The White Company was looking to understand what customers really thought about their experience in the contact centre, and to know exactly where to focus on improving the service delivered. Using an outsourcer to meet seasonal demands to deliver a consistent customer experience was not being monitored or measured.
Bright Navigator was implemented to survey customers to gather evidence to enable performance to be measured properly. After getting some insight through using the system manually, The White Company moved to fully automating the solution across both the in-house team and the outsource partner to get a highly accurate measure of the customer experience whilst using Bright Index to benchmark progress each quarter.
Automating customer feedback delivered a 20% increase in response rates, giving greater confidence in the accuracy of the feedback. Issues are dealt with as soon as they happen and training for staff is provided based on what is required. The evidence enabled The White Company’s outsource partner to deliver the same quality service more quickly.
The White Company is known for impeccably stylish, beautifully designed products, principally in white. The retailer believes in making the most of life’s simple pleasures – and that it’s the little things that matter.
It’s this attention to detail that drove the need to better understand what customers were really saying about the service being delivered through the 60-seat contact centre, especially during its busiest time of year, Christmas.
On Mission to Best Practice
“Simply, we are on a mission to deliver a best practice contact centre,” said Emma Dark, Customer Service Director at The White Company.
“A few years ago, we were fourth in the Top 50 Companies for Customer Service and won Best Newcomer. So we knew we were doing well. But the evidence presented through this programme wasn’t enough. We needed to better understand how good the contact centre operation really was, and where we could implement improvements so that we were always delivering on the brand promise.”
As a starting point, The White Company used Bright Index to benchmark their performance. Although scores were good, there was a clear need to better understand the voice of the customer, and to ensure all interactions delivered the same brand quality as its products.
Voice of the Customer
“That’s when we gave Bright Navigator a try,” Emma Dark explains. “And, after a three-month pilot of using the CSAT tool, the insight was such an eye opener that a decision was made to implement the solution over the longer term, but at that time we were not ready to be fully automated.”
“Initially, customers were invited to respond to a survey manually. This resulted in only one third of calls being evaluated, and although response rates were high and the results were good, they weren’t always objective and it was not easy to identify opportunities to improve the experience for our customers. And when it got busy there was no time to offer the surveys as we needed staff to focus on dealing with customers.”
Despite not getting masses of data, there was sufficient evidence to propose that the business needed a quality programme to be able to uncover opportunities to improve customer interactions. It was looking to better understand what customers were saying, what the problems were and also what was working.
“We gave our customers a voice and they were validating our quality. We asked them to score us on engagement, understanding, whether they would recommend The White Company and FCR (First Contact Resolution). The verbatim feedback we were getting was like gold,” exclaims Emma Dark
90% of contact centre interactions take place during the Christmas period. The White Company scales up its resources to 120 agents using an outsourcer during that time. The business wanted to understand how well those temporary staff were delivering the customer experience.
By using Bright Navigator, the outsourcer could survey the customers that it interacted with. The outcome was clear; temporary staff were delivering a great performance.
However, like with their own staff, it wasn’t clear how the customer experience could be improved unless they asked more customers and made it easy to do so. Of course, this meant moving to a more automated approach, which would deliver more data to analyse.
The Road to Automation
“We wanted insight to be both authentic and statistically relevant. We were not disappointed. Fully automating the process delivered an amazing 20% uplift in response rates,” explains Emma Dark. “This meant the results we were getting were more realistic than ever before. Unfortunately, the scores dipped a little, but they were more accurate, and we were getting even more valuable verbatim feedback. The confidence we now have in our understanding of the customer experience is so much greater.”
Bright Navigator was also used to monitor the quality of calls handled by the outsource partner to ensure the experience for customers was the same. The outsourcer was taking sales and ‘where’s my order?’ type calls.
“The fact that we were getting insight into the outsourcer’s performance daily meant that we were able to jump straight on any issues, pulling statistics on teams and individuals so that we could assess what the root cause of the problem was and deal with it immediately. It wasn’t long before the results were just as good as the permanent members of the team.”
“That’s the benefit of Bright Navigator,” says Emma Dark. “We are able to see instantly where there is substandard performance and with far greater accuracy. Getting this level of insight means we can measure it properly and focus on areas for improvement. We get the evidence with customer feedback, which means that we can correct it quickly. If that means through training, whether it’s down to a lack of product knowledge or the need for an individual to get some focused training on a specific call type, then we can make that improvement straight away.”
Results Are More Stable
Previously, there was inconsistency in the results, FCR (First Contact Resolution) results were volatile. Since being fully automated, The White Company has seen metrics become more stable. This has led to expansions in the use of Bright Navigator.
“We have now deployed the Alerts module,” says Emma Dark. “We use it to identify and respond to FCR or survey issues. If FCR is not achieved, or there is an apparent complaint recorded in the survey, there is an alert. We investigate what the reason for the call is and whether the agent could have resolved it. This gives us the insight we need to understand whether we are having an influx of calls due to a business problem such as on the website or our couriers, or whether there is a development need for a
specific agent. We can then fix it.”
“This means that we can also really celebrate the successes. We are able to use the evidence Bright Navigator provides us to recognise staff that are shining examples of customer service excellence, and use the information to shape development plans.”
Benchmarking With Bright
Every quarter Bright reviews The White Company’s performance against the Bright Index. Scores are measured alongside the Retail Benchmark (contact centres in the retail space) and the rest of the UK. The White Company continues to track above its retail peers across the board.
“Annoyingly, Bright had predicted what would happen throughout our journey. They told us we’d get greater value from the tool if it was fully automated, and they were right,” admits Emma Dark.
“They totally understand our business pains, and Bright Navigator and their consultants provide us with the evidence we need to resolve them.“Emma Dark, Customer Service Director at The White Company.
“Bright gives us the valuable insight we need to deliver an exceptional contact centre customer experience. We now know with confidence exactly what our performance is and where we need to focus to improve it. Bright is right with us on this journey to excellence.” Emma Dark, Customer Service Director at The White Company
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