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Equiniti Contact Centre invest in the future

26 April 2016

Head of Equiniti’s Contact Centre, Darren Charles, talks about Equiniti’s continuous improvement plans

Every year the Equiniti Contact Centre assists over 2.6 million customers with its 300 strong workforce. Continuous improvement is core to achieving the consistently high service levels our clients and their customers have come to expect. It is also this which has resulted in the attainment of the CCA Global Standard 6 accreditation and ISO standards making it one of the best Contact Centres in the UK.

Technology providing customer insight

Leveraging technology to obtain better customer insight, Equiniti has introduced speech analytics into the Birmingham Contact Centre.

Darren Charles 962 X 962 Darren Charles - Head of Equiniti's Contact Centre

Darren Charles explains the significance of the investment: “Analytics is the No1 factor that drives change and provides insight in Contact Centres. Traditional methods of gaining insight are no longer fit for purpose when aligned to today’s customer expectations, which is why we needed to leverage new technology.

“The technology is highly complex but simple in execution.  The speech analytics technology turns Equiniti’s 2.6 million spoken interactions between customers and advisers into searchable content, words and phrases which can be quickly analysed to identify trends more quickly and help inform training.” 

The software uses the building blocks of human speech (phonemes) to break down the call recordings and build them back up into minable data. Unlike speech recognition, phonetic indexing avoids issues typically associated with traditional speech systems eliminating language, accents and misinterpretations.

How will this make the difference to the service offered to shareholders?

Analysis of all calls will enable the contact centre to better track the reasons why people call and come up with sustainable solutions on how to enhance the customer experience. Darren continues: “Previously we were only able to assess a sample of calls as they had to be listened to from start to finish which was time intensive. Introducing speech analytics means that 100% of calls are sampled and insights are generated to display the nature of the call. This will help to more quickly identify causes of dissatisfaction for example or extended call times.

Darren explains:

 

We are now able to analyse each call and compare the customer effort score (CES). Customer effort is a recognised benchmark for how much time and energy the customer is having to put in before they get the outcome they desire. The smaller the effort, the happier the caller, Equiniti currently have a very good CES at 4.5 out of 5 (5 being the highest score). 

He continues: "Some processes in Share Registration for example are notoriously complex. By understanding what causes the highest levels of effort or the greatest cause of dissatisfaction, puts us in a great place to improve further. As our clients’ brand custodian it is important we identify ways to improve customer satisfaction through their telephone experience.”

Contact Centre transformation

As well as analytics, the Contact Centre is undertaking a transformation programme throughout 2016 which is designed to keep Equiniti’s Contact Centre at the leading edge. This goal is assisted by the new analytics capability teamed with the expertise of the trained agents, team champions, team leaders, analysts and management. This added focus helps make a difference to the customer and their experience, reviewing the incoming data to qualify the cause.

 

E Zine Diagram V1

According to Darren: “Continuous development is key for the sustainability of change within the centre. The technology we have is fantastic but it’s the people behind it that really make a difference. We are investing in our staff and ensuring they receive the training and coaching needed to become Continuous Improvement champions on a day to day basis.”

 

Equiniti’s initiative ’Bright ideas’ has been implemented to encourage and incentivise employees to firstly improve the customer process from first hand experiences and to secondly making savings for the client. Examples include making letters clearer for shareholders following direct feedback  and removing or adding information to the front end IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system.

 

Looking to the future there is a clear 18 month plan within the Transformation Programme for continuous improvement in the Contact Centre with the objectives of reducing failure demand and ensuring we offer the same consistently high customer experience every time.

The future

We are committed to investing in different ways for our customers to contact us which align with their preferences and lifestyle choices. We are, for example, working on plans to leverage our online platforms such as ESPortal and Shareview through the introduction of Web Chat for those customers who wish to use it.

Another key area we are exploring is robotics and attended automation. This would enable the technology to instantly perform repeatable tasks on an agent’s desktop ensuring maximum efficiency and complete accuracy, while freeing up agent time to spend with customers. An example is where an agent has to add notes into the system so if the shareholder calls again, the next agent has access to the details of the previous call/s. Robotics can automatically update the notes system as it knows what transaction or query the shareholder had through the various tasks performed in the live call. This doesn’t remove any of the human touch with the caller, it simply saves times and ensures accuracy on 100% of calls.

In conclusion, Darren says: “We are leading the way amongst registrars and other contact centres across the country to offer our clients and their shareholders an award winning service, every time they engage with us. We have state of the art technology and are always looking for how new advances can improve the customer offering." He concludes:

 

I am excited about the future of Equiniti and the contribution of the Contact Centre to that journey.

For further information, please contact your Equiniti Relationship Manager.