The RAC is one of the UK’s largest and most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists with the aim of making motoring easier, safer and more affordable for both drivers and road users. Helping it achieve this aim are the organisation’s four thousand employees who are frequently called upon to answer questions on topics as varied as insurance details to toll costs and traffic updates.
Internal changes to the business
Until a year ago the company relied primarily on staff expertise and internal training to handle inbound customer enquiries via telephone or email, and at offsite locations including motorway service stations.
However with an increasingly mobile workforce and call center staff numbers increasing by 30 per cent to cover seasonal peaks in demand, the company was struggling to ensure all employees had access to consistent, accurate information that would help them respond to customer enquiries and sales enquiries. This was particularly the case for its remote field sales agents who travel around the UK and Northern Ireland selling products and services to customers.
But a conscious decision to extend RAC opening hours to 10pm also meant a higher percentage of the workforce was working from home at ‘off peak’ hours. With a changing, more mobile workforce – and multiple touch points for customers – the RAC decided to take a more joined up approach to manage customer service delivery across the business and set out three customer service goals:
- To ensure a consistent customer service response across the business: With only a basic intranet in operation, knowledge contained in multiple sources and the amount of enquiries steadily increasing across all channels, there was a lack of consistency in responses across the RAC’s customer facing touch points
- To reduce call handling time and increase staff productivity: With 30% of call center staff being seasonal, it was becoming difficult to ensure new starters were not only trained to the same standard as the longer serving team members but also felt supported enough to give the same, accurate, consistent responses
- To create a universal database that could be accessed by employees in any location: With 200 employees working remotely in the average week, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the company to ensure that staff – in office and on the road – received the same customer facing information
The solution: Taking self-service on the road
The RAC found a solution to their customer service goals by broadening their engagement with Transversal – a leading provider of enterprise knowledge solutions designed to increase business performance. Transversal’s knowledge solution – ‘ASK RAC’ – gave the company a scalable, universal and fit for purpose tool that contact center agents and the remote sales team use to locate the information they need, when they need it.
At the heart of the solution is the centralized knowledge base that can be continually updated based on feedback from users who have the opportunity to rate answers depending on how helpful and satisfactory they are. Any new or amended information can be updated quickly and easily by the knowledge managers using the fully branded, intuitive interface and built in approval workflow for new content.
The Results: Taking self-service on the road
With access to the knowledge base 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the RAC is able to ensure all its employees, whether working remotely or on shift – are able to provide a consistent response to customer queries.
To date the RAC has seen impressive results. 75% of contact center staff are now using Transversal’s ‘ASK RAC’ on a daily basis and from June – August 2014 it received an average of 78 sessions per day. The system serves the needs of both the agent and the customer and has effectively improved communication between the two.
For agents working remotely, all of this functionality is available via mobile devices including iPads, tablets and smart phones and is now in use by almost 200 RAC sales agents in the UK.
If your business is experiencing similar issues to those of the RAC why not visit www.transversal.com to check out the latest self-service solutions.
By Mark White
Mark White works with many leading companies such as John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s to improve customer self-service. For the last 2 years Mark has also championed best practice in HR self-service to reduce unnecessary queries from employees; enabling HR to focus on proactive rather than reactive activity.