Improve Your CX Strategy – With These Clever Ideas From Bupa’s Contact Centre!

Silhouette of people holding stars at sunset - improving CX concept
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It’s business critical to keep your customers happy and engaged, but your CX strategy can quickly become stale if you keep cycling through the same old ideas and opinions within your own team.

So… If you’re looking for fresh inspiration to take your CX strategy to the next level, see what our Editor, Megan Jones, learnt from the Bupa contact centre team in Staines.

1. Create Your Own Dragons’ Den to Encourage Problem-Solving

Person giving presentation in office environment
Kick-start problem-solving by hosting
your very own Dragons’ Den

Have you seen BBC’s Dragons’ Den… The reality television programme where entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of investors? It’s a great model to imitate and inspire CX innovation!

At Bupa, the leadership team often kick-start problem-solving by hosting their very own Dragons’ Den – bringing colleagues together from the front and back office to discuss customer issues AND come up with solutions to present back to the panel.

It doesn’t stop there! The best solutions are then championed by the senior leadership team, who sponsor the projects to help bring them to fruition.

2. Train Agents to Look for Similarities With Customers to Help Build Rapport

It’s all too easy to get sucked into demographic research that highlights material differences across your customer base. For example, how much they earn and what type of house they live in.

Yet this type of exercise fails to give agents a good platform for building connection and rapport. In some cases, it can even foster resentment by showing agents “how the other half live”.

Instead, training should focus on similarities – not differences – to help agents build a connection, as Clive Butler, Hospital & Health Care Insurance Sales at Bupa, comments:

“You may initially assume someone treating their family to a day out to a theme park is very different from someone taking their family for a week in the Maldives, BUT when you look a bit closer, they are similar, as these are both people trying to create memories with their families. It’s about training agents to tune into these similarities as the nub of the conversation.”

3. Give Agents Pin Badges as Visual Reminders of CX Success

Bupa’s ‘Smile Awards’ celebrate colleagues who, quite simply, have made their customers smile!

This is a rolling monthly recognition programme, celebrating 6 winners each month with a voucher AND a pin badge to display proudly on their lanyard.

This is a great visual reminder of their success too – helping to reinforce everyone’s core purpose to support customers.

4. Interview Customers Who’ve Complained to Better Understand the Problem

A good way to better understand customer complaints is to interview a handful of customers to find out more about their experience.

For example, inviting a handful of customers who’ve recently complained to take part in research and interviews about their end-to-end customer journeys can uncover where there’s room for improvement. This level of attention can also help customers feel valued and listened to.

To find out how you should be monitoring customer complaints, read our article: 7 Effective Ways to Monitor Complaints

5. Stop Asking “How Are You Today?” in Your Call Openers

“How are you today?” is a generic question that often invites an “I’m fine” response.

Stop asking “How are you today?”, as this is a generic question that often invites an “I’m fine” response from customers.

Instead, try changing up your scripts and training to kick-start a better conversation.

For example, “how are you feeling?” or “how is everything in your world today?” can prompt more meaningful responses.

6. Segment Customers by Age Bracket to Help Agents Ask Relevant Questions

Arming agents with knowledge about the typical priorities and life pressures associated with various age groups can help them ask more relevant questions during their conversations.

For example, understanding that someone who is at retirement age is far more likely to be concerned with their brain health and preventing dementia, compared to a middle-aged parent who is more likely to be concerned about their family’s mental health and wellbeing.

If you are looking for advice on customer segmentation, read our article: Customer Segmentation: How to Segment Your Customer Base

7. Embrace AI to Boost Your Customer Retention Strategy

Bupa have embraced the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and PowerBI to identify customers with a propensity to lapse – so they can proactively get in touch with them to try and retain their custom.

This has proven to be a success, as they’ve already seen a 5% improvement in their retention rate, supporting the financial business case to continue the project.

Two people thinking
Get agents thinking about people
not customers

8. Think People NOT Customers

Language choice is a powerful tool that can shape how we think and behave, so stop talking to your agents about customers and get them thinking about people instead.

This will help agents to think about all the people they’ve helped, as well as have a wider appreciation for their lives, experiences, and priorities – instead of just being a number and a customer of the company in that specific moment on the phone.

9. Always Staff to Peak Demand Instead of Average Demand

Managing call demand during peak times can be tricky – especially if you always staff to average demand and often find yourself caught short during peak times.

To overcome this, Bupa have switched to a ‘staffing to peak’ model. Not only does this help them better service their customers in busy periods but it also gives them the bandwidth to make proactive outbound calls to customers when call demand is lower.

This rethink has led to impressive results too – with an average speed of answer of less than 100 seconds and an abandon rate of 3%.

Ensuring you have the right number of skilled staff can be daunting, so for expert advice on shift planning, read our article: 12 Shift-Planning Techniques

10. Look Internally to Better Understand Your Customers

Stop overcomplicating it and just listen to your customers!

If you’re fortunate enough to have a big budget to support your customer experience, there’s a good chance you’ll look externally, to marketing and research companies, to help you better understand your customers.

Sound familiar? Then stop overcomplicating it and just listen to your customers!

When your agents are having hundreds (if not thousands) of conversations every day, look internally to gather insights about your customer experience instead. It’s all right there in front of you!

For more advice and suggestions on improving the customer experience in your contact centre, read these articles next:

Author: Megan Jones
Reviewed by: Xander Freeman

Published On: 12th Jun 2024 - Last modified: 18th Jun 2024
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, , , , , , ,

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