People and Technology Case Study

Background

The client was established in 2007 to help people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help either online, by phone or face-to-face, through partner organisations.

Their website brings together an easy to use benefits calculator and a grants search database giving access to over 3,000 charitable funds. For individuals who are not able to access the website, there is a Freephone helpline open all year providing a confidential, secure, comprehensive and reliable service.

Requirements

The client required a helpline service that could support their most vulnerable clients who did not have access to online services. The scope of work required complex inbound calls, emails and white mail to provide information, guidance and understanding on an individual’s entitlement to in-work and out of work benefits. Advisers were also required to provide information on charitable grants and other services for people in financial hardship.

A key criteria was the requirement for a multi-channel contact centre partner whose advisers could display compassion and empathy to support vulnerable clients. In addition to this, quality assurance was an essential component. The client needed confidence that there would be specialist support functions to maintain consistent high-quality coaching and training. They also needed a provider that could do all of this and offer an end-to-end CRM solution.

Our Solution

As an organisation, Kura has been delivering awarding winning, innovative and high-quality contact centre services for more than 20 years. We provide solutions from a people, process and technology perspective. Kura was a great fit for the client from a cultural point of view, as our vision is to be unrivalled in developing people. Our commitment to our advisers allows them to competently handle the calls with compassion and empathy. Our approach was to work in partnership with the client to not only build the appropriate job description but also follow a rigorous selection process, ensuring the right people were recruited. The key focus was on individuals who demonstrated high levels of empathy, excellent “soft” skills and who were the right fit for the role. We recruited people who displayed the essential core behaviours of empathy and a willingness to help others on the understanding that our training would give them the necessary call handling skills. This was supported by an investment in our people through adviser pay rates and paying the Living Wage.

Kura and the client work in partnership to continually develop and evolve the quality assurance programme. This programme consists of a framework aimed at ensuring the customer requirements are captured accurately, there is a focus on the customer experience and that complete information is provided on all interactions, whether telephone or email.

Inisoft, our software subsidiary, deployed Syntelate, a unified agent desktop offering a custom CRM solution. Syntelate provides a seamless integration with voice, emails, white mail, web chat, SMS and web. The solution guides the adviser through the call and provides an action plan which summarises the suggested outcomes that the agent can then send via email or letter to the customer ensuring the process is simple, quick and efficient for both the adviser and the caller.

There is also an opt in SMS reminder service, which sends an automatic SMS reminding the people we help to follow up on the information included in their action plan.

Results

  • Over 80% of callers now receive a positive outcome (benefit check, grant search or both)

  • 17% reduction in calls year-on-year since introducing web chat

  • 30% reduction in AHT

  • 400% improvement in online forms

  • 94% satisfaction rate & 96% recommendation rate

  • 98% of emails are answered within 24 hours

  • 95% in CSAT results for the category very good or good “at being dealt

Our partnership with the client to develop their Helpline has produced fantastic results. We met and exceeded the client’s objective that 80% of callers should receive a positive outcome (a benefit check, grants search or both). Quality has consistently been above target for both voice and email channels and our focus and approach with our people and their skill mix is also working well. One of our advisers won the “Helpline Employee of the Year” award at the 2015 Helpline Partnerships conference. 96% of the people we help stated in a recent CSAT survey that they would recommend the Helpline and 95% rated the service as good or very good for “being dealt with in a sensitive and supporting way”.

By focusing on the needs of our customers and aligning the commercial framework to these, we have created a service delivery model that helps reduce the overall cost for the client whilst also ensuring a high level of service being delivered.



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