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Improve Operational Profitability – Utilities
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Improve Operational Profitability – Utilities

The client

A Global Services provider were responsible for managing a number of customer service functions for a major UK utilities company. 300 staff in an offshore location provided support across a number of channels handling 30,000 transactions per month. The entire business model involved multiple service providers spread across a large geographic region.

 

The challenge

With the current BPO contract term coming to an end the utilities company has put its services out to tender and has embarked on a programme to rationalise the number of Outsourced providers.

Due to market de-regularisation, customer satisfaction has become a major focus putting our client under pressure to review its operational costs whilst improving service quality. Reinvigoration were commissioned to assess the current operation to identify quick win opportunities to reduce costs and immediately improve customer satisfaction. The identified improvements were also an enabler to the development of a compelling bid response to secure a renewed contract.

As with many long standing outsourced arrangements the business processes had not evolved since initially being offshored. In addition, there had been little investment in technology meaning current infrastructure was outdated and cumbersome to operate.

Due to the array of different IT systems used, the workflow was aligned with the customer channel of communication and with the contractual SLA’s, rather than by type of process or customer journey. This drove an operating model based predominately on throughput rather than one focussed on the effectiveness of customer outcomes. The result was poor service and higher costs.

 

The solution

Using our flexible Insight model, Reinvigoration spent an intensive four weeks at the offshore facility immersed in the business operation, meeting with staff at all levels, observing practices, processes and gathering data. Current state analysis documented a complex business system with multiple process hand-offs and interdependencies internally and with other service providers. Layered with many other data views, we produced a detailed report outlining the key challenges, recommended solutions and delivery roadmap with supporting benefits case.

Working closely with the delivery team and end client, processes were re-engineered to align with the core customer journeys and staff were retrained to become customer journey rather than transaction focused. This reduced hand-offs internally and improved efficiencies as agents became process experts.

A new business management framework was established to provide process documentation, knowledge management and an operational performance measurement system. This underpinned the new operating model, ensuring that improvements made were sustainable and to facilitate ongoing continuous improvement.

 

The results

The realignment of processes and supporting teams to focus on the customer journey allowed for the consolidation of departments realised 20% reduction of resource costs. With Agents developing more in-depth knowledge of the customer processes and providing end-to-end ownership of transactions hand-offs were reduced considerably enhancing the customer experience. Further improvements in staff retention and the implementation of automation tools provided additional process efficiency gains.

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