Case Study | Compliance and integrated systems made easy in the financial services industry
For a financial industry client in Australia, the decision to widen its product offering resulted in significant business growth. The financial services products being sold are not items that people would prefer spending hours choosing. Instead, customers rely on our client to provide product options as quickly as possible, so they can get on with their daily lives. Operating in a country where the unemployment rate is low, the organisation sought to expand its talent base to manage the rising rate of customer queries.
- 200-seater design, build and operation
- Double the capacity in one year
- Increased availability
- Improved efficiency
- Top quality service
- Great cultural fit
With its expanded financial product offering now including car, health and life insurance, home loans, utilities and broadband, the company needed to find an innovative, cost effective service solution that would support business growth with talented and experienced people. Along with offering longer opening hours, its biggest challenge was twofold:
- To find a country and/or company to deliver on its brand quality promise.
- To define the correct job profile that fitted a ‘Sales through Service’
Most importantly, the company needed a skilled and educated sales force, with the right cultural fit, that could deliver high quality telephonic sales, driven by a desire to provide excellent customer service.
Following a pilot project with 45 experienced consultants, the company expanded its service to include the design, build and operation of a 200- seat contact centre in Cape Town.
To deliver improved availability, scalability in service was important. Recruitment and ramp up capacity is readily provided, thanks to the offshore talent that is considered on par with local onshore agents.
This ability to rely on its partnership with Merchants means agents/ consultants in Cape Town and Australia are able to deliver on the client’s business and quality service objectives.
HOW WE DELIVERED
The pilot project, established in 2016, was created out of a partnership of equals. Beginning with 15 Live Answer consultants and 30 Broadband agents, the success of the project led to an expansion into three other business areas. Within a year Merchants employed around 200 consultants on the client’s account. Another area where we were able to realise improvements very quickly was in the scheduling of staff. We utilised our Merchants Workforce Management specialists and their tools to optimise staff schedules. This allowed us to reduce headcount through natural attrition while maintaining our service deliverables and positive customer experience as well as giving our client a cost reduction.
Highly skilled people
Merchants’ skilled and educated sales force delivers high quality telephonic sales, driven by a desire to delight every customer through service. All consultants are highly trained experts, who assist customers to choose and purchase one or more of the many policies, products and plans they offer.
Given the complexity of the processes and data regulations involved, the first training programme took around six weeks to roll out. Working with subject matter experts from Australia, Merchants trainers were then signed off to deliver later training sessions through its ‘train the trainer’ programme.
Strict compliance & integrated systems
Merchants’ ability to integrate with existing IT systems ensured that the Cape Town operation was seen as an extension of its onshore operation, to further enhance the company’s brand values.
To deliver a top quality service every time, agents enjoy tried and tested ergonomics, the most up-to-date workforce management and quality assurance methodologies. Call listening is conducted regularly, with compliance rates above targets and measuring an average of 96% throughout the year.
The contact centre, designed and built by Merchants, embodies the culture and brand flair of the client. Merchants recognises that sales can be a challenging environment, where consultants need to be able to perform at their best.
Merchants invested in these services and benefits on the understanding that sales can be demanding. This, because the ‘Sales through Service’ approach requires the consultant to balance the customer’s needs with the sale output – a challenge in even the best run contact centres.
Recognising that job satisfaction depends on a supportive environment, innovative design is carried through from people to processes. It also includes amenities such as an onsite barista for coffee on tap, a massage facility and door-to-door transport, along with reward and recognition incentives such as regular performance-based increases and a nightshift lifestyle bonus.
Agents enjoy tried and tested ergonomics, the most up-to-date workforce management and quality assurance methodologies, with compliance rates above targets.
Upskilling for growth
Since then some consultants have moved across to different business units – which helps the company to grow its business, while enriching local labour pools with new skills and knowledge. Along with regular bilateral staff exchanges to enhance service delivery, the company is able to use Merchants WFM, scheduling and optimisation expertise to ensure onshore contact centres are operating according to best practice.
Merchants’ WFM, scheduling and optimisation expertise ensures onshore contact centres are operating according to best practice