Verizon rolling out new FlexFlow system to retail store employees to speed up transactions

Verizon is currently in the process of rolling out a new system called FlexFlow to its retail stores that the company hopes will speed up customers’ transaction times.

“So we are in the process, actually in the month of August, of rolling out something called FlexFlow for all of our sales professionals at stores,” said David Small, EVP of wireless operations for Verizon. “So if you come into a store, historically it’s been, ‘Let me pull up your account and let’s walk through the things we need to walk through.’ And in this FlexFlow environment it becomes, ‘What exactly did you come in for? We’re going to jump right to that section. If we need to go back we can do so, or we can jump right to the end of the transaction.’”

Added Small: “And we’re actually seeing some pretty good transaction time reductions that will allow us to be far more efficient with the employees that we have.”

Small made his comments this week during an appearance at the Oppenheimer 19th Annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference. Verizon recently announced Small will shift from the company’s wireless division to lead its global Wireline Network Operations (WNO) organization, as Verizon’s front office reshuffles following the hiring of Ronan Dunne as the CEO of its wireless business.

During his remarks at the Oppenheimer conference, Small explained that FlexFlow was developed based on routine interviews he and his team conducts with Verizon retail store employees from across the country. “Every two months or so we bring in a mix of representatives from around the country in care and distribution and other work groups, and we take a couple of minutes and talk about some things that are going well, but we spend the balance of day talking about what gets in the way of them providing a great experience to customers,” he said, adding that Verizon deployed tablets to its retail store employees several years ago, and that FlexFlow is an update to that customer care system.

It appears that some Verizon retail employees have already begun using FlexFlow. “Overall it's not bad, but it's still in its buggy phase,” noted one Reddit user of FlexFlow two months ago.

Interestingly, Small said that Verizon is also continuing to work to improve its call center response times as well. “In the last year – we don’t cite the actual number – we’ve dropped our average handle time by about 75 seconds year over year, which is not bad considering the scale that we operate in,” he said, explaining that Verizon has made efforts to streamline its automated interactive voice response (IVR) system as well as provide its customer care representatives in its call centers with improved hardware.

“These are not the most exciting things, but from a business fundamentals and from an efficiency point of view, and cost savings, that’s exactly what you need to do,” Small said.

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