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Customer Management
What next for the
contact centre?
In conversation with
Anne Marie Forsyth of the CCA
+ Off the Press
The latest news and views from Capita
How we’re putting loneliness on hold
The South African agents who love UK calls
The Capita team that’s truly golden
Our monthly roundup of insight,
analysis and new thinking on
customer management and
customer relationships
Customer Management
About face on chatbots?
Last year Facebook was leaping into the chatbot fray with abandon –
30,000 of them operating by September.
This year… not so much. The social network is scaling back its AI efforts after
reports that 70% of Facebook Messenger chatbots are actually failing to fulfil
users’ requests. Facebook is shifting focus to answering a more limited set of
questions, but getting them right.
Data Security
Promise you won’t tell anyone
Setting brands a tough equation to balance, customers are saying
they want both more security and more personalisation. A survey
by Opinium Research of 24,000 consumers across 12 countries
has revealed that 89% say they need to know how secure their
information is, but equally 80% increasingly expect providers to
personalise services for their needs. And that’s a challenge.
Customer Management
1min23s, 1min24s, 1min25s…
In recent weeks Harvard Business Review has weighed in on the
customer service metric debate with a report chastising Average
Handling Time as ‘a relic of the old service world.’
… It’s an inappropriate measure in this age, they argue,
because customers are aware of its existence and can ‘hear the
stopwatch ticking’ as agents try to conclude calls.
…It’s also a culture killer for empathy and what HBR calls
‘network judgment’ – where agents figure things out together
rather than being fixated on the clock or the script. Time for it to
go, declared a trio of HBR customer service experts in February.
Where your advisors think you’re going wrong
Brands need to focus more on contact centre data and customer experience
feedback if they are to save costs, increase organisational efficiency and
build stronger customer relationships. A US study by Clarabridge, who
supply customer experience software solutions, surveyed 1600 contact
centre agents and customers. The aim was to compare their views on
interactions and common frustrations, and see where they connected.
26% of agents said feedback on customer service was
collected, but never distributed to other departments in the
Only 25% of agents felt “completely satisfied” by their last
call. Customers put it at 15% .
48% of agents said customers were “angry and impatient”
and 34% felt they didn’t have the authority to resolve the
customer’s issue.
67% of consumers in this US-based survey admitted to
raising their voices when dealing with contact centres.
Clarabridge CEO Mark Bishof said the survey showed the most common
frustrations were frequently shared by agent and customer alike, adding
that executives were underestimating an “unprecedented opportunity to
use contact centre data for continual business improvement.”
Personal in real time
Ocado is to start pushing real-time personalised shopper
marketing campaigns based on customers’ online behaviour.
It’s working with relationship marketeers Selligent to deliver
rapidly tailored messages, building on Ocado’s 2016 adoption of
an AI programme to organise customer emails.
Eighty-eight percent
Contact centre technology
The proportion of customers who’d be keen to see voice
identification introduced (well at least in the Asia/Pacific region,
according to a recent voice biometrics survey). Of an admittedly
modest 900-strong sample of consumers from Australia to India,
88% said they were up for voice ID, 55% said they considered
answering security questions to a stranger over the phone
frustrating and 46% said it soured their contact experience.
Press button one for iron dry
At first a slightly odd warning from open-source software author James Passingham,
but the point he’s making is that modern washing machines come with 20 different
programmes when we only use three on average. And phone systems frequently
arrive with a mass of complexity aimed at eliminating human error, yet all the while
customers are asking for things to be simpler and service more personal. “At a time
when every consumer survey shows that voice and personal communication are still
favoured over all other channels by a long way, this isn’t good news.”
America turns the screw on offshoring
In a developing stance against offshoring in a Trump America,
March saw a bipartisan bill introduced in the US Congress to
strip companies that move contact centres overseas of grants
or guaranteed loans from the government. Part of the bill’s aim
was to produce a public shaming list of ‘bad actors’ shifting jobs
overseas, but stopped short of
mandating against companies
moving call centres offshore at all
(a threat hinted at earlier during the
Presidential campaign).
Webchat and messaging
Picture worth a thousand codes
Twitter has been humanising its direct messages, adding
customer service agents’ names, titles and pictures
so it’s more obvious that there’s a person not a robot
responding to your enquiry.
T-Mobile has been the first to jump on the idea, with
more brands expected to follow.
Supply chains feeling the digital pressure
The increasing desire for ‘faster, sooner’ from customers is
making it tough for retailers to keep their supply chain systems
and technologies up to expectations. A survey of 200 retailers by
ecommerce experts Convey showed only 3% of them think their
current systems could support their goals to improve customer
service, while 66% felt existing systems did nothing to enhance it. This
leaves many retailers scrabbling to shake out the legacy supply chain
technologies holding them back in the modern ‘anytime, anywhere,
anyhow’ shopping paradigm.
Customer experience
Fixing it for customers
Scrapping scripts and tick sheets has paid off for Screwfix. Their less formalised
‘simply better service’ initiative bagged them the Customer Service Initiative
of the Year award at the Retail Week Awards in March.
Judges said that Screwfix’s ambitious reforms of how it considers its customers,
stores and staff had produced a like-for-like sales rise in their latest results
and an expansion of their customer base. Advisor to advisor transfers in their
contact centre had been cut, while customers’ views on ease of shopping and
making contact were both improved.
Customer management
A CEO mans the phones
What did Health Insurance CEO Alan Murray learn when he spent
some hours fielding calls in his own contact centre?
To listen: “Is the caller calm and patient, expecting a prolonged
and detailed conversation? Or is she rushed, talking on her car’s
speakerphone with three kids screaming in the background?” The
experience taught Murray that if you don’t have the empathy to figure
that out and allow for it, you won’t have a successful company, no
matter what business you’re in.
To be proactive: with random acts of kindness for customers such as
sending them a handwritten card of congratulations for a new baby.
To always look on the bright side: ”Sure, a lot of customer service
has to do with listening to gripes and complaints and problems,” reflects
Murray, “but it’s also an opportunity to have a direct conversation with
the people who use your product or your service and to hear just how
much it means to them.” Writing in Entrepreneur magazine, the CEO
of CareConnect Insurance in the US maintained that now, no matter
how busy he is, he always clears a few hours a week in his schedule to
get on the line in his contact centre and stay up to date with customer
File under “who knew that was a problem?” Capital One has declared
its latest chatbot to be neither male nor female but “gender-neutral”, giving
it the name Eno, which is One backwards. (Well, guess Neo is already taken,
but wonder what Brian Eno thinks about it?) The decision was apparently in
response to criticism that too many digital assistants have female names like
OK Google or Cortana or Siri or Bixby or…er… ok Alexa. To make Eno seem
more human, Capital One customers can also instruct it via emojis; a bag of
money to request an account balance, a thumbs up to confirm a payment.
Should you feel the unaccountable urge to inquire of the chatbot what its
gender might be, Eno will slyly say “Binary”. See what they did there?
King of the multiple journey
Argos has topped the charts for its omni-channel offering.
A look at 30 leading UK non-food retailers by ecommerce
consultants Practicology concluded that Argos lead the
pack in the variety and performance of its cross-channel
shopping journeys.
…Close behind were House of Fraser and John Lewis. All three
demonstrated “extensive support” for those shoppers who
used multiple touchpoints before completing purchases.
…Meanwhile retailers further down the list suffered from
the inability to offer information on in-store stock, poor
signage for in-store pickup, no click-to-call numbers on
their mobile site, online editorial-style content that wasn’t
shoppable, and numerous other issues.
…Random historical note: Argos was named after the Greek
city in which founder Richard Tompkins was holidaying when
he had the idea for the stores in 1973.
Empowering partners
John Lewis’ new Partner App is set to roll
out across the phones of 8,000 staff in
20 stores, so they can quickly check stock
across all branches without visiting stock
rooms or tills. The retailer trialled at it at
their Cambridge store where customer
feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The
app cut response times and meant partners
didn’t need to leave customers to answer
a question or complete a sale. It’s a £4m
investment for JLP.
In conversation with
Anne Marie Forsyth
Chief Executive, CCA
The CCA – or Contact Centre Association as it was
originally christened – boasts some of the UK’s deepest
insights into what makes contact centres tick. For 20
years it’s been gathering knowledge about the behaviours,
beliefs, technology and talent that help centres deliver
customer service excellence.
The CCA’s Global Standard and Excellence Awards have
become benchmarks by which organisations judge the quality
of their service, and the CCA now extends its reach into
strategy and thought leadership for the industry.
We asked CCA Chief Executive Anne Marie Forsyth where she
sees the contact centre and customer service industries going,
and what the centre – and agent – of tomorrow will look like.
So how did CCA begin?
“We started in the days when call centres were springing up all
over the place. Back then they were just that - ‘call’ centres.
They were relatively simple things and the main agenda at
the time was where to site them - often in remote areas or
cities where manufacturing had been decimated - and how to
populate them. We really began by helping people get that off
the ground. I was one of the founders and CCA is now 20 years
And what about today?
“Now we’re more about helping organisations understand
the value of customer relationships. Yes we focus on contact
centres, but not exclusively, and those centres can be very
different from the early days. They might be virtual, there
might be organisations with mixed models - insourcing,
outsourcing, global sourcing all mixed together - then there’s
homeworking and of course lots of different channels.
“Often the biggest challenge we help organisations with today
is how to make sense of that complex structure, and to ensure
it makes sense to the customer as well, who doesn’t see any of
what goes on in the background.
“So our agenda is very much about that complexity, about
helping organisations achieve operational excellence, and
around strategic support in, essentially, getting more out of
the customer.”
What’s involved in doing that?
“Well we have an industry thought leadership group that
includes 43 leading organisations. Collectively they make up
about 25% of customer service in the UK with major brands
across all sectors from finance to outsourcing to media. So
that’s quite a bit of expertise.
“We encourage them to think not just about today’s
customer service but about tomorrow’s challenges, though
we don’t think very far ahead… I think the times of making
ten-year plans are gone. This is such a fast-paced
and constantly changing industry that
organisations are more concerned with
the issues of today and the next few
years, rather than decades ahead.
“Our USP, which I think we do very
well, is always looking for new
ways to share. When we bring
together like-minded organisations
and experts at webinars or in task
groups, we spread all those inputs
to the rest of the industry. I think
that’s incredibly valuable.”
There’s a massive,
pent up demand for
authenticity, empathy
and real conversations,
but often that hasn’t
been allowed to happen
to any great degree.
You’re also known for your Global Standard that
independently audits customer service excellence. What’s
involved and how do you measure it?
“The Global Standard is now version 6, evolving to version 7,
and it’s the definitive standard for customer service and contact
centres. We introduced it to the market in 2001 and it’s been
continuously reviewed ever since, with hundreds of organisations
contributing to the process.
“We use independent assessors from major organisations such as
BSI, but also individual industry experts as well. There’ll be many
of them out there, visiting organisations all the time.
“It’s very definitely not a ticking the box exercise.
“As part of our Strength Finder process our assessors are
looking for cohesiveness and communication throughout an
organisation. Does what the board says it does
for customer service actually match up to
what’s delivered on the frontline? And if
customers are having a problem, is there a
route to rapidly identifying and solving it?
How can you judge one organisation’s
‘excellence’ against another’s?
“I think there’s a whole series of nonprescriptive measures of what a well run
organisation should be doing around its
customer service.
“I’d have to say the standard of award submissions over the
last five years has risen incredibly. One of the most frequent
comments we get from our judges is that things are so tight
at the final stage of the process. There are just so many good
What do organisations that go through the Global Standard
process get out of it, other than the recognition itself?
“Organisations who’ve done it talk so positively about it - about
how it brings the whole organisation together. How it helps
them break down silos. How it makes everybody focus on the
things they’re doing for the customer that need improving. How
it highlights what they’re doing right that perhaps they didn’t
even realise they were doing so well.
What are the big questions you’re getting asked at the
“The sort of questions we hear a lot right now are
things like: ‘what is everybody else doing about
artificial intelligence, robotics and automation?
Our board has asked us, and we need to
understand it.’
None of the things
we talk about in
customer service – the
improvements, the
excellence – is achievable
without good leadership
that leads on behalf of
the customer.
“Of course they’ll all be doing it
differently. For example, if you’re working
in a highly regulated environment, then within that context
you’ll have to prove you’re being fair to customers and listening
to what they say. Whereas in, say, a public sector housing
organisation, your strategy and objectives may be quite different.
Your call lengths are longer, you’ll have a chain of supply, and
many of the calls may be about getting things fixed by other
“But that doesn’t mean they can’t still apply the same standard,
because the standard takes account of what sort of organisation
you are.
“And you can also measure excellence in its component parts,
which is what our Excellence Awards are about.
“I think that can be a sign of what boards
get wrong and struggle with. They’re just
not sufficiently digitally aware of the issues
involved. Not always, but often, boards tend
to be made up of older people who are used
to a command and control structure. They don’t
appreciate that often it’s their very junior people who
are their lifeline on this subject.
“In fact one of the big strands for us this year is leadership.
“None of the things we talk about in customer service – the
improvements, the excellence – is achievable without good
leadership that leads on behalf of the customer. Leadership that,
when it comes across something it doesn’t understand, asks for
views that are much wider than those of the board.”
Are there areas where you think the industry has misjudged
what’s happening in customer service?
“One of the changes people over estimated was the degree to
which call centres would decline. There was a feeling, say five or
six years ago, that voice was on its way out. Everything was going
to be on web chat, self serve, etc, so we weren’t going to need as
many people, which meant we didn’t have to put as much effort
into recruiting and training them.
“But while automation is happening in other areas, we still have
a lot of people answering phones, and for them the challenges
are bigger than ever because they are dealing with so much more
complexity. For example, organisations tell us that some of their
younger staff are really stretched and stressed by the complex
and emotional stuff coming at them from callers who may be
in dire circumstances. They struggle to deal with it. In my view
there’s been an under investment in people… and people are
rightly coming back into fashion.”
What about the future of
the contact centre?
“In a way I think that’s tied up with the search
for authenticity and agent empowerment. We
might start to look at different ways of working
to encourage that.
“I personally think there will be a lot more
employment in this sector for people caring and
serving people, but it will be differentiated from
the way it is today. I think we will become much
more aware of the power of groups - groups of
Millennials coming together in an organisation,
problem solving, forming communities, handling
multiple enquiries at the same time, through
chat, for people like themselves.
“When did we ever say that people doing selling
have to be glued to their desks all the time?
What’s wrong with getting up and wandering
around while helping a customer? We’ve got
wireless everything, do we really need to sit –
especially when we have a growing problem with “I believe we are in a transition phase at the
moment, with some key drivers that are going to
obesity and sedentary jobs in this country?
tip events, and Millennials are definitely one of
“Also, if you’re a young person, you’re used to
sorting all this stuff on your mobile, while you’re
“Finally I’d say that as a CEO your job is to find
mobile. That’s the way Millennials are thinking
better ways to do business. To do that you have
and organisations will need to recruit very
differently to make future contact centres work. to truly understand how customer service will
help you meet your strategic aims. You’ll need
to make some hard decisions over the next few
“I think we’re going to see more communityyears, and you can’t do that without knowing
based centres of contact excellence. Yes, large,
traditional contact centres will continue because the truth of these things.
not everything moves quickly. You’ll still need a
“So for me one of the big challenges in this
lot of centralised services for financial services
industry is leadership that is too comfortable
and the public sector. But you’re going to see
sitting on 97% CSAT rates. When you dig down
many more models of communication set up
deeper, that impressive looking figure could
around hubs, spokes and distributed models.
be obscuring all sorts of other problems. And
I believe those problems are hiding because
“I think you’ll see more homeworking. That’s
organisations are not listening to their people
a hockey stick curve with lots of organisations
trialling it for contingency reasons, but my guess and practising authenticity. It’s absolutely
is there’ll come a point when it suddenly takes
For more information on the work the CCA does,
go to:
“We don’t need confidentiality for everything,
so why couldn’t agents be solving customers
problems on the bus, train or whatever, and
bringing their own devices into work and so on?
A truly digital native workforce.
“We also tend to forget that a massive chunk
of contact centre activity is around the health
service, social services, charities and so on.
What customers think.
(10,000 of them…)
Earlier this year Capita Customer Management hosted
a webinar to consider the State of the Customer
Service Nation in 2017.
A range of speakers explored the latest satisfaction
figures, the role of social media and what can be learned
from the best-in-service businesses.
It was so popular that we’ve decided to rebroadcast some
of the material in Intelligence for those who missed the
webinar when it was originally aired. First up are the
highlights of the Institute of Customer Service’s twiceyearly Customer Satisfaction Index. Drawn from surveys
of more than 10,000 customers, it forms a snapshot of
how customers were thinking as 2017 kicked off.
The big result
The UK Customer Satisfaction Index
score as 2017 got underway was
That’s up 0.8 compared to early 2016
and is the fourth consecutive growth in
customer satisfaction, now at its highest
point since July 2013.
But though overall satisfaction shows
a gratifying creep upwards, there are
quirks elsewhere in the figures.
Customers are working harder…
Customer effort, flat since January 2015, has lifted by 0.3. Small,
but it does imply people are having to put more effort into their
relationships with organisations to make them work.
…but not recommending as much…
Meanwhile the Net Promoter score (a measure of advocacy
among consumers) fell by 5.2 points.
...and running into problems
The number of customers experiencing problems with an
organisation grew from 12.6 to 13.1%. That’s odd, thought the
ICS, as a growth in overall satisfaction is generally partnered by a
fall in problems. More of those customers also ended up making
a complaint. Late delivery, slow service and the suitability or
availability of goods and services were the most common irritants.
Between the best and worst
The gap between the highest and lowest performers has
narrowed, largely thanks to the lowest scorers improving
their game. This is particularly noticeable among utilities,
banks, transport and telcos.
65% of utilities and 44% of transport organisations that
received a UKCSI score in both January 2016 and 2017, have
improved their rating by at least two points. Of the 14 train
operating companies in the UKCSI, eight have seen their
score increase by at least two points.
…and what separates them
The biggest differentiators between the top 50
organisations and the other 180 in the UKCSI appear to be
their quality of complaint handling and ability to deliver
a good, over-the-phone experience. However the gap has
Across the sectors
Satisfaction has grown in all 13 sectors
(with the exception of automotive, which stays flat).
Right first time
Is on the increase. The number of customers who said
everything was right first time with their most recent
contact was
3.4% up on last year.
The top ten is the top rated organisation. Behind
Amazon in the top ten are, John Lewis,
M&S (both food and non-food), Waitrose, Nationwide,
first direct, Greggs, giffgaff and Iceland.
…and the top 50
38% of the top 50 are from the two retail sectors
(food and non-food). Twenty organisations that
feature in 2017 were not there in last year’s list.
Customer service pays
Those retail food companies with a UKCSI at least one point
higher than the sector average achieved year-on-year sales
growth averaging at 7.2%. Those with a UKCSI one point
lower...just 0.2% growth.
Tesco secured one of the sector’s largest satisfaction increases
of 1.2 points. Across the same period (and perhaps not
unconnected) its sales grew by 2.2% compared to last year.
Banks with the highest customer satisfaction scores have
been the most successful in adding current accounts. The four
banks included in the CASS Dashboard whose UKCSI sat higher
than the sector average in January 2016 – Nationwide, TSB,
Santander and Halifax – collectively achieved an average of
24,476 net current account gains, representing 66% of all
current account gains recorded by the CASS.
Old vs young
The satisfied young are catching up with the satisfied
old. Older customers routinely demonstrate higher
satisfaction levels, but this year the gap between
the oldest and youngest groups has narrowed to 7.4
points against 8.4 in 2016.
Younger customers can be particularly harsh in
their assessment of online experiences, as well as
helpfulness and competence of staff. Yet it turns
out they’re often happier with complaint handling
than older groups. This is most likely because making
complaints is something that particularly rankles
with older customers, suggests the ICS.
How the Institute of Customer Service pulls
the index together.
The UKCSI looks at the state of customer satisfaction across
13 sectors, based on an online survey of 10,000 consumers,
chosen to represent the UK adult population by region,
age and gender. The January 2017 UKCSI comprises 42,500
responses, 3,000 from each sector except for utilities, which
includes 6,500 responses. Customers are asked to rate their
experience of dealing with a specific organisation in the
previous three months.
Customers rate their experience for over 30 metrics covering
staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, ease of doing
business, timeliness, problem solving, complaint handling and
attitudes towards trust and reputation.
244 organisations received a UKCSI rating. These include 230
named organisations and 14 generic providers including “your
local Council”, “your local restaurant/takeaway” etc.
Channels and choices
Interactions via websites, chat, apps and text
are all up, but email has seen a particular surge
Employee engagement
Do the sums and companies where employee
engagement has improved by one point see a
0.41% uplift in customer satisfaction.
Satisfaction shifts depending on
the ‘intensity’ of a customer’s
relationship. For example, in the
transport sector, those who use
an organisation every day show
significantly lower satisfaction
than those using it once a week.
from 4.9% to 9%.
That could be a reflection of the rise in customers experiencing
problems with organisations. Email is often the favoured choice
for potentially challenging conversations, notes the ICS.
The gap between the highest
and lowest performers has
narrowed, largely thanks to
the lowest scorers improving
their game. This is particularly
noticeable among utilities,
banks, transport and telcos.
In summary, the January 2017 UKCSI report
“Many organisations are performing better on some of
the essential elements of customer service, especially in
getting things right first time and dealing with problems
and complaints. But it has become more challenging to
convert improvements in customer service to tangible
customer loyalty and advocacy. We have identified six key
areas of focus that will help organisations develop customer
experience strategies that deliver sustained performance and
generate loyalty and recommendation.
1. Making experiences easier
2. Preventing problems at source
3. Consistency across channels, especially the crucial
channels of over-the-phone and email
4. Moving seamlessly between fast efficient service and
proactive, empathetic help and advice
5. Prioritising customer satisfaction means prioritising
employee engagement
6. Understanding the broader context of the customer’s
relationship with your organisation”
+ Off the Press
Our roundup of stories, events, successes and ideas from across Capita.
What we’ve been doing and what we’re doing next.
Peter Doveren
Managing Director, Capita Customer
Management UK and South Africa
Though I’ve only been in this interim role for
a couple of months, it’s already struck me
how many excellent things are happening
within Capita Customer Management and
how many great opportunities there are to
improve and strengthen our partnerships.
We’re already bringing a differentiated
customer experience to our clients’ customers,
and there are opportunities to improve the
experience for those customers even further.
The set of brands we have, and the breadth
of sectors we work in, are also very inspiring.
When I’ve talked to our clients it’s clear
I’ve spent the last couple
they feel Capita is trustworthy, but
of months making my
they would like to see a higher level
rounds, getting to know
"We’re already bringing a
of innovation driving the service
the business better and
differentiated customer
forward. And that is absolutely
meeting our clients. As
our ambition.
someone with a long
background in customer
They’ve also voiced concerns
opportunities to improve
service and customer
on issues around our IT
the experience for those
experience – before coming
infrastructure – something
customers even further."
to Capita I was at Vodafone
we’ve mentioned in previous
for 10 years, most recently
issues of Off the Press. So I’m
heading up customer services
pleased to say we’ve now signed
worldwide – I can see a huge
off on a very solid plan to address them. It
number of positives.
involves not just immediate provisions being
implemented in April to improve stability, but
We’re building on a very high level of daily
some long term solutions to give us a more
delivery where we’re already seeing very
trustworthy IT environment. Importantly we’re
high satisfaction scores. Our partnerships are
not betting on one big new system but several
delivering really good, steady performances
and there’s enormous potential to move to the ‘irons in the fire’ that will give us a great deal
more stability.
next level.
Meanwhile our pipeline is well filled with
new brands and clients, and we’re hoping to
become the preferred bidder for a number of
them very soon.
Finally, one of the impressions I’ve taken
away from these first two months has been
the willingness of our people to go further on
customer experience. In fact many have been
crying out to be able to spend more time on it
and for us to be more people focused.
I can say there is a real push now from the
board on engagement… a new course of action
in the company to increase the engagement of
our staff and give them the chance to deliver
exceptional customer service. And that seems
hugely exciting to me.
Each year Capita celebrates the excellence and
achievements of its people with an awards lunch. This year
it was at One Whitehall Place, London, on January 30th.
In Poland, Capita is a star. In fact the Outsourcing Star. It’s a title Capita
Poland carried off for the second year running at the Outsourcing Stars
Gala in Lublin (in the BPO of the Year category). And at the annual CEE
Shared Services and Outsourcing Awards Gala in Warsaw, Capita Poland
secured Business Process Outsourcer of the Year for the third time in a
row. The awards are a testament to the team’s success, rapidly building a
reputation across the CEE region, even though only established in 2011.
All the award winners - both individuals and teams - had been
nominated by their own colleagues, as recognition of the
inspiration, leadership and support they demonstrated in their
day-to-day jobs.
And here are those winners...
Highly Recommended
Di Main
L&P Zurich
Vicky-Jo Warham
Mick Dorrn
Paul Wooldridge, Caroline
Howard, Helen Richardson &
Tracie Chandler, CIBS
Bina Patel, Jean
McCarthy, Jackie
Goodyear & Diana
Holdcroft, PiP
Richard Sherrington,
Mark Knight, Roger
Salton & Mark Taylor
Gavin Dale, Ryan Shone, Chris Ellard & James
Ball, Knowledgepool
Shazia Ismail, Maria Chiware, Ben Walker &
Theo Bierman, Updata
Innovation &
Zahra Mawani, TVL
Shrinivas Kowlagi
Capita India
Carl Malone, Paul
CIBS Life & Pensions
Nigel Mynett, Project Services
Colin Ingram, BBC Audience Services
Belinda Livesey, Environmental Health
& Community
Dusty Miller & Simon Carter, EMS
Dee Potter, Kurtis
Bruney, Richard
Whiteside & Lee
Dixons Carphone
Louisa Muckle,
Emma Close, Kayla
Fire Service College
Ryan Judson, Remediation Services
Adam Gwilliam, Julie Yates & Mandi Matejko,
Claims & Underwriting Team L&P
Thomas Alderman, Local Government
Inter Divisional
Kate Jenner, Simon Welch, Peter
Franklin, Lilian Brett
CGS Barnet Partnership
Ian Scholes, Kate
Sirett, Nigel Foster &
Ingrid Jackson
Ops Improvement,
IT, Capita Transition
and Group HR
Nicola Crosbie, Ciara
McCoy, Chris Lunt
Capita SIMS,
Managed IT Services,
Micro Librarian
Lisa Tse
Karl Buttgen
Travel & Events
Richard Johnson
Local Government
Chris Strike, Group HR
Ben Foster, Healthcare Decisions
Presented by
Andy Parker
Chief Executive
Peter Hepworth,
Divisional Managing
Commercial Services
Nick Greatorex, Group
Finance Director
Shona Nichols,
Executive Director,
Scott Sherwood, David Tasker, Helen Kowalczyk
and Jacob Hughes, Fund solutions
Aisling Hannon, Banking & Debt Solutions
Dave Megan, Workplace services
Lauren Taylor & Andy Hudgell Mike Snow,
James Ottaway, Stacy Chance and Bryony Kelly
Chris Sellers
Group Business
Development Director
Scott Sherwood, Fund Solutions
Joey Hopkinson, Remediation Services
Vic Gysin
Group Operations &
Performance Director
The striking ‘With Heart. With Mind.’ officer campaign by
Capita’s Army Recruitment (RPP) team won no fewer than four
categories in the recruitment industry's prestigious RAD Awards
in January. That included the most sought after Work of the Year
award, marking out the campaign as the very best the judges
had seen during 2016. They declared it exceptional: “a truly
immersive candidate experience that gave a real flavour of Army
life; combining intelligent use of virtual reality with physical
challenges and a very high standard of presentation.”
The CRN Channel Awards exist to acknowledge the effort
involved in delivering technological solutions, services and
support to UK organisations. In January they recognised
the work of Trustmarque, part of Capita’s IT Enterprise
Services business, in the public sector by naming them
Public Sector Provider of the Year. Trustmarque’s aim is to
make the lives of frontline public sector staff easier, and
change the perception of what technology can achieve.
Since being acquired by Capita in June 2016, its presence in
the public sector has grown rapidly.
The strong, collaborative partnership Capita Travel and
Events has built with Direct Line Group paid off in the
2017 Business Travel Awards. It earned them the award
for Travel Team of the Year, with judges saying the team’s
work together represented “a true example of listening
to your travellers. Simply brilliant and a worthy winner.”
…picked up two well-deserved gongs from the Corporate
Adviser Awards in March – Best Use of Technology and Firm
of the Year. They were also Highly Commended as Pension
Adviser of the Year. For the technology prize it was CEB’s work
with Police Mutual that earned them top spot. Commenting
on the Firm of the Year submission, the judges noted CEB’s
commitment to governance and innovations in member
engagement, and how their analytics skills set them apart
from other contenders.
Capita’s digital agency Orange Bus beat off a slew of big
name competitors to walk away with the prestigious Large
Agency of the Year award at the Northern Digital Awards
2017. Its work in the private and public sectors (including
HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions) has
seen Orange Bus grow in stature over the last six months,
and judges took into account not just the level and calibre
of business obtained but the standard of work delivered.
300,000 pupils
The Northern Ireland Education Authority has extended its contract with Capita
to provide ICT services for over 1,100 schools in Northern Ireland. The original
£170m five-year contract began in 2012. This two-year extension - worth above
£50m - will take it to March 2019. Capita provides a managed IT service to every
primary, post-primary and special needs school in Northern Ireland, supporting
300,000 pupils and 50,000 teachers and staff. We also provide Capita SIMS
management software to every school.
Unlocking value
for Santander
Santander has appointed Capita to provide corporate real estate services across
its UK portfolio over the next three years. Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure
will provide a full range of professional services including valuation, acquisition
and disposal, lease advisory and management services, and will give strategic
advice to help Santander unlock value from its real estate portfolio.
Ready to help local
Capita Employee Benefits has taken a key step to winning
more Local Government Pension Scheme contracts.
It’s been appointed to the National LGPS Procurement
Framework for both third party pension administration
and pension administration support services. The
framework helps such pension schemes explore new
partnerships faster and more easily. It also gives them
the confidence that potential partners – including CEB meet the strict criteria they need. Capita’s inclusion is a
demonstration of the breadth of solutions we offer.
Silver Lining
Ricky Alfred, head of our
CR team, introduces what
might just be the ultimate
volunteering project for Capita
Customer Management agents.
Ricky Alfred
Head of Corporate Responsibility
Like a lot of companies, Capita believes in giving people time off to volunteer. The
challenge we have is that a lot of our people are on the phone, and need to be on
the phone to deliver the contracts we have. And it’s also where their skills lie.
“There is absolute merit in the traditional models of volunteering in the community
– decorating, painting, gardening, etc – but that requires something in the local
community that needs painting or decorating to make it work.
“We wanted to find a way to help our people support something they cared about,
that was accessible to everyone, would have a positive local and societal impact,
and would put those special skills to use. A project that would be beneficial for
everybody, where the business gets something out of it too because our people are
practising the very skills that make them so valuable to our clients.
“So we went out searching for what we could do on the phone, and we happened
on The Silver Line.
“In the UK we have an ageing population; not just an ageing population but one
that’s becoming ever more isolated. That’s not through anybody’s fault, it’s just the
nature of the beast. Among the elderly there is a growing number of people who
may not have a proper conversation with anybody for weeks on end.
“The Silver Line is a charity started by Dame Esther Rantzen in 2012. It’s a friendship
service that offers a helpline to older people in danger of becoming isolated and
lonely and, basically, just chats to them.
“We thought that was perfect. It involves all the skills our people use – empathy,
active listening, relationship building.
“So we’ve launched a pilot, and I’d have to say our people
have really stepped up – we were heavily oversubscribed
with those wanting to help. We’ve identified our first
volunteers from a couple of retail clients, as we thought part
of this older demographic might already feature among their
“Once a week our guys will make an outbound call of 20 to
25 minutes with an elderly person suggested by The Silver
Line, just to have a chat and to ease that sense of loneliness.
We’re looking to get training happening in April, and once
we’ve tested our system and the technology that supports it,
we’ll roll it out to the wider population across Capita.
“It also fits with our own experience. For some time we’ve
been aware of calls coming into our centres from elderly
people where they don’t have an account, and they don’t
have an order and you think ...why are they calling? It could
be they are just calling for a chat.
“As a business how do we benefit?
Because our people have a chance to
hone those empathetic phone skills –
the ones that move customer contact
to customer experience. They can do
that outside of their usual call profile
and KPIs – the clock is not ticking. Our
people will be relationship building
in a different way, with someone they
initially do not know, and in situations
that will not be known to them. Dealing
with that will sharpen their thinking and
responses in those situations.
“In the UK we have an
ageing population;
not just an ageing
population, but one
that’s becoming ever
more isolated.”
“At the same time we can help tackle the increasingly
important societal issue of isolation – an issue that can
even affect younger people, despite social media – and it all
comes together in a really nice package!
The History of The Silver Line
Sparked by an article Dame Esther Rantzen
wrote in 2011 charting her own sense of
solitude after losing her husband. A huge
response from elderly people echoing her
thoughts led to the Department of Health
awarding an initial grant for Dame Esther to
pilot a friendship scheme in 2012 and later The
Silver Line was backed by lottery funding.
Since its launch the charity has received over
one million calls – two thirds at night and
weekends when no other helpline for the
lonely elderly is available. They now receive
10,000 calls every week – more than half from
elderly people saying they have, quite literally,
no one else to talk to.
Today The Silver Line resolves to offer free,
confidential information, friendship and advice
to older people 24/7, every day of the year.
It’s also a member of the coalition carrying
on the work of late MP Jo Cox – The Jo Cox
Commission on Loneliness.
Step Up
The Step Up Charity Challenge is Capita’s annual fund
raising event for the Prince’s Trust, with an amazing 386
teams walking a virtual route to raise money for the charity.
This year virtual strollers from across the entire organisation
found themselves on a course linking London, Cardiff,
Belfast and finally Stirling, with a bonus route across
Germany for those still up for a bit of exercise. A quiz at
each 200-mile mark also allowed them to gain extra points.
It began as three friends running for fun. It ended
across the finishing line of the Dubai Marathon.
The original running club, formed in the Capita
Dubai office, quickly attracted other colleagues
keen to train regularly. Its members eventually
went on to compete in the marathon and the 10k,
many achieving personal bests and raising £950
for charity in the process.
Capita employees
working for Sheffield
City Council have raised
£2000 for Sheffield’s
Children’s Hospital, one
of only four dedicated
children’s hospital
trusts in the UK.
Number of people involved, including
supporting colleagues, friends and family
Number of steps in total taken by the teams
Number of times that would have
got them around the equator
The length in miles of the ‘bonus’ German route
linking Berlin, Leipzig, Cologne and Dusseldorf
Eat, Sleep, Walk, Repeat – winners of the
team who ‘stepped’ the furthest
It was a spectacular success, bigger than ever, as the
amazing results and stats below should prove.
Capita Employee Benefits
The number of steps Capita Asset Services trudged through Jersey’s
picturesque hills to raise £2500 for local charities. Sixty staff from
Jersey’s Capita office braved the winter chills throughout January to
walk the equivalent of 200 times round the island, in aid of Jersey
Cancer Relief and Mind Jersey. Their donation will go towards supporting
residents finding it difficult to cope financially because of their illness
and help provide important intervention services for young people.
Claire Quigley, the Trust’s Head of Corporate Partnerships said:
The Prince’s Trust is absolutely delighted by the
continued support of Capita employees, who have once
again gone the extra mile by taking part in the Capita
Step Challenge. Every day thousands of young people
come to us for help. Thanks to your support we are
helping to change lives and futures across the UK. Once
again Capita exceeds all expectations! On behalf of the
Prince’s Trust, we want to say a massive thank you!
Dashing for the
line in Dubai
How much the teams have raised so far
Anyone who’s ever helped their kids with maths
homework will know the cry: “but what use is it in
real life?” CEB colleagues have been doing their bit to
answer that particular imponderable. Working with
client Marsh they helped deliver a BRAIN workshop
at vin Norwich. Standing for Broker, Risk And Insurance
Numeracy, BRAIN gives students a chance to play
Insurance Broker. Working in teams they employee
the maths they’ve learned to help their ‘clients’ get
the best insurance deals. Three events to date and all
popular. Think of it as training the brokers of the future.
People Power
To achieve the Investors in People Gold
Standard establishes your organisation as
one of the very top ‘people’ performers in the
“When you’re talking
about moving up to IIP’s
Gold Standard, that’s
something else. That’s
about a culture where
people are motivated and
encouraged to perform at
outstanding levels.”
It’s a sign that you’ve achieved the highest scores in motivation and
development, and continually involve your teams in the vision and
ideas behind your business.
It’s also the accreditation earned by Capita’s Zurich team; 800
front and back office individuals whose work together has garnered
recognition that comes to very few organisations in the UK.
Since 2006 Capita has delivered customer servicing, policy
administration and new business, plus claims activities and the
associated technology to support Zurich’s UK life and pensions
business – a partnership that began as one of the country’s largest
outsourcing contracts for open book and pension administration
“It becomes about involving people
in decision making that affects
the business,” says Nikki.
“Seeking their views and inputs
in an open way, weaving them
into the business plans, then
keeping people informed of
progress and being willing to
change direction if we need to.
And communicating that too.”
What’s involved in the process
Preparing for Gold involves a mass of
documentation, then a rather nerve-wracking week in
which IIP assessors descend on the business and interview,
at random, 10% of the staff to see if they agree with and
support what’s been said.
“Then the results of all of that are compared to the standards
and we get a phone call saying yes you achieved it, or no you
didn’t. And we did!”
As the Gold Standard has developed, it’s also got tougher.
Today anonymous surveys are part of the process, along with
assessors sitting in on team meetings and training.
Getting started at ground level
So what does it all mean for the Zurich team?
When the group first decided to go for IIP accreditation, meeting the
basic standard was relatively straightforward, remembers Customer
Service Manager Nikki Moss, a key organiser and driving force behind
the team’s ambition for gold.
“For us as individuals, and as a collective group, we know
we can hold our heads up against any other organisation as
an exceptionally well performing team,” concludes Nikki.
“Our team work, our focus on the customer and our desire
to make things better for them are all things we can feel
incredibly proud about.
“It’s a set of practices you would expect in any well run professional
organisation. But when you’re talking about moving up to IIP’s Gold
Standard, that’s something else. That’s about a culture where people
are motivated and encouraged to perform at outstanding levels.”
At Gold level IIP expects businesses to move beyond development
and training: to encouraging individuals to challenge, to be free
to make mistakes in the name of advance and innovation, to be
able to stretch themselves and take responsibility for their own
development and direction.
“It also means we can attract great new recruits, because
people want to be in an organisation where they know they
are going to be developed and stretched.” And from the
Capita perspective, it’s an excellent recommendation to
potential new clients. “They could be looking to transfer over
hundreds of people beneath Capita’s wings, and they’ll want
to know those people are going to be looked after well.”
Points that the Investors in People assessors
particularly noted about Capita Zurich’s
• Strong evidence of Capita values
• Excellent team work
• People feel valued
• Happy to embrace change
• A culture of coaching and mentoring
And what about Zurich themselves?
What did it represent to them?
“They place a lot of trust in us in terms of what we
are doing on their behalf,” affirms Nikki. “So to have
the confidence that somebody independent, working
against a set of national standards, can say we are as
good as good can be… that’s fantastic for them.”
This is FANTASTIC - and so
well deserved. Having seen the
culture in action, and been able
to spend time with some of the
people that you have invested
in, I am so impressed with the
passion, knowledge and quality
of Capita Zurich people.
How Zurich's then Head of Global Customer Care,
Tim Culling, responded on hearing the Golden news…
The percentage of UK organisations
considered good enough to merit Gold Standard
The number of different standards
organisations have to hit, within
the assessment, to reach Gold
The number Capita
Zurich actually hit
Capita’s Zurich Team
…has been handed a five-star rating on
service excellence by AKG Financial
Analytics. Performance in surveys,
awards, service charters, organisational
philosophy and feedback were all
taken into account when judging the
excellence of Zurich’s Retail Platform.
On the line from
South Africa
We often feature agents in our newsletter, talking
about the job they do and revealing a few of the
secrets involved in being on the other end of the call.
But our teams are not just based in the UK. This time we thought
we’d go to Capita’s Cape Town centre and ask a few of our colleagues
what it’s like taking calls in South Africa, the parts of the job they
most enjoy and the SA team’s reputation for energy and enthusiasm.
“I always like it when
customers are shocked
to hear I’m in South
Africa… because
they’ve been looking
for me in store!”
So what do you think is special about working from South
The diversity we have here, and I feel that all South
Africans are very friendly. We put ourselves in the
customers’ shoes so we can understand where they are
coming from, and we always try to satisfy the customer and the
business at the same time.
Great Customer service. We are customer centric and
strive for excellence on all our calls. I feel since I’ve
started here it has become a family to me as we are
always happy! The approach and open vibe we have is amazing.
We confide in each other and I feel that is the centre of our
campaign - having a relationship with everybody; my team and
my customers who come from all parts of the UK.
We all come from different backgrounds with different
cultures, however we still work well together by earning
the trust of each other and respecting one another. I
believe that because of our diversity, we each have something
different to offer our customers while still providing the same
awesome service.
The weather! And the different cultures in South Africa
are so diverse. I feel that we are very welcoming. What
makes it even better is we have unique traditional foods
and it attracts a lot of people, so South Africa is amazing!!
What do you think is the secret to building a good relationship
with a customer over the phone?
Being confident. Believing in yourself and Capita. You
can earn your customer’s trust through that, and deliver
a great customer experience.
Just having that smile in your voice plays a massive role
in your calls because you can hear when somebody
Even something as simple as asking “how are you doing
today” plays a massive role for me in building rapport.
What do you like most about your job?
Tell us some funny or memorable moments.
The customers I deal with and hearing the joy I
bring to them with their orders. I feel like a Fairy
Godmother at the end of the day! Also just listening
to the customer is a good feeling; sometimes you know they
just need someone to listen to them.
The most memorable would have to be my very
first call ever, taken back in November 2014. I was
a nervous wreck! But I’ve grown so much since that
first call and that nervousness seems strange looking back
Dealing with different sorts of people every day.
It’s great to come to work knowing you’re helping
The dress up and theme days we have within our
unit are always good, like the Masquerade Ball or
Halloween Day. Everybody participates, dresses up
and shows off!
The people I work with! We’re more like family.
Being able to build new relationships every day
while maintaining the ones we already have.
I always like it when customers are shocked to hear
I’m in South Africa… because they’ve been looking
for me in store!
Your latest news, views and stories - straight from the floor
Two Jasons
In the last few months CSC has seen two important
additions to our team: ‘Yorkshire’ Jason (our new
Account Director, Jason McKinley) and ‘Aussie’ Jason
(our Partnership Director, Jason Allen).
Here we give both of them the chance to introduce themselves, and
say what excites them about the future for CSC.
Where are you from?
A small village in the middle of nowhere; Patrington, east of Hull, close
to Spurn Head. In fact I’m moving back there from Reading, where I’m
currently based. My husband is buying a house in the village and it’s
where my family still live.
How did you get to Capita?
Not an obvious journey… I studied Geography and Geology at
Manchester University. I worked for Thames Water for 14 years. My
claim to fame would be project managing a new well at Buckingham
Palace! Eventually I headed up Billing Operations at Thames Water –
13 million customers – then went to HomeServe, helping to champion
putting the customer first. In fact investigating best practices in
complaint handling has become one of my specialist
subjects and is a real driver for me.
I’ve been with Capita for two-and-a-half years. As
Transformation Director I’ve continued to focus on
operations where there are challenges and opportunities to
not only make improvements, but to grow.
What was your first impression of the CSC?
When I first came to the CSC it was with my
Transformation Director’s hat on, and I was pleased to see
lots of positives, right from my first day here. I see a lot of
passion and focus on the customer and a real culture of
supporting colleagues and working together as teams.
What is your vision for the CSC?
I haven’t come here with a master plan, and I don’t think
it would be appropriate for me to lay down the law. I am
very much in listening mode, and working closely with the
Brands to understand their values and ambitions, before
sharing our vision. But I’ve got lots of ideas, and we’re
going to busy with lots of innovations.
We’re already working with ŠKODA on the launch of an
online ‘live tour’ for the Kodiaq in early April. More Brands
are adopting Live Chat/Social Media, as customers are
becoming more and more demanding about the ways they
prefer to contact us and it’s great that we’re offering more
channels. But there’s so much more we can be doing within
our Digital Hub. More about that in the future.
I’m really excited about being here at the CSC. We’ve got
so much to look forward to and so many successes to
celebrate, if we all work together and truly make that boat
go faster.
Tell us a little about yourself and your role here at
I joined Capita just over a month ago and I am really pleased to
be working with the team as Partnership Director. I’ve heard loads
about the great work done on behalf of VWG. Personally I’m a big
advocator of employee engagement and making the workplace
a more enjoyable environment. I’m a firm believer that happy
employees = happy customers, so if we’re having a good time we
should see strong CSAT scores too.
And what about before Capita?
I’m really lucky that I’ve had some dream jobs during my career,
such as being the CEO of Australia’s biggest car racing event, and
CEO of the Waratahs, one of Australia’s leading rugby union teams.
Being a typical sports-mad Aussie, these have definitely been
highlights for me!
Tell us something about your attitude to business.
When Capita’s partnership with Three launched earlier this month,
I was with the team and they’d displayed some fantastic famous
quotes about partnerships. One quote that really resonated with
me was from the author, Jodi Picoult:
“The act of reading is a partnership, the author builds a house, but the
reader makes it a home”.
I think this is a great quote because we can say the same about our
partnerships with our clients. Our clients create and provide their
business/offer (the house). What we do in connecting with their
customers (often during those critical ‘moments of truth’) and being
the voice of their business, helps bring it to life and gives it personality.
It makes the house a home.
From a business point of view I think that once you get the people
piece right, everything else should follow. That’s the key to success.
Pete Bell
Customer Technical Support Specialist
When the questions start to get tricky, it’s Pete Bell you need
on the phone. Pete works on the Technical Team, providing
specialist support across the CSC.
Tell us a bit about yourself and who you work for.
VWG Digital Hub expands
Customers increasingly want to contact brands through
the channel of their choice, be it social media, web
chat or other digital routes. Our Volkswagen Customer
Service Centre’s Digital Hub has been fielding such
contacts for Audi and Volkswagen Passenger cars for
over a year, and now two more brands - ŠKODA and
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – have joined in.
The Hub’s teams work closely with the brands’ social
media marketing agencies, taking on conversations
that require in-depth brand knowledge and customer
service skills. The intention is to help customers get
the information they need, and contact experts about
various products and services, faster and easier. Look
out for a more detailed story of how the Hub works in a
future issue.
“I think I’m a hard working person who gets on with everyone
who works for CSC. I’m hands on and always willing to help
anyone at any time, in and out of my working hours. I recently
won the ‘Customer Service Recognition’ award for 2016.”
What’s your role and your background?
“My role is Customer Technical Support Specialist, which
involves supporting all areas, from Frontline calls to Case
Managers who can have difficult cases to deal with, and we
sometimes have to help manage. Also we help the Parts team
who ask questions about which parts are fitted in different
models and whether a TPI (a reference for an ongoing technical
issue) is relevant to the car. An important part of the role is
working with the Mobility Team (who keep customers on the
road) with timing jobs on customer vehicles.
“The Technical Team also carry out training on demonstration
cars across all brands with all teams here at the CSC, so it gives
everyone a chance to increase their product knowledge.”
3) Give us an example of a typical day. What sort of questions
and situations do you come up against?
“A typical day for me is answering Frontline questions, often
about oil specifications, timing belts and other queries their
customers raise. I also carry out training most days, and I look
after our cases which involve offering goodwill or dealing
with any enquiries from the Police where they need specialist
technical input.”
How has your job changed over the years
and why do you still like it?
“I’ve seen all sorts of changes, including different
managers and new processes, and I’ve seen the CSC
grow and improve. The main reason I like working here
is the people, but I’ve always enjoyed working with cars
too. I’ve been a technical specialist for 30 years and I’m
always happy to share ideas and put them forwards. I
hope that’s a way I’ve been able to help VWG.”
What do you think is the secret to building a
good relationship, both with customers and
“The secret is to be friendly, to get to know the
customer and to communicate well with them. And I
try to share our knowledge with all the other agents.
It’s good when they thank me for being helpful and
showing them what’s happened.”
Your latest news, views and stories - straight from the floor
Lisa Tse
“ I was so nervous. I
had an image of myself
walking to the stage
and tripping over!”
Customer Experience Advisor for Debenhams
Lisa recently picked up the Gold Award in the Capita People Awards
for Service Excellence in recognition for the fantastic work she does
for Debenhams. So we asked her about it.
Tell us a bit about yourself and who you work for.
“My name is Lisa Tse. I work for Debenhams at Capita and started in
2012 so it has nearly been five years.”
What’s your role and your background?
“I work as a customer experience advisor taking inbound calls.
I’ve also had the opportunity to support other departments, such
as communications, and I am currently working with the risk
and compliance team. Prior to working for Capita I worked as a
sales associate for TK Maxx, so I have strong customer service
Give us an example of a typical day – what sort of
questions and situations do you come up against?
“There are different queries from customers ranging from chasing
orders to booking a personal shopper appointment. During major
sales it can be very busy and for the majority of the time the calls
relate to placing orders and stock checks.
“From experience you can get a day where you find you get a lot of
general queries with no complaints at all, and then on other days
you find that you get a number of escalated calls that are more
challenging to resolve, e.g. a customer who has multiple failed
collections of a return or an ongoing disputed delivery.”
What do you think is the secret to building a
good relationship with a customer over the
phone? How do you set customers at their
“To always put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Be empathetic
to their situation when something has gone wrong. Reassure
them and let them know how you are going to resolve their
issue. And always follow through on any actions you have
promised the customer.”
What do you think is special about working
for Debenhams?
“I do find that with Debenhams there are good opportunities
to progress if you want to.
Prior to peak time, everyone is encouraged to express their
interest for other roles on the unit. This gives you the chance to
experience something different and new. You can then decide
if that particular role is right for you and something you want
to pursue.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever
been given about being an agent?
“As an advisor you will always come across irate customers
who will voice their dissatisfaction and it can feel like they are
shouting at you. Therefore keep in mind that it is not you that
they have a problem with. Do that and you’ll stop you taking
any comments that the customer says personally, and you’ll
perform better on the call.”
What was it like winning the Gold Award?
Why do you think you won it?
“It was unexpected and it felt great to be recognised. I’m the
type of person who has a high standard when it comes to
my own performance. I always complete tasks to the best of
my ability and never expect anything in return as in my mind
I’m only doing my job. So to have my operations manager
nominate me and then win was an amazing feeling.”
“I will always remember the moment where I was waiting for
my name to be called and being so nervous. I had an image of
myself walking to the stage and tripping over! Thankfully that
didn’t happen.”
If you have feedback, questions or any thoughts on what you’d like us
to cover, please contact:
Jo Knight, Client Experience, Customer Management
[email protected]
07710 384705
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As the UK's leading provider of business process
management and integrated professional
support service solutions, our 73,000
dedicated staff across the UK, Europe, South
Africa and India help make processes smarter,
organisations more efficient and customer
experiences better. We unlock value by
applying talent and technology ­for you, your
organisation and our communities.
Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange
(CPI.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE 250
with 2016 revenue of £4.9 billion.
Further information on Capita can be found at: