Reducing the number of open complaints and help maintain volumes at a manageable level
Our client, a major UK energy provider, was experiencing high volumes of complaints from their business customers. These were the result of billing issues resulting from the historic migration to the SAP (Systems, Applications and Products in Date Processing) business platform as well as ageing business as usual complaints.
Before our engagement, the volume of open complaints stood at 18,000.
We were tasked with reducing the number of open complaints to below 10,000 and help maintain volumes below that level.
We supplied a team of 12; a team leader and 11 case handlers for an initial period of three months to help the firm try to reduce their backlog. At its peak there were 116 Huntswood associates working on the project. The project was extended six times because we continually exceeded production and quality expectations against a backdrop of ever rising complaint volumes.
It typically takes eight weeks to train our associates which is six weeks less than our client’s usual training period. To be deemed competent, the associates were expected to pass our client’s minimum quality threshold level of 80% regarding quality of communication, correct resolutions and adherence to policies. To do this, they needed to maintain levels of production up to 15 complaint resolutions per week.
Our team was split into two groups. Stage 1 cases included the new complaints that the client’s contact centre in South Africa was unable to process due to capacity issues. Stage 2 cases were aged complaints that had been escalated on at least two previous occasions. We worked on these two stages simultaneously throughout our engagement.
In addition to managing core complaints, we successfully trialled our client’s Quality and Compliance framework for the complaint handling process. This was subsequently implemented into the rest of the business after we had suggested some changes that we thought were required.
We also managed complaints driven from credit calls and actively managed these, focusing on cash collection for outstanding payments, not just the resolution of the complaints.
Our team closed over 500 large, high value corporate customers’ complaints while ensuring excellent quality and service levels. Our team spent time with our client’s operational managers and team leaders to share best practice as the excellent results being achieved exceeded the firm’s own performance level.
We resolved in excess of 1,000 complaints per week. Since the start of the project, we have successfully closed circa 21,000 complaints and helped bring our client back into line with their internal SLA targets.
On average 11 complaints per week have been resolved by each of our associates and each agent made 19 calls per day during the project.
Our team’s closure rate per hour was amongst the highest in the business and 34% higher than our client’s general complaint handling average.
In terms of overall quality, with 80% being the benchmark, Huntswood scored 87% for compliance and 95% for quality. The scores focus on whether the correct resolution was agreed, the correct process had been followed, the resolution was communicated effectively and if the calls had been made at the agreed times.
Our client commented that ‘our biggest learnings have come from the relationship with the outsource partner Huntsw