Case Study: Telecom
Significant cost savings and customer retention for a UK telco
Insight through analytics, combined with agent education, yields +90% customer retention rate
The client provides regulated pay television, telecommunications, Internet access, and mobile network services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom. They began working with HGS in 2012.
In July 2012, the company agreed to a deal that would see HGS take over its contact centre operation in Preston, Lancashire, and continue working to make it a centre of excellence for customer retention while driving down the overall operational costs. HGS carried out the transition while improving morale and productivity. We hired agents with the right skill sets — service, tech, and sales skills — and provide relevant and high quality training to teams to ensure targets were met while quality and compliance requirements were fulfilled.
There was a lack of workflow processes and understanding of customer journeys. Tickets were being raised indiscriminately increasing the load on the client’s back office, and this load had to be reduced. We also had to receive complaints from multiple internal departments, such as OFCOM, Citizens Advice, solicitors, and complaints made directly to the chief executive, and resolve them completely within 56 days. This was the final internal complaint process before a customer escalated to the regulatory body for auto-resolution, so it was crucial to resolve complaints within the set timeframe. The client needed an onshore partner that could confidently support new pilot programs and initiatives.
We educated the client about contact handle time (CHT) and introduced an outbound validation check to decrease outbound call volumes and improve first-call resolution (FCR) and CHT. We also created Jigsaw, a new system that collated insights and tracked calls, duration, and FCR reporting on a weekly basis. This helped track repeat calls, identify call drivers, reward top performers, and focus on coaching for underperformers.
We formed a team of CEO complaints case managers and subject matter experts with skills in multiple areas to work on resolving complaints at the highest standard. These agents have the skill to handle complaints regarding provisioning issues, technical faults, contract disputes, billing issues, and general customer complaints. They liaise with other departments to resolve each customer complaint and follow strict processes, such as:
We worked with the client to ensure a smooth transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) (TUPE) process with seasoned agents and subject matter experts (SMEs) being offered promotions and new roles.
The program includes about 12 to 15 hours of training every month. Speech analytics flagged agents’ pain points and guided individual coaching. Quality managers reviewed 600 calls per month to ensure adherence to compliance and DPA regulations.
We worked with back-office SMEs to define customer journeys and create proper workflow processes. HGS removed the ticket queue and freed up back office resources making first-call resolution (FCR) a crucial metric.
The client, already one of the UK’s largest broadband and fixed-line phone providers, now has the UK’s fastest growing new TV service, YouView. By offering bundled services, we secure both loyalty and security of tenure. In the first year, HGS supported the migration of customers from Tiscali TV to the client’s new Plus TV service, which includes YouView and phone services. Thousands decided to shift to Plus TV.
HGS provides groundbreaking, full customer-lifecycle support for fibre to the home (FTTH) from Preston. The HGS ultra fibre optic (UFO) sales team is made up of existing “power of one” team members, handling the end-to-end queries of UFO customers. HGS offered to support the field sales team on the ground as well. We sent several team members to York to gain invaluable experience that has helped the client’s field sales team understand the provisioning journey of UFO customers. Field salespeople now understand the extended customer journey, customer experience improved, and fewer customers were lost.
HGS has seen a steady increase in business customers looking to utilise the UFO product. HGS took the initiative, at no charge to the client, to collaborate with front-line UFO teams to create agent-friendly training material to support these business customers better.
We spotted a peak in TLOS (total loss of service) technical faults shortly after the UFO package went live. In the vast majority of occasions, TLOS issues require an engineer visit, coordinated through “mission control” and the client’s tech team. As our inbound teams have close relationships with individual customers, we took it upon ourselves to manually track and contact affected customers. This strategy not only improved the customer experience but expedited engineer bookings and accelerated resolution times.
Customer satisfaction is measured via email and IVR surveys. We ask for feedback about a particular interaction and the agent’s success in dealing with the issue. Speed and accuracy of resolution is a key driver of loyalty. The client measures FCR very rigorously by looking at actual call reoccurrence, capturing the caller line identifier (CLI) for every incoming call, and monitoring for recurrence for 40 days. If a second call is received from that CLI within a 7-day period, it is assumed that the customer’s initial issue was not resolved.
HGS uses agent observation and analytics to identify the root causes of dissatisfaction. We work with a third-party education and training provider to enroll every new recruit onto an apprenticeship program. This leads to a nationally recognised qualification and opportunities for even more advanced training. Agents that successfully negotiate their apprenticeship and have a degree qualification can also choose to undertake Six Sigma Lean training.
20%increase in sales conversion,
via upselling/upgrades and new line orders for fibre to the home
56% increase in first-contact resolution
for fibre to the home technician faults
96 hoursfor billing complaints resolution
30%reduction in outbound call volumes within 4 weeks
43%reduction in cost-per-retained customer
High CR7 score indicating a strong “first time fix”
9%over the retention rate target
during the rebrand from Tiscali
86%save rate over 38 days
11% upsell rate
12%reduction in churn rate
98.6%complaints satisfied with no returning customers
250 FTEsramped up and performing within 4 months