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How Analytics Can Keep Your Cost Base Low Plus Deliver Improved CX

By Richard Mill, Managing Director of Business Systems (UK) Ltd, a specialist in providing call recording and workforce optimisation solutions 

Business Systems’s Richard Mill explains how a leading UK processing and payments services player saw a 2% increase in customer satisfaction scores as a direct result of applying analytical intelligence to its processes

Richard Mill

Richard Mill

The performance of a contact centre is a critical benchmark for your brand. After all, it’s where your value proposition gets tested, every second of the day: can you deliver what you promise in a way that continually meets the demands of the marketplace?

That means any insight you can uncover that can improve delivery is critical for improving sales, enhancing customer loyalty, maintaining compliance and reducing costs. One UK organisation that has found this very much the case is Equiniti, a British-based outsourcing business focussed on financial and administration services.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange and a Financial Times Stock Exchange 250 Index member, Equiniti is the UK’s leading provider of share registration services and associated investor schemes. A 400-strong company, it also provides administration services for employee share plans, pensions and employee benefits schemes. That means that every year its Customer Experience Centre assists over 2.6 million customers with 88 million documents and processes £90bn in payments.

Continuous improvement remains core to achieving the consistently high level of service its clients have come to expect. To obtain better customer insight and optimise its processes, the firm decided to implement NICE Nexidia a speech analytics solution. Speech analytics uses smart algorithms to race through vast call volumes, spotting patterns and issues that humans would find hard to do, certainly at the scale a major organisation would need.

Analytics identified where the trade was not being completed

This software tool was in turn delivered by Business Systems and has been successfully embedded in Equiniti for a number of years. Indeed, it now plays a core part in identifying issues and processes which can be improved within the Customer Experience Centre. The first area that was addressed was the share dealing service. Why? Because the process wasn’t delivering a first point of resolution and customers were confused with the steps they were required to take. But using speech analytics, Equiniti quickly identified where the trade was not being completed end-to-end.

Equiniti used the query builder to search data sets and identify phrases over various periods. Using the findings from this analysis, it soon identified the ‘pinch points’ in the process and the agent script was reworked. As a direct result, average call length fell from 5 minutes to 3 minutes, an increase in first point resolution was achieved, and an enhanced CX (Customer Experience) was delivered.

The next process to come under the analytics microscope was Equiniti’s share dealing account, where a yearly fee is taken from customers via Direct Debit. If the DD instruction had not been used fora 13 month period, however, it automatically lapsed requiring the customer to provide their bank details all over again. Through the use of a ‘Discovery Word Cloud’ function, Equiniti found this to be generating unnecessary call volumes, increasing customer dissatisfaction and increasing the effort required by the customer to undertake a simple transaction. With the data now gathered Equiniti set a new lapse window of 3 years instead of 13 months, ending the hassle for its users and also keeping maintenance to a minimum.

As well as helping to identify processes to improve, analytics has also given Equiniti greater insight into the productivity of agents. With a focus on specific KPIs such as non-talk time and wasted time on calls, Equiniti has easily been able to identify how many calls have those particular issues. Using the system also allows it to put a cost value against those interactions in terms of total agent time taken. Before introducing speech analytics, Equiniti was only able to gain cost savings from a small sample of calls – but now it can measure more accurately with a 100% sample rate, and provide far more accurate financial return figures.

Stay one step ahead in a very competitive game by listening to your customers

As well as using analytics to identify areas where cost savings can be made, the technology has enabled Equiniti to measure how many agents are offering customers the opportunity to complete a customer survey at the end of every call. Being able to measure this allows Equiniti further insight into customer interactions and to stay one step ahead in a very competitive game by listening to what its customers are actually asking for.

Finally, understanding how well agents are doing in terms of compliance monitoring and also overall performance has helped Equiniti better understand agent coaching requirements and build up a library of real life best and worst practice scenarios. Overall, in 2018, Equiniti has delivered around 30,000 improved customer experiences based on the data provided by Speech Analytics, causing a 2% increase in customer satisfaction scores and an increase in Net Promoter Score from 48 to 51.

Summing up the impact of using data to better track what his contact agents are achieving, the company’s customer experience (CX) leader, Gareth Wallis, comments, “Using Speech Analytics has really helped us gain insight into the way our customers interact with us – enabling us to really listen to our customers, gain feedback from their calls, and so enhance our ability to deliver a positive, memorable customer experience all round.”

That has to be a result any customer-facing financial services brand would want to be able to see too, surely?

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