We use innovative software solutions to revolutionise availability between employees and customers. This is how we make the world a better place for service and sales teams.
From a volcanic eruption to a start-up
What does Eyjafjallajökull have to do with ServiceOcean?
In 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland in the midst of Dr Alexander Schagen’s multi-year project conducting real-world research into success factors in service and sales at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). When it erupted, Eyjafjallajökull flung enormous amounts of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, creating a cloud that severely disrupted air travel. Countless flights were grounded, resulting in an immense call volume and long wait times at the airlines’ service centres.
At this time, Dr Schagen was writing his dissertation on the success factors for inbound service centres at the Institute for Marketing and Customer Insight of the University of St.Gallen (HSG), and was also working on a multi-year consulting project for Swiss International Air Lines. Queues were quickly identified as the biggest problem for customer service.
And thus the idea behind ServiceOcean was born at the University of St.Gallen in 2013. “Wherever there are waiting times, scheduling is the solution. In this way, we have been able to improve the world of service. We can now design queues in an efficient manner and offer excellent customer service. Our vision: We turn ‘service deserts’ into oceans, revolutionising the world of customer service,” says Thomas Addison, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ServiceOcean.
“Once we had all of the findings from the research project, we came up with the idea of developing an innovative call centre software, and we were able to establish our own company. What drives us: revolutionising availability,” explains Dr Alexander Schagen, Co-Founder of ServiceOcean.
Today, the company is an award-winning market and innovation leader for availability – with zero wait times.
Thomas Addison and Alexander Schagen
The founders of ServiceOcean
Before founding ServiceOcean, Thomas Addison worked for a wide range of companies in Switzerland as an SAP consultant. He studied Business Informatics at the University of Mannheim. Dr. Alexander Schagen researched and lectured at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) on the topic of success factors in call centres. With this combination of a research background and real-world expertise, the two founders began revolutionising availability.
And the story continues…
2009−2012 Laying the groundwork:
Call centre research at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) and a joint research project with Swiss International Air Lines
2013−2016 Founding ServiceOcean:
ServiceOcean is founded in Switzerland in 2013 and its subsidiary in Germany is established in 2016
Successful financing and a rapid increase in the number of customers and employees at the company locations in St. Gallen and Cologne
Full speed ahead! Optimisation of the software, expansion to include new target groups and entry onto new markets
Corporate social responsibility is an important part of our company culture. ServiceOcean regularly supports the international non-governmental organisation SOS-Kinderdorf. The politically-independent, non-denominational charity is actively engaged in a number of projects to help young people get a better start in life.
The ocean and the submarine
We turn “service deserts” into oceans
In German-speaking countries, terrible customer service is often described using the word Servicewüste, which literally means “service desert”. If companies are difficult to reach, a central customer need is unmet, resulting in disillusionment. Intelligent scheduled call-backs that guarantee a high level of availability and service quality with zero waiting times are the opposite of a “service desert” – they’re a “service ocean”. And, naturally, the management bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy also served as a source of inspiration when we named the company.
Human beings today know more about the moon than we do about our own ocean floors. This is also true when it comes to customer service. Before we explore an entirely new planet, such as social media or big data, we first need to better understand the world around us. A high level of availability is the core competency on our own ocean floor. Today, we can use innovative technologies to address the age-old problem of long wait times. The submarine has found a unique solution.