new normal: 6 survival strategies for the hospitality sector 13 May - 5 min read
The 2019 UKCCF Awards recognises individual, team and company best practice amongst the UK’s 600 plus contact centres. Rewarding innovation, team-working, employee engagement, the delivery of superb customer experience and more.
With the aim of integrating web chat, social media and wider CRM to provide the best possible customer experience, Ocado partnered with digital engagement platform, Orlo. At the time Orlo provided a social media customer service platform, but the two organisations shared a joint vision to seamlessly combine the management of multiple digital touch-points.
At the time, Ocado had long-standing relationships with two SaaS providers for Chat and Social respectively, but managing the two channels at the same time was becoming cumbersome and unproductive for the team. They were also finding that customers were engaging across channels, but a lack of a single view was preventing the seamless experience they needed.
After hunting for a combined off-the-peg solution, they found that such a thing didn’t exist, which is where Orlo came in. Gaining buy-in from stakeholders to change the system was simple, as they had already noticed the hit in productivity from managing multiple systems, but they had to build the trust required to work together with Orlo to develop the solution. During roll-out and development, the two teams worked closely with Orlo spending time on-site with the Contact Centre team to personalise the content and develop the right customer experience.
Ocado started using Orlo in April 2018, and immediately benefited from its built-in single-sign-on function, allowing users access to multiple applications with one set of login credentials. Ocado’s feedback helped develop a robust integrated CX solution designed for online retail or any high-volume digital customer service operation.
The second phase of the digital transformation was to automate relevant processes. For Ocado, this centred around efficiencies. Ocado identified that agents were not always working at full capacity and were cherry-picking the easiest customer enquiries. The capacity of Ocado agents was set at 5 web chats and 3 social messages at any one time.
To remove the problems they identified and to improve efficiencies and cost savings, Ocado and Orlo developed “Push Mode”. This feature within the Orlo platform meant that incoming messages from both contact channels were served to agents who had spare capacity, and also removed the ability for agents to choose which message they replied to next.
Ocado’s average response time on Twitter and Facebook more than halved upon using Orlo, from c. 20 minutes to less than 10. This has had a fantastic impact on customers and is bench marked as well above the industry average of more than a day for other companies in the sector. By responding to public complaints so promptly, Ocado can quickly take them offline or into a private messenger environment, providing a secure service for customers and mitigating any potential bad press.
The digital transformation programme has enabled Ocado to work towards moving more of its customer service over to web chat. This growth has been due to Ocado’s 300 advisers finding the Orlo platform easy-to-use and able to provide fast, effective resolutions to customers trying web chat for the first time.
The Orlo user experience and workflow were optimised to ensure all staff could be up-skilled quickly and with as little cost as possible as and when volumes dictated.
As web chat is a live conversation, it allows advisers time to source the correct information without the immediate pressure to say the right thing compared to a phone call, so allows advisers to respond swiftly to large volumes of contacts, enabling shorter wait times and a better experience for Ocado customers.
As web chat is the easiest channel to resolve most queries, by making this actively visible to its customers. For example, 70% of web chat contacts are simple queries that do not require security checks or interaction with CRM. These queries are answered quickly and efficiently and this has reduced handling time. Additionally, the vast majority of web chat conversations – over 95% – end positively.
Previously, 53% of contacts were via the phone but over the last 12 months, there has been a channel shift of 3% away from calls and the chat ratio has increased by 4%, currently standing at 16% of total contacts in the last 3 months.
The team’s strategy is to shift a further 10% of calls to web chat for resolution over the next three years, which would drive customer service labour savings of 5%.
“We spoke to a number of vendors, but after showcasing its innovative digital engagement platform’s ability to bring together all of our social media and web chat conversations into one and enabling the same team to cover all of our digital channels using the same platform, we selected Orlo without any hesitation. Orlo’s digital engagement platform is agile and fast-moving technology that effortlessly copes with our rapidly changing requirements. The efficiencies that Orlo’s platform has brought with it has enabled our customer service team to offer a higher level of service and our customers are seeing quicker response times. As a key element of customer satisfaction, this in itself is a real benefit for Ocado shoppers.”
Ian Pattle, a General Manager for customer service products and strategy at Ocado.
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