Delivering industry-leading, cost-reducing customer service improvements

MARKET

Digital Communications and Technology

LOCATION

Ireland and the U.K.

CLIENT

Vodafone

CLIENTS \ CASE STUDY

Delivering industry-leading, cost-reducing customer service improvements

About Client

Vodafone is a global communications company that partnered with ADEC Arise for nearly 10 years to deliver award-winning customer and technical support to its customers across Ireland.

The Challenge

Setting annual KPI’s are a critical part of business success. Vodafone set an ambitious target for their entire customer facing operation - to reduce customer contact by 15% whilst simultaneously driving an NPS uplift. To help them meet this stretching goal, Vodafone turned to us as their customer and technical support partner.

Our Solution

Faced with a challenging goal, Vodafone’s Customer Care Manager sat down with our team at the beginning of the year to develop a series of initiatives to help them meet the targets set.

We’d being gathering and reporting on a wide set of data since the beginning of our relationship with Vodafone and this proved invaluable. The ADEC-Arise data insight team used the data to come up with a multi-pronged plan that aimed to pick off the ‘low-hanging’ fruit’ as well as looking at process and system improvements that could be implemented to deliver business impact.

The first insight that came from the team was that they were receiving a number of calls from business customers to a generic Vodafone number, with no filtering in place. This number was featured on much of the marketing collateral that customers were receiving, as well as ranking highly on internet searches, so it was decided that trying to push customers to the ‘right’ business number would be too labour intensive. Instead the Arise team suggested making an adjustment to the IVR system that would allow business customers to ‘self-select’ before their call was answered by an agent, and thus avoiding the call having to be manually transferred to a different team. Arise prepared a compelling business case that enabled the Vodafone team to get the required IT changes prioritised and delivered within 6 weeks, and it made an instant impact by delivering customers first time to the correct support team and reducing the number of agent touch points. Two thirds (10%) of the call reduction target was achieved from this initiative alone.

At the same time, the data insights team identified that a large number of calls were being transferred between the customer support and technical support teams. Customers might ring in to raise a service request with the technical support team, then ask to make an additional customer support request, or vice versa. As a result, teams were often transferring calls between each other — meaning longer call times and more frustrated customers. By identifying the most frequent types of requests, we were able to up-skill both teams to answer simple requests that might previously have resulted in a call transfer — all backed up by a senior agent within the team who could help with more complicated questions. This had a significant impact, quickly reducing inter-team transfers by over 50% and leading to a better, more seamless customer experience whilst reducing total call volumes by 3%.

Next, our team looked at one of the most labour-intensive customer-facing functions: number divert. When business customers encountered a line error, they would often ask Vodafone to set up a divert to another working number. Customers might call in several times a day to ask the team to switch the divert between team members. Frequent number diverts resulted in high call volumes. Our team looked closely at the existing process and decided the current system could be modified so that the requests could be managed via email at far lower cost by a back-office team, rather than telephone agents. Using an iterative service improvement approach, the new process was tweaked over time to include a set template so that customers provided all of the right information the first time around. The email team guaranteed a 15-minute response time, and customers found the new system easy to use, as they could make amendments whilst on the move. This improvement reduced the average calls-per-divert event by 26% — all whilst likewise improving customer experience.

The next programme Arise focused on was reducing the number of multiple calls made by certain customers. Agents were trained to identify callers who might call several times early on, so they could take proactive steps to reduce follow up calls. Teams were incentivised to reduce customers who would call more than once, and ‘super agents’ were used to tackle callers on their 2nd or 3rd inbound contact. Agents were targeted on first-call resolution (FCR), eliminating multiple calls and avoiding inter-team transfers, which improved overall customer experience and led to a significant NPS uplift of around 30%.

We very much treat ADEC-Arise as a partner, and at the beginning of the year came to them with some very stretching objectives. ADEC-Arise accepted the challenge, and by the end of the year had established a monthly run rate reduction in calls of 19%, all whilst continuing to improve our NPS score. 

ADEC-Arise took an extremely proactive approach to the target we set, and all the improvements that we saw across the business were driven by their insights and actions. Their data insights team is the best I’ve ever worked with — their understanding of the granularity of the data meant we were able to pick off all the low hanging fruit that other businesses might have lived with, as well as dealing with some of the bigger issues. 

The work ADEC-ARISE did as part of this project meant that we smashed our NPS improvement target and far outperformed our competitors — setting Vodafone up for success in a highly competitive marketplace. It’s a truly collaborative relationship that has delivered cost reduction across the business at the same time as creating happier customers. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

- Brian Kedney, Customer Care Manager, Vodafone