Case Study: Contact Center Outsourcing
UK Regulator Achieves High Quality and CSAT With a New Operating Model
HGS uses data to contain costs, strengthen customer understanding, and set the stage for better compliance for a UK public sector client
The client is a regulator of workplace pensions. The agency ensures that employers put their staff into a pension scheme and pay money into it. The agency also ensures workplace pension schemes are run properly so that citizens can save safely for their later years.
The client is working to improve compliance and increase their understanding of customer satisfaction (CSAT) to shape wider improvements. Contact centre volumes can vary due to seasonality, cyclicality, and campaigns. Addressing challenges with increasing CSAT, quality, and first-contact resolution (FCR) involves optimising workforce management, IVR flows, and training approaches. With the HGS team, the client is connecting the dots with data, driving continuous improvement to the customer journey, and containing its costs with a new price-per-interaction model.
With ~70 work-at-home advisers, we support inbound, outbound, and email/letter queues. Our advisers interact with representatives of conglomerates and enterprises, mid-sized and growing companies, and small businesses with only a few employees.
A new operating model and fresh perspective inspired several major, positive changes to this government contact centre. We quickly mastered the operational basics and began to enhance customer service with the following types of approaches.
We introduced Engage Hub technology to drive data-driven journey orchestration and tap into aggregated data from inbound telephony interations. With this dashboard, we help the client optimise the experience, ensure a more strategic communications cadence, and make evidence-based decisions.
Traditionally, the client gathered customer feedback through an outbound 1:1 interview service, and typically, this action would occur on a different day than the interaction. Instead, we used Engage Hub and Amazon Connect to design, test, and implement a self-service feedback process. Use of the new approach means customers can comment quickly, thereby providing more, real-time, actionable insights.
We work collaboratively with the client, sharing the data outcomes and looking for opportunities to improve in both our accountable areas. Together, we look at key trends in process flows, systems (including online), and people knowledge and behaviour.
We originally received a classroom-based, two-week training programme from the client. The original structure of the training did not provide the flexibility needed to add or reassign advisers to address volume changes quickly.
To update the training, we examined goals and roles, factored the at-home environment, analysed queue-based quality results, and considered the IVR flow simultaneously. Instead of delivering all the content in one overwhelming, extended session, our training was adapted to allow for modular delivery (depending on the needs of the business and supported by agent profiles from the IVR), interspersed with productive time to absorb and practise while actually serving customers. We clearly segmented customer service from email/letters processing and enforcement training so that not all advisers get the more advanced information and modules.
We consciously adjusted the training materials, IVR flows, and staffing together – and measured impacts along the way. In contact centres, often the IVR is adjusted independently without also adjusting training, so the client was delighted with the more synchronised approach.
When requested, we execute CX-related pilot tests for the client. For example, our team conducted a three-month pilot project to chase unpaid fines. We gathered data at every step, uncovered roadblocks, suggested tools for streamlining, and equipped the client with real data for longer term decision-making.
HGS has assumed a consultant role with this keen-to-learn client team. Beyond providing guidance on contact centre effectiveness, we provide advice on how to transition to a more digital CX over time with analytics for forecasting, chatbots, and speech analytics for quality monitoring and customer insights, for example.
In the last year (2022-23), we have achieved consistent, high-calibre results:
90.4% CSAT top-box score (over a target of 85%)
94% first contact resolution rate (over a target of 80%)
94.5% quality assurance rate (over a target of 85%)
1.5% call abandonment rate in late 2022/early 2023
86.2% of calls answered in 20 seconds (target 80%) in late 2022/early 2023
100% contact centre availability
100% of emails and letters responded to within 5 working days