Since 2010, the UK Post Office has held a working partnership with Fujitsu, a Fortune 300 multinational consumer electronics leader. In 2015, when these partners were looking to make a change in outsourced customer care support, they knew to draw on lessons learned, for a twotiered outsourced approach with strong governance and an open, transparent working relationship.
The decision for Fujitsu and the Post Office to change outsourcers was linked to poor performance with a previous business process outsourcer (BPO). Key stakeholders within the Post Office recommended HGS, given the outsourcer’s previous performance for a major UK telecom account, specifically in the sales and retentions areas. Fujitsu and the Post Office were confident that HGS had the proven conversion expertise to drive transformative results.
1. Sales Conversion
How We Do It
HGS brought our 40-plus years customer care strategy experience to this partnership, led by a dedicated sales and retention manager. This manager made efforts to reenergize a sales program to respond to today’s more sophisticated and educated buyers. Team members were trained to spend more time talking to customers, employing techniques to problem solve and upsell. Ultimately, new leadership brought significant ROI improvement for the UK Post Office and Fujitsu. Recruitment focus also shifted to bring in team members who demonstrated the ability to deliver on new conversion efforts. “This manager focused on performance and customer experience,” said Alison Gwilliam, HGS UK Head of Delivery. “From overall strategy to training, we have been able to move the needle, with the top-down renewed efforts.”
The HGS team has employed the more aggressive strategy to improve sale conversion by 13% over the incumbent’s performance. With a more defined sales strategy in place, conversion has reached more than 40% today. There has been a month-on-month uplift in sales from June 2016 through January 2017. As an additional proof point of the sharpened training, there has been a reduction in lower quartile performing agents across all KPIs, due to robust coaching and performance management.
2. Save Rate Soars
How We Do It
The team aligned retention strategy efforts to conversion improvements. To do this, the new manager planned the way forward on how to effectively retain customers on the Post Office Base implementing different areas of focus for hiring and training new retention agents versus agents focused on save rate. “There is a different profile of agent geared to retention than to sales,” said Gwilliam. “For sales, we began to focus more on outgoing team members—those who aren’t afraid to question and profile customers by preferences. For retention, we ensure agents are capable of a more empathetic approach. These agents should have strong listening skills and be able to handle different objections and points of view. These team members have strong emotional intelligence. They spend more time talking to customers, with follow-up questions and a brand ambassador approach that help generate stickiness.”
Indeed, retention agents with a stronger EQ have been the primary reason for spikes in save the sale. In June 2016, only 29% of agents achieved above 40% retention. Today, this number stands at more than 80% of agents—a more than 176% improvement.
How We Do It
In early to mid-2016, HGS focused on concentration and structure of collections calls, devising tactics for making the process more efficient. Additional training and focus on techniques were also part of the renewed collections efforts. A new productivity structure was put in place—designed for full inbound cover during each shift; while also allowing agents to outbound dial collection accounts without disruption. Additional staff members, who demonstrated aptitude to push collections forward, were sourced from other lines of business. This opportunity came in at a massive 21.9%—a new record and a result that outperformed the Debt Recovery Team.
HGS beat all collection targets set by the client. December 2015 saw a collections value of £49,919.11, and December 2016 showed a breakthrough spike in collections, to £71,235.888. This is a 43% improvement in collections, demonstrated by a team that is highly engaged with the client and the relationship manager for this line of business.
This partnership continues to show bright prospects. There is a strong collaboration between the Post Office, Fujitsu, and HGS, and this is what ensures all strategies are aligned, with a strong governance, according to Gwilliam. “There is a transparency and seamless engagement that helps to drive these strong results,” she said.