Productivity and happy customers: Merged municipality service providers delight their customers with Efecte
Sarastia Oy is a major provider of financial and HR services to municipalities in Finland. The company was born in early 2019 when two Finnish service providers, KuntaPro and Taitoa merged. Sarastia is owned by 250 municipalities and has 18 branches throughout Finland. It employs 860 people and aims to reach a turnover of 100 million euros this year.
"By outsourcing their financial and HR tasks, even small municipalities get the benefits of a big organization, such as risk control and continuous software development,” says Tero Karinti, Director of Customer Relations at Sarastia. Besides being effective and reliable, Karinti wants Sarastia services to provide customers – i.e. municipal employees and citizens – with an excellent user experience.
Excelling in customer experience was one of the key questions when Taitoa and KuntaPro merged. “At that point, Taitoa was a step ahead of KuntaPro with the Efecte service management platform it was using. So, we decided to expand Efecte to the whole organization,” Karinti says.
Productivity improvement of more than 20%
Taitoa had started cooperation with Efecte in 2014. Before switching to Efecte, Taitoa communicated with customers variably by phone or email and gathered little insight into how, and how quickly, their customers were being taken care of. With Efecte in use, all customer communication took place via Efecte - regardless of the service they needed.
From an order to a reclamation, a ticket is created of each service request and it’s automatically directed to the right team. Both customers and employees can follow the progress of the ticket. Moreover, the customer service is measured. The total number of tickets and those solved in time is regularly reported, and routes of the tickets are tracked. As this data is available on each customer and each support team, it helps to assess SLA compliance and workloads of each team.
Besides customer experience, employee experience and efficiency have improved, too. Employees can plan their days and work more independently, and Taitoa management even recorded a productivity increase of more than 20%.
There is usually a lot of anxiety linked to changing to a new system, and this was true at Taitoa too. Taitoa, however, managed to implement Efecte intuitively without any specific IT expertise. A lot of service-management platforms don’t look inviting but the advantages of this one turned out to be its ‘ungeeky’ appearance and how easy it is to use, even for the end-user.
Continuous development of new services that delight the citizens
Before implementing Efecte, Taitoa set up a development forum for employees and customers. With the emergence of Sarastia, this forum will continue to work on improving Efecte.
“We are focusing on new ways to follow up and report our performance, and to further automate, or robotize, our service processes,” Karinti says. He takes ticket management as an example of robotization. Tickets are already automatically forwarded, but a software robot could answer the most common questions right away and solve problems faster than ever.
Karinti believes that joint development of Efecte will support continuous development of the existing and also entirely new Sarastia services, which will take Sarastia closer and closer to citizens booking appointments, searching information or applying for building permits.
“In their personal lives, people are used to services being very intuitive, easy-to-use, and available 24/7. We want to help municipalities offer such service experiences, too,” Karinti says.
One example of enabling consumer-grade experience is a mobile application, where you can easily report a pothole in the street or a broken swing in the park. A service ticket is created in Efecte and automatically forwarded to the right employee or team in the municipality.
| Supports continuous innovation of new services
| Increases productivity
| Offers consumer-grade end-user experience