Happy employees deliver great customer experience

Webhelp UK aims to give employees a great experience so they can pass that on to our client's customers.

Gordon McDowall, Site Lead – Falkirk

 

Making the team feel a part of the bigger organisation

Back in the day, a lot of the job content could be perceived to be repetitive, although personally I didn’t agree with that because to me, every customer was different, and I enjoyed talking to them. However, I began to see how that perception could have an impact on the workforce and so I developed an interest in the importance of making sure that employees were made to feel part of the bigger organisation.

I'll admit that while I don't know everyone’s name personally, I will always make an effort to say hello. It is important to acknowledge people and not just to walk past them.

As I moved up through the world of outsourcing, I arrived at Webhelp UK and have been fortunate enough to work across most of the sites, starting off in Dunoon, Rothesay, Aviemore, Erskine and then Falkirk.

Falkirk is the biggest Sky site in the Webhelp UK fleet, and as Site Lead, I like to run a tight ship, although I am keen to say I have never lost sight of my roots. Even though I like a challenge, I'll admit that while I don't know everyone’s name personally, I will always make an effort to say hello. It is important to acknowledge people and not just to walk past them.

Happy people, happy customers

My mantra is Happy people, happy customers, and I believe this to be a truism; I passionately believe that people need to get the value of a “good morning” or by being seen to be the first person into the building and the last one out.

EventFull was designed by our people, it’s led by our people and it’s showcased by them. It allows them to create the entertainment they want and contribute financially towards that, it’s a great, fun way to empower people.

In Falkirk, I have recently moved to a more central area of the call-hall to allow him a better overview of the whole place. I did this to create an area where people can stop by my desk and just have a chat and sit down for a moment. A place where informal meetings can happen, to let people to know someone is there and can be approached.

We have also introduced an employee engagement project called EventFull. It arose from an employee survey that highlighted the need for the introduction of social activity and colleague interaction. EventFull was designed by our people, it’s led by our people and it’s showcased by them. It allows them to create the entertainment they want and contribute financially towards that, it’s a great, fun way to empower people.

The concept was pitched to the executive team who were asked to price match the employee subscriptions – and fast forward - this has now become a SMART methodology which has since been rolled out across all of the estate.

I am passionate about people but even I will admit that there are many day to day issues that can get in the way. This is why I have introduced “Gordon’s Virtual Surgery” where I will regularly announce through the internal newswire that the “Doctor” is in to anyone who wants to ask me questions or put their points across.

I believe that a positive attitude should be firmly embedded in a very active process that goes on behind the scenes, which helps make Webhelp UK a better place for people to be, and to stay.


Delivering customer experience innovation for Derby

“Webhelp UK...required a location that had a strong local workforce and a partner that understood our goal of creating long term sustainable employment in their community – Derby delivered." David Turner CEO, Webhelp UK

Webhelp UK has engaged in a long term lease for the Derby Pride Park centre. The site has a range of outstanding facilities, making it both a stimulating workplace and an engaging environment.

Previously the site housed EggÂ’s Credit Card Business and has the infrastructure in place to be rapidly deployed for any new operation. Webhelp UK are seeking a strategic partner to drive market di


Knowing the product helps deliver an excellent customer experience

By redesigning our employee education process we can guarantee a more consistent customer experience.

Mike Eadie, Director of People Development

Equiping our team

It is extremely important that we equip our people with the right tools and the right technical skills to empower them with the confidence to be able to professionally convey that knowledge to the customer, our advisors just need to bring the right attitude and the right customer service focus.

Traditionally, learning and development teams would provide induction and on-going technical training.  While this type of on-going training programme for employees may be the conventional way of dealing with our clients rapidly changing products and services, inevitably this means that some staff members are much better at recalling product information than others.

So, our radical approach was to redesign the whole process to ensure that the customer has access to the latest product information through our customer service advisors no matter which agent handles the call.

Informed service

Webhelp UK is transforming how contact centers work. Instead of continually updating our employee product knowledge, we have developed industry leading turnkey systems that store each client’s most current product and service information, which is available live to all customer advisors, enabling them to deliver a better, more informed service.

We’re also training our customer service employees in questioning techniques which allows them to better understand the customer’s problem, how to quickly access the relevant product information, and how best to deliver an answer to the customer improving their overall experience and thereby reducing call volume and customer frustration.

More than ever, people are demanding excellent customer service delivered expediently, where they want, when they want

More than ever, people are demanding excellent customer service delivered expediently, where they want, when they want.  They want their particular issue solved, and they want it solved fast, but they’ll get as much reassurance from getting that problem solved from the way they are spoken to, and how they are questioned, making the interaction part of the customer journey a more enjoyable experience.

This cutting edge approach means that we can ensure a consistently higher level of customer care, and it allows us to focus on building superior customer relationships skills rather than focussing on ever-changing product knowledge.  We have seen a 30% increase in CSAT, unequivocally proving that our methodology delivers results; our smarter systems really do deliver a superior service for our clients.


Webhelp UK’s move from contact centre to customer experience

My first action at Webhelp UK was to look at what we offered our clients and how we could deliver excellent customer experience.

David Turner, Chief Executive Officer

What I learnt

Not to see whether we did a good job or not, because I knew that we already did, but I just couldn’t see how we differentiated from our competitors in terms of value add for our clients. I had a vision about contact centres and where I thought we needed to go, but I knew it would take significant surgery and a radical rethink to ready us for that journey.

It was clear to me that although we met all of the service level agreements the business had; there was no real reason to keep us on as a supplier, because we didn’t do anything for our clients that was over, above and beyond that.

I had a vision about contact centres and where I thought we needed to go, but I knew it would take significant surgery and a radical rethink to ready us for that journey.

That’s the problem with commoditised businesses, the only way they can differentiate is on price, so I wanted to move us away from that and position ourselves more as a consulting business developing outcome based solutions.  I think our most significant asset is that we deliver a more qualitative service to our clients based on knowledge and insight rather than going after the cheaper volume based activity that a lot of our competitors pursue.

Evolving the contact centre into the customer experience centre

We needed to stop thinking about ourselves as a contact centre business, and more as a company that sold solutions around improving customer experience which at the same time improves our client’s revenues and profit.  That, in a nutshell, is what we started to do three years ago, and it’s what determined Vodafone choosing us as their strategic partner and started the growth of the business over that period of time.

The most important thing we provide today for our clients isn’t just about answering the phone... it's about the knowledge we can provide that makes them a better business.

Not to over simplify things, it was about understanding that our business had to change, that our proposition needed to be different.  The heart of what we did, which was answering calls and talking to customers still needed to beat as strongly as ever, but we needed to make sure we were also delivering unique, insightful outcomes to our clients.

The most important thing we provide today for our clients isn’t just about answering the phone, it isn’t even about giving them better CSAT, it's about the knowledge we can provide that makes them a better business.  It's all about how you use data in this business.  Data is so much more powerful and important when it is used correctly.  How we house the data, how we analyse it, what additional insights can we go back to our clients with, and those insights should all be around driving revenue, profit, customer advocacy and retention.

Investing in people

While we are still very evolutionary, we’ve come a long way from being a commoditised supplier to one that delivers complex solutions and is now a true strategic partner to our clients.

I am passionate about changing the perception of this business to be one where you don’t just come here for a job; you come here to pursue a career.

But it's not just data and technology that makes a difference the biggest reason our business will continue to succeed is if we invest in our employees.  I feel a tremendous sense of duty towards our people and the biggest kick I get is seeing them reach their optimum potential, when they’ve challenged themselves, when they’ve found new ways of solving problems and adding value.  I am passionate about changing the perception of this business to be one where you don’t just come here for a job; you come here to pursue a career.

And we can offer people real career progression here; there are so many opportunities to grow and a clear path of succession through the business, and that’s a terrific reason for people to want to stay within the company to develop their abilities and to achieve that potential.

This is what I really want to see happen, if I went out and spoke to the guys at the front end of the business today, I’d like to think that in 10 or 15 years time somebody in that audience will be sitting on the board looking after my pension!


Customer Effort Score – a key metric in analysing customer experience

Accurately measuring customer behaviour is critical to business success. Can CES help deliver an excellent customer experience?

Jim Findlay, Head of Business Insight

NPS vs CES

Many methods of assessment and metrics have been used to measure customer behaviour, including tactical measures such as satisfaction, resolution and more strategic assessments such as NPS (net promoter score). NPS has, in the last decade, become the customer experience metric of choice in the industry.

NPS is seen as a pretty reliable indicator of customer advocacy with reasonable predictive capabilities but many organisations have struggled to reconcile contact point NPS results to corporate objectives.

A recent frisson of excitement in the industry would suggest that CES (customer effort score) is the latest metric contender is being touted as the most effective, predictive measure of future customer behaviour’s available as well as being able to identify the true root causes of customer detraction and is therefore the best operational customer contract metric to drive customer loyalty and experience.

Tools not solutions

In truth, no one metric can be viewed as a panacea.  Metrics can disconnect from actual objectives, leaving organisations driving a number with no tangible output.  Also metrics with corporate entity level relevance may not translate well to more granular investigation, for example, touchpoints and root cause analytics.  At this granular level, metrics may not have a predictive validity aligned to the corporate objectives.

If we view only some contacts as a true picture of experience and performance this can lead to inaccurate reasoning, resource misalignment and ultimately expensive wrong decisions.

Experience would suggest that using a variety of complimentary metrics allows a 360 degree view of performance and customer experience.  The strengths of each metric can then be utilised to create the best possible view of reality.  This ensures that measurement has a relevance to objectives both tactically and strategically.

To gain clear insight it is enormously important to identify all aspects of a customer's journey to its end.  Each touchpoint is relevant to the customer, each action, even if it is not a contact is also relevant.  If we view only some contacts as a true picture of experience and performance this can lead to inaccurate reasoning, resource misalignment and ultimately expensive wrong decisions.

How we see it

Webhelp UK have identified that measuring customer effort to achieve an objective against their expectations of effort required is an effective predictor of future customer behaviours regarding advocacy, loyalty and future spend if used in conjunction with other tailored metrics.  Effort profiling, using Webhelp UK's effort algorithm, of customer journeys across all elements of that journey allows a comprehensive view of both multichannel and non contact experience.

CES should be a key weapon in any customer management organisation’s arsenal.

In combination with Webhelp UK's effort profiling, the use of any other relevant metrics can be combined to give a truly holistic view of business impacts of customer experience and journeys.  This allows the right actions to be taken in regard to people (customers and employee interactions and behaviours), policy (company policies that may not be aligned to objectives, products (are products meeting business and customer needs) and process (are processes effective in delivering objectives).

In conclusion, there are benefits to be gained by using both NPS and CES metrics (as well as other complimentary measures).  Webhelp UK Insight are particularly interested in CES, however, and feel that it is likely to have strong applicability at granular levels particularly in Contact Centre Management.  CES is equally applicable to any contact medium and is reflective of a customer’s journey and holistic experience.  This feature has great synergy with Webhelp UK’s strategy of multi-channel customer journey management and as long as CES is used as one of many data mining tools to derive business improvements and performance, the metric should be a key weapon in any customer management organisation’s arsenal.