Michael continues, “We got buy-in from high-level stakeholders within our business. They all thought I was mad to try and get the implementation done in 20 weeks, but they [ServiceNow] blew my expectations out of the water by getting it finished in just 17 weeks.”
Keeping things simple
The team’s vision had three main goals: to simplify services for customers, strengthen the agent experience, and succeed in delivering proactive support. The first step was to consolidate more than 290 agents working across 26 service desks into one team, with one data set, and one case management solution.
Capita Software designed a ‘minimal lovable product’ on Customer Service Management, including a service portal to log cases, a community where customers could ask questions, and an extensive knowledge library. This significantly reduced the volume of cases, leaving agents free to handle higher level queries, and gave them better access to the information they needed to resolve them. Reducing peaks in demand and response times improved the customer experience but also, crucially, reduced pressure on the support team, meeting the two main drivers behind the transformation of CX (customer experience) and EX (employee experience).
“It’s easy to get lost in meetings hammering out every tiny detail, but in my experience, users might not even notice those things,” Simon explains. “By getting the minimum essential functionality in place, we hit our deadline, rolled it out to our first set of customers, and used their feedback to take it to the next stage.”
Since go-live, an intense focus on Knowledge Management has increased the number of knowledge articles available to both customers and employees from 3,500 to more than 27,000. But giving customers the power to self-serve required a big cultural shift for Capita Software, as Michael explains:
“There’s no point in having people phoning us with issues that we already know about. By taking the plunge and publishing articles that a search engine can bring up, we’re actually empowering people to fix things quickly and easily and taking a more proactive approach.”
Between January and July 2020, knowledge article views rose from 20,000 to 75,000 per month. In all, two million knowledge articles were viewed in the 12-month period to March 2021.
Meeting targets and delighting customers
The phased roll-out started with 2,500 customers in August 2019. In the first 100 days, portal usage increased by 30% and it’s now the primary channel for customers – with 7,000 cases raised every month.
Today, the customer-facing portal has been rebranded in Capita’s colors and customer engagement has become a more personalized experience, for example, with contextual search capabilities and featured or popular relevant articles prominently displayed on the dashboard. It supports 90,000 customers with 700 active threads in the portal’s community.
Customer community forums are also a major growth area. From a single forum for the education sector, there are now forums for numerous professions, including healthcare, revenue and benefits, housing, and local government, all showing healthy levels of engagement.
And use of a virtual agent service is expanding steadily too, with 2,500 contacts per month and positive feedback from customers.
An integrated survey is sent to customers when their support case is resolved to capture feedback and identify areas for continuous improvement. Reporting timelines are greatly reduced, giving the team real-time information and insights into performance. While employee satisfaction has rocketed to 85%, perhaps the most telling indicator of success is the company’s NPS (Net Promoter Score – a measure of customer loyalty or customer satisfaction) rating.
“We started with an NPS score of +2. In June 2020 that hit +52 – that’s a best-in-class rating and we couldn’t be prouder,” says Simon.
Recognizing and rewarding talent
One of the goals of the transformation was to highlight the importance of Capita Software’s skilled and hard-working staff. With agents freed up to focus on more complex cases, they’re getting company-wide recognition, and 42 of the team have been promoted internally already.
“When I come to work, I feel valued, and that’s how I wanted the service agents to feel,” explains Michael. “This is a brilliant company to work for, and now we’ve shown our customer service team just how much we appreciate their hard work.”
The transformation has also inspired the system administrator team to confidently present ideas for future innovation, and having smashed the 20-week implementation target, the model is being used as a best practice approach elsewhere in the business.
“We set out to give customers high-quality customer support to match our industry-leading products. Our partnership with ServiceNow helped us deliver on that goal and exceed our own expectations,” concludes Michael. “And crucially, what we have created is a standard platform for customer software support that can be applied throughout the Capita organization.”