflection rate jumped to 97 percent, thereby minimizing the company's potential need for service agents. Instead of employing the expected 5,000-10,000 representatives, LinkedIn has been able to keep staff limited to the minimal 750-800 agents, easing costs and boosting efficiency.
Because members also wanted to access knowledge and share information from wherever they are, LinkedIn launched its mobile Help Center, which makes viewing knowledgebase content via a mobile device easy to navigate. The company hit its "mobile moment" in 2014 when leaders discovered that 50 percent of all LinkedIn's Web traffic came through mobile devices. At the same time, the number of cases submitted via mobile-historically 5 percent-jumped to 12 percent and continues to grow, further inspiring LinkedIn's need to enhance its mobile capabilities and services. Such behavioral observations, along with continual member feedback, drive LinkedIn's dedication to its 'Members First' initiative, and will foster collaboration between internal teams as the