clients / case studies / businesses
To facilitate the management of incoming inquiries from the national customer base for Turbo Tax
A web-based portal that not only handles the customer service inquiries of millions but is also adapted for high staff seasonal turnover
IntroductionIntuit, the makers of Quicken, Quickbooks, Turbo Tax, and other software products, is the provider of the most widely recognized financial software in the U.S., including federal and state tax preparation software. Intuit’s Turbo Tax products are supported by a division of Intuit known as the Consumer Tax Group (“CTG”). CTG supports worldwide sales, customer & technical support for the entire suite of Intuit’s TurboTax products.
Due to the popularity of Turbo Tax, CTG desired a high-powered method to effectively manage the support they were providing to millions of Turbo Tax customers.
However, this presented a number of specific challenges. For example, help desk staffing in the tax-preparation market is very seasonal, with staff ramping required in preparation for the January through mid-April tax season. After mid-April, staff turnover is very high. Despite this seasonal nature of the support, Intuit needs to maintain a very high level of quality control over the software advice (e.g., load and usage) and tax advice (e.g., tax preparation and filing) coming from their help desk. Thus, ease of use for the new employees was key, and CTG staff needed to be able to access accurate information quickly. To the extent that answers could be standardized and pre-checked for accuracy, the better. Long-time senior staff members needed mechanisms to spot-check the advice being provided by their new, junior staff.
What did we do?
- Designed and built a web-based Knowledge portal application for use both internal to Intuit and externally for their nationwide user base
- Intuit staff could easily select Knowledge articles either for use either internally (exclusively) or for both internal and external
- Users had the ability to rate Knowledge articles. By rating articles, those with more informative and accurate answers tended, over time, to be presented to CTG staff and public users in response to their inquiries.
- Application provides ready access to aggregate and detailed data and provides a fully customizable web interface that displays a wide variety data
- Application allows for real-time interaction between CTG service staff and Turbo Tax clients worldwide
- Much of the tax support was handled by online chat with CTG representatives. There was far too many chat sessions for senior help desk personnel to track. So, as a part of our support, We built a rules-engine that would check all chat sessions and would “flag” chat sessions that satisfied any of the rules. Senior Help Desk staff could easily add or edit simple rules; or could add/edit complex rules through XML declarations (as a software development company, they had staff who could do this). “Flagged” chat sessions would be queued for review by senior staff, where they could then intervene with new staff if errors were being made.
How did we do it?The three primary components of the application consisted of:
(i) A flexible, customizable Portal Interface
(ii) A high-performance Knowledge base module, and
(iii) An XML-based document repository
What was the result?Although originally slated for use only as an internal tool for the CTG, it was so successful it was adopted for use both by their internal Tax Advisory Group and as their public-facing product Knowledge portal.
The application proved able to handle approximately 6 million inquiries per day at the height of tax season.