21 November 2017
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2010 Contact Centre Innovation Awards Minimize

Seven winners gained prestigious innovation awards for outstanding initiatives that improved their operations as places to work and to contact.  The overall winner was Scottish Power, with individual category prizes being taken by Harrow Council, HM Revenue & Customs, Netflights, Shop Direct and lastly, Ventura who scooped two.  Click here if you would like to visit them onsite as part of our summer best practice programme

These prestigious awards, organised by the Professional Planning Forum, celebrate the achievements of the industry’s innovators and offer a benchmark of excellence within the industry. They showcase innovations that are transforming the experience of customers and employees and demonstrate how planning can make a real difference.  The awards were presented at the Planning Forum’s 10th anniversary conference in London on 20th April, where each talked about how they achieved their success.  In June these organisations are opening their doors as part of specially facilitated site visits within the Planning Forum’s best practice programme.

Innovation of the Year

Scottish Power was presented with the overall 2010 Contact Centre Innovation of the Year Award, for their industry-leading integration of workflow and workforce management in the back office. Not only have they halved turn-around times by they also increased productivity by up to 60%.

“It used to be the case that agents in the back-office couldn’t control First Contact Resolution; that’s all changed now.  It’s in our people’s interests to identify performance inefficiency and make changes,” explains Mike Ford, Forecast, Planning and Performance Manager, Scottish Power.

The team cut turnaround time for back office work to less than two days, from an average of four, and increased productivity by between 20% and 60% for all work types. Full use of workforce management, robust forecasting models, process reengineering and actively involving front-line colleagues, have together helped reduce customer emails by 20% and written complaints by 40%. An initiative to cross-skill front and back-office employees has improved utilisation in the front office by 4%.

“This is a fantastic achievement from the planning team,” says Paul Smedley, Executive Director of the Professional Planning Forum. “Scottish Power have shown what can be done when planning techniques and real-time management are fully applied in the back office, alongside genuine engagement of colleagues.  It’s had a massive impact not only on the contact centre, but also on the customer experience. Every contact centre can learn something from Scottish Power’s approach; that’s what makes the company such a worthy overall winner.”

The winners were selected by a team of judges who visited each of the 17 shortlisted organisations, and then assessed them against a strict set of criteria. “Every year the process of judging gets harder.  The contact centre industry has changed so much in the last 10 years and each year we see new exciting innovations that make you proud to be part of the industry,” comments Steve Woosey, the Planning Forum’s Membership Director.

Six further awards recognise innovation in specific areas:

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Public Sector was awarded to Harrow Council for the way in which they transformed customer service by investing in live wireless data capture on waste collection truck. Having real-time information available to the contact centre has enabled them to resolve 95% of calls at first contact, while avoidable contacts have fallen by 100 calls a week leading to a saving of £90,000 a year.

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Outbound was won by outsourcers, Ventura for pioneering a new customer-focussed approach to planning outbound collection calls.  They increased right-party connects by 40% and conversion by 20%, using a new data warehouse and analysing demographics to create effective dialling strategies.

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Integrated Planning was secured by HM Revenue & Customs for transforming performance to handle an increase of almost 1 million calls by integrating planning across many different departments to promote early renewal, initiate an outbound campaign and create an enthusiastic contingency team of 1000 advisors from other areas of work.

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Service Integration was won by Netflights for the use of customer information on web transactions to focus and develop customer-focused outbound calling. A team of only six, generated over £12 million in
revenue, using web analytics to identify prospects for outbound calling and by reviewing KPIs, incentives and schedules.

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Customer Experience Transformation was presented to Shop Direct for their Customer 1st programme which enthused the whole centre in transforming customer experience and self-service, delivering 22% annualised savings, hiking sales by 15%, employee engagement by 23% and cutting the enquiry to order ratio by 21%.

The Contact Centre Innovation award for Quality and Performance Management was gained by Ventura for pioneering use of speech analytics to focus performance coaching on the key areas for improvement. They reduced AHT by 25 secs, cut silent time and reduced repeat calls by 10% in 4 molnths for one client.  
Planning Forum Heroes

This year, for the first time, as part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, four outstanding contact centre planning professionals were presented the new Planning Forum Hero awards.  Recognising their exceptional personal contribution in developing the contribution of planning within their own organisations, the 2010 Heroes are Phil Anderson, Resource and Planning Manager at Gold Medal Travel, Adrian Hawes, Resource Optimisation Manager at Aviva, Aaron Gourlay, Senior MI and Resource Analyst at Eurostar and Nick Lane, Director of Strategy and Planning at Orange UK.

The Contact Centre Innovation Awards were presented on 20th April at the Gala dinner at the close of Customer Contact Planning 2010 conference. A hugely successful conference with over 500 individuals registered for the conference and the gala awards dinner, it continues to be a key event in Contact Centre’s managers’ diaries. 

Every year, the Planning Forum produces case studies, for all organisations on the Innovation Awards shortlist, and organises facilitated site visits to meet with winners and finalists - the idea being to provide its members with examples of best practice from some of Europe’s most innovative contact centre operators. Previous winners have included QVC, EDF Energy, Salford City Council, Tesco, HBOS, Norwich Union and T-Mobile. Contact the Professional Planning Forum for more details on any of these award winning case studies at www.planningforum.co.uk or info@planningforum.co.uk.

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A selection of high res photographs is available from http://gallery.me.com/refjohn/100092  This will be added to in upcoming days.

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