Aster Group approached Housemark for a deep dive into their contact centre operating model and asked for support with understanding how changes to the customer contact operating model might impact on service delivery and customer experience. We caught up with Fiona Miller, Assistant Director of Customer Experience to see how they got on.

What areas of your business did Housemark look at and how did they help?

Through Housemark’s insight and reports, we uncovered how we are performing in our customer service team and found that our contact centre was delivering very high levels of service and customer satisfaction, but handing too much work over to back-office teams. It was identified that there was more we could do to upskill staff and move to a model of ownership and case management.

We wanted an in-depth review of the service we provide, to compare with peers in and out of the sector to get a greater understanding of what others are doing.

We worked with Housemark’s consultancy team and data analysts who helped us to develop a clear picture of the drivers for change at Aster, using this to direct a data deep-dive of the contact centre and a review of best practice research.  This deep-dive included a review of operating hours, pay, skills, benchmarking and customer experience. The approach resulted in a project report for delivery to the Customer Services Leadership Team, for consideration as part of the customer hub redesign for our Customer and Community Network.

We worked with Housemark to discover what we wanted from the exercise. Housemark were clear in communicating the information they wanted from us, and we were clear on what we wanted from the report.

How have you used this insight and learning within your business?

We wanted to provide insight to our board on how our contact centre was performing, recommendations for change and the required external support to make this happen. We knew that we were passing too much to our back-office function and that we have a high turnover of staff in our contact centre. We wanted to understand how we could retain those staff, upskill them to answer more queries on first contact and ensure their pay reward was in line with other departments.

We also want to make working at Aster more appealing and take the pressure off other teams whilst ensuring that we were providing an excellent service.  Housemark showed us what wasn’t working. We can now look at the contact centre model with a view to transform it and we’re excited to see what this will look like going forward.

How has this impacted on your employees/tenants/organisation?

Our contact centre team are really motivated by the changes ahead – being able to focus more on customer resolution and having the autonomy and ownership to be able to do this more effectively.

Everyone is excited about the change and the opportunity to move from a traditional contact centre model to being more of a customer relationship management team.

Download a pdf of the case study here.