Experian is a leading global information services company providing consumer information, credit services, decision analytics and marketing services to customers. The Nottingham based contact centre deals with customer enquiries handling around 200,000 calls per month across 270 agents.

A high proportion of calls relate to the CreditExpert product, an online monthly subscription service which helps customers manage and improve their credit report and score and also offers identity and fraud protection. The contact centre strategy is to provide best possible service which in turn directly correlates to customer retention, and this is all important.  Therefore, understanding why customers initially signed up for the service and making sure these benefits are provided through their membership package delivers enormous value to the company.

Prior to implementing speech analytics, business insight was derived from the telephony and IVR systems as well as anecdotal information shared by agents. It was evident to Experian that better technology could deliver these results faster and more effectively. Working closely with Business Systems and through a Proof of Concept, Nexidia Speech Analytics was identified as the appropriate solution.

Chris Barkataki, Strategy Manager at Experian comments:   “When we first started looking at Speech Analytics our retentions goal was the obvious choice for achieving a return on investment but interestingly the proof of concept uncovered other quick wins such as addressing non-talk time on calls. It made sense for us to implement analytics immediately so that better decisions could be made based on what our customers and employees were saying.’

Integral to the implementation was ensuring the technology was correctly embedded into the culture of the organisation. According to Lee Hancock, Operations Analyst at Experian “The mentoring programme delivered by Business Systems was really beneficial, providing onsite support on a regular basis and it was great to have someone who knew the system that we could bounce ideas off.  The provision of an analytical framework was also useful in terms of getting our people to really understand how they approach a problem, think through it and drive positive change.

The biggest success has come from improved customer retention which is classified as ‘long term saves’. This has increased by 38%, resulting in an annual return of 5X the original investment. Chris comments “We have also seen significant improvements in other areas such as the reduction of silence within the call and a decrease in the on-hold times resulting in savings equivalent to the original investment. This has reduced overall call handle times which in turn has helped drive up our CSAT scores for customer experience.”

Analytics is now firmly embedded into the Operation with an internal, collaborative “Actionable Analytics Forum” in place to share insight across the business. This provides a framework to prioritise change activity.

The analytics team have also successfully engaged their product and proposition teams and are providing valuable insight for new products and identifying positive changes to existing services.  Working with the marketing team they can quantify the impact of regional advertising against business targets and campaigns can then be refined to drive better outcomes.

From an employee behavioural perspective, Experian are now able to identify what works best for customers and agents alike and through the use of key performance indicators, modify the reward programme to bring about positive change.

The analytics team have also mapped the full end to end customer journey and by understanding the implications of process-change they also understand what works best for the customer.

This has resulted in higher customer satisfaction across several areas with specifically identified issues fed back to product teams to improve the website journey for online customers and agents empowered to challenge and step outside of process where appropriate.

Following the implementation of speech analytics, Experian have been able to reduce their cost to serve, whilst driving overall improvements, Chris comments: “we can now look at the impact on costs, revenue generation and customer experience, then using this data make better informed business decisions and improve process. Speech Analytics enables us to make the right decisions for customers and staff alike. Business Systems helped us get the implementation right which was all important because this is not a one-off project; it’s a sustainable step-change to our business process”.

Experian has since gone on to win the highly sought after ‘Innovation award for Customer Analytics’ at the Professional Planning Forums 2013 awards ceremony. Benchmarking excellence in the industry the awards showcase innovations that integrate improved use of technology and data with process improvement and cultural change, to deliver demonstrable improvements to customers and employees.

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