The UK Complaint Handling Awards has established itself as Britain’s premier showcase for customer service talent, and this year saw one of the event’s most sought-after Gold gongs go to one of the world’s most recognisable names in outsourcing and professional services – Capita.
Capita was one of the day’s big winners at the UKCHAs 2019. Can you tell us a bit about the initiatives you put forward?
Tracey: This was our first time entering the UKCHAs, and we entered with three separate initiatives in different categories.
The first was entered in the Customer Relations & Remediation category. It detailed our end-to-end approach to remediation, which encompasses the way in which we assess the size of the problem, design the treatment strategy, and build and deliver the solution, which can include tracing, customer communication, investigations, and payments. The reason we chose this initiative was because our approach has generated significant benefits for our clients and, most importantly, their end customers.
Our second initiative was entered in the Innovation in Complaint Management category and it centred around the introduction of groundbreaking technology that had not previously been used for the type of project our client wanted us to engage with. Our innovative solution mitigated the potential for a high-risk manual solution and enabled the client to save over £1m, meet their regulatory commitments, and ensure customers were remediated quickly.
Lastly, our third entry in the Best Complaint Handling Training category focussed on our fit-for-purpose PPI Training Academy, which was set up to respond to the demand for large volumes of resource from one of our key financial services clients. Our Academy is a best-in-class method of training delivery for staff which has now expanded to include the client’s own permanent staff, as well as other supplier resources and it has generated a saving of over £8m for our client.
We were delighted to win an award in all three categories entered – Gold for Customer Relations & Remediation, Silver for Innovation in Complaint Management, and Bronze for Best Complaint Handling Training – acknowledging Capita’s drive to constantly deliver better outcomes for our clients and their customers through delivery of effective, innovative complaint solutions. We hope to emulate the same success this year with some of the new initiatives that are taking place across our business.
Analytics were a key part of Capita’s initiative. How crucial is such technology in delivering first-class complaint handling and Customer Experience for firms today?
Becky: Technology is fundamental to ensuring we deliver a first class complaint handling service and Customer Experience for our clients’ customers.
To give you just one example, we have used our 20 years’ experience in delivering successful complaint handling projects to tailor one of the UK’s leading case management systems in order to support the end-to-end complaints customer journey and provide a complaint-focused analytics capability to drive continuous improvement.
The system has integrated CRM, workflow, and task management functionality as well as robust data controls and flexibility which allows us to work with each client to re-configure the system quickly and create a bespoke purpose-built solution to meet their specific needs.
All customer interactions are stored to provide a holistic view of the customer journey. This provides us with a rich source of data which we can analyse to understand customer behaviours and identify the root cause of complaints to ensure we continually improve our operations, with the ultimate goal of helping our clients to reduce their future complaint levels.
How has the awards success inspired the Capita team?
Becky: Our success was only possible due to the hard work, ingenuity, and dedication of the teams who designed, built, and delivered all three of our initiatives. Not only did these teams inspire our entries and give us initiatives which were worthy of a place at the awards, but they had a direct impact on our success.
Those behind each of the initiatives were directly involved in the production of our award entries to ensure that we included as much detail as possible and were able to tell the story from the perspective of all stakeholders – the client, our operational management team and front-line colleagues, as well as the end customers. It was key members from our delivery teams who presented our initiatives in front of the judging panel during the UKCHA finals.
Not only did this ensure the panel was hearing about the initiative first-hand from those on the front line, but it also allowed our key team members to reap the rewards of their hard work.
Inspired by this success, our teams are already considering what initiatives they want to submit for the 2020 awards!
Would you encourage other companies involved in first-class customer service and complaint handling to enter awards?
Tracey: Yes we would highly recommend that any company truly invested in delivering first-class customer service and complaint handling should enter these awards. We won’t deny it requires hard work and a lot of extra effort from people who are already focussed on delivering service to our clients, but taking part and being rewarded for our efforts greatly outweighed this.
Not only is it a chance to showcase your company’s successes and gain external recognition, we have also found that it has been a great motivator for our teams, due to the internal recognition they received as a result. From their management teams who felt their work was worthy of entering in the awards, through to the internal communications which have been spread across the wider Capita group, we are seeing more and more of our staff keen to get involved in the awards process. As a result we are hoping to have even more entries to submit in 2020.
Where, in your opinion, does the future of quality complaint handling lie? Is it solely in technology, or is it important to maintain a ‘human’ element throughout?
Becky: As mentioned previously, technology plays a major part in the future of complaint handling. Not only can it help improve the quality of operations to ensure that our clients’ customers are benefiting from fair and consistent outcomes, but recent advancements in technology such as speech analytics are also helping us to support our clients to reduce – and ultimately prevent – their complaints.
That being said, due to the emotive nature of complaints and the importance we place on the effective management of customers with vulnerability – particularly in financial services – we believe it is of the upmost importance to maintain the ‘human’ element within complaint handling operations.
At Capita we pride ourselves on having a team of experienced, skilled, and dedicated colleagues who understand the importance of using technology as an enabler to improve the experience they provide for our customers day-in, day-out.
For the full list of categories to enter in the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards, click here.
UK Complaint Handling Awards winner Capita has joined forces with innovators Artificial Labs to deliver disruptive insurance tech that digitises the end-to-end insurance lifecycle, reducing manual processes and making insurance frictionless.
Artificial provides digital solutions to clients across the insurance sector, enabling them to leverage new technology to improve their internal processes, price more accurately, and deliver exceptional user experience.
Following extensive due diligence by Capita – which at the recent UK Complaint Handling Awards in London won titles including Best Customer Relations and Remediation (pictured above) – tasked its corporate venture unit, Capita Scaling Partner, with selecting Artificial for investment.
Capita will provide a dedicated business development team to enable Artificial to scale rapidly and deliver their digital solutions to retailers and insurers globally.
Jon Lewis, CEO of Capita, said: “Artificial are at the forefront of tech innovation in the insurance market. We want to use our strong presence in insurance and retail to tap into that growth potential and deliver better outcomes for our clients and their customers. This partnership reflects our commitment to bring innovation to our clients.”
Artificial’s digital solutions strengthen Capita’s existing insurance offering, and opens new distribution channels for clients to increase provision across customer bases.
The solutions create a digital customer journey with straightforward purchasing and claims processes. It harnesses machine learning to increase the accuracy of risk pricing, and enables rapid claims resolution through automation. The company is run by a world-class team of data scientists, software engineers, and insurance industry experts with a strong delivery track record.
Damian Arnold, CEO of Artificial, said: “Everyone at Artificial is excited by our strategic partnership with Capita and the potential opportunity we will create together. We believe our partnership will dramatically increase the scale and pace of change we can deliver.
“The insurance sector is undergoing significant change and our exceptional team has developed proven digital solutions which deliver tangible benefits to our customers from day one. We are continuing to invest in our machine learning capabilities, which will provide our customers with a competitive edge in the future.”
The 2019 UK Complaint Handling Awards have taken place in London, celebrating the people and initiatives behind some of the best customer service operations in Britain.
Hosted by Awards International – holders of an Independent Awards Standards Council Gold Trust Mark – the event saw hundreds gather at the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel last Friday, when teams of finalists made presentations to an expert panel of judges throughout the day.
Following a gala lunch, the 2019 Overall Winner title was awarded to outsourcing services firm Firstsource, which claimed Gold in the Customer Insight Strategy category. The victory built on the success of the company in last year’s awards, when along with mobile network giffgaff it won Best Personal Entertainment & Telecoms.
Other big winners this year were banking giants HSBC, which won an incredible four Gold category titles, and United Utilities, which won three Gold titles, including the highly coveted Complaint Handling Leader of the Year award for their Head of Service Recovery, Sally Ainsworth.
The 2019 roll of honour also included Wessex Water in partnership with The First Word, which won in the Best Complaint Handling Training category; One Vision Housing, which claimed Gold for Best Use of Customers’ Insight and Feedback; and Capita, whose team walked away with the Customer Relations & Remediation award.
Speaking afterwards, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “What an event this has been – we are incredibly fortunate to have such a vantage point on the high standard of complaint handling services in the UK.
“So many organisations are ensuring they have a robust complaints procedure at the heart of their structure, and these awards not only celebrate the best initiatives behind that, but they also allow representatives from all of these wonderful companies to come together and inspire each other, share best practice, and ensure complaint handling continues to go from strength to strength and remains central to a quality service.”
“On behalf of Awards International I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of our winners, and I want to thank all of our finalists for coming and competing in what is now one of the most important events in the UK’s customer service calendar.”