Rosetta Stone Translates Tech Into Better Service
The provider of language learning materials moves to a more efficient customer service platform to support its subscription-based business model.
Learning a new language is a complex endeavor. Yet for many consumers and business leaders, it's an important and sometimes essential task. Over the years, one of the primary sources for instructional materials has been Rosetta Stone, which offers programs in more than two dozen languages, including Arabic, Dutch, French, Hindu, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Overall, the firm has worked with more than 12,000 corporations, 9,000 public and non-profit organizations, and 22,000 educational institutions.
For nearly a quarter century, content was delivered in a basic format: CDs.
"It was a single transaction event and, if the discs installed correctly on your computer, we probably never heard from you again," said Mark Moseley Jr., vice poresident of IT.
However, around 2009, the company recognized that its business model would have to change with the times.
"We had to move from selling a piece of software on a CD to an online distribution and subscription model. That also meant revamping the way we deliver services and customer support," he said.
Suddenly, instead of customers simply picking up the phone and calling with questions or problems about installation, the company had to support different Web browsers and computer operating systems. It was also important to ensure that users could set up microphones and other devices and everything worked correctly with the software or a live instructor.
"We did not want anything to get in the way of starting a class on time. We had to make sure we could resolve any problem," Moseley said.
As a result, in 2010, the company began looking for a platform that would fully support the digital initiative. After a failed attempt with a smaller vendor ("We had serious issues revolving around performance and scalability," Moseley noted), Rosetta Stone switched to Salesforce at the beginning of 2012. The system has helped transform B2B customer interactions and support.
For example, in the past, customers would often have to wait several minutes for a representative to pull up a record.
"It was a completely unacceptable situation," he said.
After making the switch to Salesforce, wait times dropped to seconds and customer ratings and metrics zoomed upwards. Moreover, the platform supports omnichannel communication, including phone, e-mail and live web chat. Suddenly, "Agents could provide sales and CRM functionality along with service desk functionality across multiple channels."
The company is able to collect data and use the resulting analytics to better understand customer behavior and usage patterns.
"The system has delivered a complete view of the customer," he said.
The latter is no small issue. Today, the company can determine who is using the software and who is not.
"We can better match products with needs and understand, before renewal time comes up, if a customer is underutilizing the product and more likely to cut it off. We can take proactive steps to help them and increase the odds of the renewal," Moseley said.
From an IT standpoint, by moving the entire learning platform into the cloud, "The focus has shifted away from worrying about hardware and software performance. We are able to make sure that customers get the maximum benefits out of the materials and the program."