In Swisscom Friends, Swisscom, together with the start-up Mila, has been offering its customers an additional, flexible and fast on-site customer support service for the last two years. Now Swisscom has taken over a majority stake in Mila. With this investment, the Swiss ICT provider is further expanding its activities in the Shared Economy sector.
Customers who use Swisscom Friends receive simple, professional and affordable support from people in their local neighbourhood and even outside of the normal business hours. The principle is simple – customers can sign up to www.swisscomfriends.ch and look for support when experiencing technical problems or even offer their own help as a Swisscom Friend.
“We believe that collaborative service models, such as the one offered by Mila, will in future play an important role in customer services,” says Marc Werner, Head of Residential Customers at Swisscom.
He believes that the constant expansion of digitisation and networking will require innovative service models so that customers can continue to be provided with the best support possible in the future. The services provided by Swisscom on-site at customer premises and the Swisscom Friends service provided on the Mila platform will be consolidated in the future and provided with additional accredited electrical and IT partners, acting as service providers. The two companies have agreed not to disclose the amount invested.
Coresystems – an international provider of mobile, cloud-based field service solutions – will remain a shareholder alongside Swisscom in Mila AG, acting as a strategic partner. Christian Viatte, previously Head of Service Experience & Innovation at Swisscom, will assume operational responsibility of Mila as the company’s new CEO. Founder and former CEO, Manuel Grenacher, will continue to help develop the company strategy in his role as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.
“I am proud that Swisscom decided to acquire a major shareholding in Mila and wants to further promote the collaborative economy from its position as the leading telecommunications service provider. With our crowd of users, our aim in the future is to provide assistance to more companies so that they can offer a fast and flexible service and thus improve the satisfaction levels of their customers,” explains Manuel Grenacher, founder of Mila and Coresystems.
Mila expands its customer base
Mila’s current customer base also includes companies such as Vodafone Germany and energy suppliers IWB and ewz. Mila has recently developed a new partnership and is now also working with the Swiss specialist online retailer Brack.ch. Brack.ch customers can now make a booking for Mila to install/set up the product that they have just purchased from the site (e.g. TV, computer, smartphone). The company looks set to add further partners to its roster, particularly in Europe.
1,500 active Swisscom Friends – pioneers of the collaborative economy
Within the space of two years, Swisscom and Mila have built up a service crowd of more than 1,500 active “Friends” throughout Switzerland. The latest figures show that some 1,000 orders are taken on by Friends every month. Upon being presented the Crowd Collaboration Award by Crowd Companies from Silicon Valley, Swisscom Friends has gained international recognition as a pioneer of the collaborative economy.
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