For two years, Swiss ICT provider Swisscom has offered its customers additional, flexible and fast on-site customer support with “Swisscom Friends.” Today, Swisscom is announcing that it has purchased a majority stake in startup Mila. Swisscom is using this investment to further pursue its activities within the sharing economy.
With Swisscom Friends, customers get easy and competent support in their neighborhood for a price they are willing to pay, even outside of regular working hours. The principle is easy: Customers can connect on www.swisscomfriends.ch and find technical support or they can help other customers by becoming 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,” said Marc Werner, Head of Residential Customers at Swisscom.
Digitization Requires On-Demand Service Models
Especially because ever-advancing digitization and connectivity requires innovative service models in order to support customers the best way possible. Furthermore, consumers are increasingly purchasing products and services from each other instead of buying them from corporations. According to a report by Crowd Companies and Vision Critical, 51% of the U.S. population has shared goods or services in 2015.
In the future, Swisscom is looking to use the Mila platform to bring together its own services, Swisscom Friends, and subscribed electrical and IT partners, as additional service providers. The terms of the investment have not been disclosed.
Alongside Swisscom, Coresystems (www.coresystems.net), an international provider of mobile cloud-based field service solutions, will stay stakeholder and strategic partner of Mila AG. Christian Viatte, previously Head of Service Experience & Innovation at Swisscom, will take over operations as Mila’s new CEO. Founder and former CEO, Manuel Grenacher, will stay on as an important strategist, and will become President of the 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,” explained Manuel Grenacher, founder of Mila and Coresystems.
Mila Expands its Customer Base
Mila is already working together with companies like telecommunications provider Vodafone Germany, and energy companies like IWB and ewz. Today, Mila has also launched a cooperation with BRACK.CH, a Swiss online retailer. BRACK.CH customers are now able to purchase installation or configuration in addition to purchasing a product (e.g. TV, computer, smartphone). Mila seeks to acquire additional partners, especially in Europe.
1.500 Active Swisscom Friends – Pioneers of the Collaborative Economy
Within two years, Swisscom and Mila were able to build a service crowd of more than 1.500 active Friends throughout Switzerland. Today, Swisscom is already handling 1.000 customer requests per month through Mila’s crowd service community. Upon winning the Crowd Collaboration Award from Crowd Companies, Swisscom Friends was recognized internationally as a pioneer of the collaborative economy.