Delivering on the promise of personalization

Utility Warehouse migrated its systems to the Genesys Cloud CX™ platform, enabling them to overcome legacy challenges like system outages, reporting issues and duplicated work. Now, six IVRs serve the entire business, with support from 1,000 home-based agents. And the new platform has enabled those agents to spend 60% less time on calls, with campaigns completed 90% faster.

Higher NPS

compared to the industry average

60% time saved

on outbound calls

90% faster

campaign completion

96% reduction in phone numbers

and 90% reduction in IVR queues

Six IVRs serve

the entire business

Moved 800 staff

and two partner companies to remote working in hours

Our digital transformation was all about designing a lasting, purpose-built CX strategy — internally and self-sufficiently. Genesys gave us the launch pad to do that, while enabling heavy customization and integration, to the point the platform is invisible to our agents.

Samit Patel

Head of Portfolio

Utility Warehouse

Disjointed interactions

Utility Warehouse (UW) is the UK’s only genuine multi-service provider, simplifying the household bills of its customers by bundling household utilities including energy, broadband, mobile and insurance into one monthly bill. UW is committed to using technology to power its ambitious but sustainable growth plans, while helping serve existing customers in a timely and efficient manner.

UW isn’t like other utility companies; its customers have a range of bespoke bundles, and that means UW finds success and growth by improving its customer experience (CX). That’s the role of 1,000 agents based in the UK. But, as the world of work changed to adapt to a remote way of working, fragmented systems and aging IT infrastructure left the company lagging behind.

When its London contact center ran on Avaya on-premises technology, service regularly suffered due to outages, multiple disconnected systems and lack of insight into customer journeys. Only a few people had the knowledge and skills to make legacy system changes, which often took weeks.

“As a business, we wanted to improve employee efficiency and empowerment, by giving them a holistic view of the accounts they were working, thus reducing customer side efforts in the process,” said Samit Patel, Head of Portfolio at Utility Warehouse. “This meant giving customers the same results, in a quicker period, while improving business continuity, service levels and the ability to innovate.”

Transforming the contact center

Utility Warehouse chose the Genesys Cloud CX platform for its new omnichannel strategy and the ability to manage with much more ease than they could with their legacy system. “The teams have been able to build multichannel solutions, IVR enhancements and various integrations on their own,” added Patel. “It shows how user-friendly the system is and how it can empower our team to implement improvements themselves.”

In addition, the team was able to handle the complete migration from Avaya on its own without the help of a service provider. “Two team members implemented Genesys Cloud CX alongside their everyday work,” Patel said. “The migration took us about eight weeks.”

Leveraging the solution’s APIs to connect to the in-house CRM system meant agents retained the same user interface. And the company has replaced wallboards with Genesys reporting and customized dashboards.

“Our digital transformation was all about designing a lasting, purpose-built CX strategy — internally and self-sufficiently,” said Patel. “Genesys gave us the launch pad to do that, while enabling heavy customization and integration, to the point where the platform is invisible to our agents. They now manage all customer interactions through a single CRM interface built in-house.”

Smarter use of data, such as customer profiling and most recent contacts, has enabled intent-based routing. This has helped to reduce queues from 105 to just 10 (a 90% reduction) across the entire business. The amount of external phone numbers has also been cut from 600 to 20 (a 96% reduction). Previously, it was difficult to lessen the number of IVRs and individual menus, which could involve up to eight choices. Now, with dynamic IVRs, there are just six in total. In most cases, customers only need to press two buttons to quickly access the channel they need.

Self-service is more intelligent, allowing UW to adapt its CX to certain situations, including the type of background music its customers hear. For example, customers calling to provide meter readings are dealt with differently than those suffering a bereavement or experiencing financial problems.

“We do a lookup to see what services they have and the IVR only returns options and prompts that are relevant to their individual scenario,” said Patel. “That’s incredibly powerful. We’re able to get a 360-degree view of customers and, by integrating Genesys with Google Dialogflow, surface information instinctively so agents are better equipped.” Similarly, email complaints are quickly shifted to a phone conversation where they’re resolved more efficiently.

Further enhancements

Several months after deploying Genesys Cloud CX, Utility Warehouse has made improvements that weren’t possible with its old contact center solution. By replacing siloed teams and work practices with dynamic agent multitasking, blended advisor support across calls, emails and chat, employee satisfaction has improved. Because of these changes, 98% of email messages are answered within 48 hours and over 50% on the same day, compared to the previous SLA of five working days.

Empathy is embedded into every aspect of customer experience at UW. The company now delivers personalized services for different situations or markets. These services include live chat; WeQ4You, an automated queue position holder; and even teams dedicated to servicing those in hardship or suffering bereavement.

“At a time when other companies were in emergency response mode, our investment in tech transformation and Genesys meant that customers who were suffering hardship didn’t have to sit in long queues listening to sales messages and inappropriate music while waiting for assistance,” said Patel. “Instead, we gave them top priority, pulling them out of queues and connecting them quickly with our new dedicated team. We did the same with customers who had fallen on hard times and were struggling to pay their bills.”

Outbound sales campaigns and communications have also improved. Automated predictive dialing has replaced clunky legacy preview dialers. Now agents are connected to calls once customers answer. “We saved up to 60% in wasted time where agents used to sit on calls that weren’t valid or answered, or went to voicemail,” added Patel. “That’s eliminated a huge amount of expense. Now our campaigns achieve the same output in a tenth of the time with two agents instead of 10.”

Resource management challenges have also been eased. “We always wanted to forecast not just on inbound, but also on email, outbound and other channels,” said Patel. “We can now do that with Genesys Workforce Engagement Management and have been able to get rid of yet another legacy system. And agents can view their schedules remotely, making working from home and personal life easier.”

Adapting to remote working

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Utility Warehouse was able to act quickly to invoke remote working across its team. UW safely transitioned agents to home working immediately, reducing the impact on service levels for customers. “We didn’t need to make extensive changes to our dial plans, call or email routing.” said Patel. “We purchased 800 Chromebooks for our teams and then it was simply a case of loading the Genesys client — and they were ready to go.”

In addition, two partner companies using on-premises technology were able to take advantage of Genesys Cloud CX and invoke remote working within a couple of hours. In order to prioritize customer security and compliance, certain features like downloading data and call recordings were disabled in their deployment.

At a time when other companies were in emergency response mode, our investment in tech transformation and Genesys meant that customers who were suffering hardship didn’t have to sit in long queues listening to sales messages and inappropriate music while waiting for assistance.

Samit Patel

Head of Portfolio

Utility Warehouse

With social distancing measures easing, home workers have performed well and are invigorated without a commute. Only around 40% of staff are expected to return to the office. And remote working has created an opportunity that is truly accessible to all. Without the need for a commute, recruiters can recruit people with access opportunities or needs that would mean they can only work from home. And it gives UW the opportunity to hire people across the length and breadth of the country.

Employee satisfaction

“We’ve improved productivity, reduced transfers and response time, and our average IVR queues are 75% shorter,” concluded Patel. “These consistently high standards of service give our partners the confidence to promote our services to their friends and family. It’s also why our NPS is consistently around 50 — in stark contrast to the negative NPS scores prevalent within the UK energy, telecom and personal insurance markets.”

At a glance

Industry: Home services and utilities

Location: UK

Company size: Around 1,000 agents

Challenges

  • Improve business continuity, service levels and time to innovation
  • Reduce employee and customer effort
  • Rapidly transition to remote working

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