Assistance in clearing a backlog of complaints following a government review of a national rail franchise.
Our client, a train operating company, contacted us for assistance to clear their backlog of complaints following a government review of a national rail franchise. The firm was worried about how increasing backlogs impacted upon their customer service ratings and wanted to promptly rectify the situation.
The complaints were claims for compensation on delayed trains and caused a decline in our client’s service standards. In order to improve customer service, it was imperative that the backlog was promptly and accurately rectified within a five week timeframe. Given the volume of the backlog, we were set the task of resolving 40 complaints per day.
In addition, and where appropriate, our client wanted customers to be compensated for any detriment or inconvenience that may have been caused in order to limit any reputational damage to the brand.
Our client was also keen to understand if any processes could be improved to drive operational efficiencies, resulting in greater levels of output without compromising quality.
We engaged the client’s operational team to discuss the key resource requirements to deliver the objectives. A selection of potential candidates’ CVs for both Team Manager and Case Handler roles were submitted for review and approved based on suitability.
There were two teams of 10 complaint handlers overseen by team managers that we had resourced. Due to tight deadline, we opted to select experienced resource from our extensive contractor database.
Complaints were segregated into different levels of complexity, with varying degrees of training required for the complaint handlers.
An introductory site visit from our Transformation Manager, a permanent Huntswood employee, enabled a collaborative and positive working relationship to develop. Initial targets and processes were discussed and agreed in order to set clear expectations.
During the first week, members of our management team were on-site each day ensuring that all issues were promptly rectified to allow resource to be trained and to achieve competency as quickly as possible.
Our client delivered training for the complaint handlers and the team managers to ensure the team fully understood the process. In addition, the team was trained on an ongoing basis to allow them to progress more complex complaints.
Our management team provided daily updates to our client to show our progress and management of the project. The firm assessed completed cases to allow competence to be awarded accordingly to each complaint handler. Our Senior Delivery Manager regularly visited the site to liaise with the client’s management team and to ensure quality throughout delivery.
We resolved the full backlog of complaints within budget and ahead of the agreed timescale. Our results showed that production and quality expectations were being exceeded and the client was happy with the progression.
As the project progressed, each complaint handler in the team was consistently resolving up to 80 complaints per day instead of the agreed 40 complaints per day. Consequently, this reduced our client’s backlog quicker than they had expected.
Our team received positive feedback from the firm who considered their first experience in outsourcing complaint handling as “a positive and professional experience”.