Ahead of the inaugural Future Contact Centres Sydney event, we caught up with Rod Netterfield, General Manager, Change and Customer Experience at Auto & General to discuss their contact centre vision, how they are using contact centres as a foundation to improve CX, how speech analytics has changed the way contact centres operate and much much more!
To set the scene, what is your contact centre ‘vision’, what are the key outcomes you are hoping to achieve, and by when?
Auto & General is proud of its challenger heritage. As the first organisation to sell insurance over the phone, we pioneered direct online insurance in Australia. We continuously innovate to deliver something for our customers. We are known in the Australia insurance market for being low cost and offering high value through market leading pricing and underwriting.
Our purpose is to give customers smarter solutions to safeguard a brighter future. We aim to achieve this through sustainable growth, extending our price leadership, and maintaining our business agility. To do this, we focus on having happier customers, happier employees and driving better business outcomes.
As General Manager, Change and Customer Experience at Auto and General, I collaboratively develop and implement strategy to improve the Auto & General customer experience across all brands, products, channels and services. My team engage across the organisation to improve customer understanding and ensure business decisions are made around customer need, requirement and feedback.
Our Customer Experience principles - launched in 2018 - are focused on building trust with our customers, and connecting every employee in our business with an understanding of how their role impacts upon the experience we provide to our customers.
What have been the stand-out elements of success in how you have gone about developing your contact platform and how are you now going about using this as the foundation to be able to improve CX, customer satisfaction and retention?
In 2017, Auto & General set out to improve NPS by 20% by 2020 (i.e. a BIG goal to have happier customers). Through a series of coordinated projects, initiatives and activities, Auto & General have already achieved this goal, well ahead of target dates. Now the challenge is in continuing to improve customer experience and building trust, while also working towards meeting two other BIG goals: to have happier employees, and to drive better business.
There's no silver bullet to delivering better customer outcomes; we have....
- continued to build capability and leverage the insights provided by their VOC platform
- started their Speech Analytics journey to complement and supplement other data and insight sources (see below)
- build a Design capability, and are now using journey mapping to build empathy and understand customer needs to be able to build products and services ‘from the outside-in’
- bringing together process and customer teams to identify opportunities to improve internal efficiencies, and identify candidates for automation and robotics.
What do you see as the main focus with regard to contact centres in Australia and the most critical components of a Head of Contact Centre/Customer Contact role?
Continuing to meet rising customer needs and expectations (expectations now transcend traditional industry vertical boundaries), and an expectation of seamless migration between channels
Supporting Contact Centre Consultants to handle more complex customer conversations (driven from increasing product complexity, migration of 'simple' transactions to self service, etc)
Supporting Contact Centre Consultants and teams with the reality that change is the new constant
Understanding the impact of robotics, automation, artificial intelligence - and all the other buzzwords - actually mean to the Contact Centre operations, and managing employee capability needs now and into the future
How are you going about navigating the opportunities of new technology with the value of your existing staff and integrating the two?
From a CX perspective, our most significant investment has been in Speech Analytics capability, as a complementary solution to complement our existing Voice of Customer investment and other data sources.
How has speech analytics changed the way you do business?
- Auto & General are early on in our Speech Analytics journey.
- Since implementing the solution in late 2018, a core Customer Data Team has been established to manage the ongoing BAU activity.
- The team - using the best practice material from our chosen vendor - have established their operating rhythms, governance structures and initial training.
- We are now accepting requests for insights deep-dives from right across our Insurance business. These are coming in as tactical requests, initial investigations, or large pieces of analysis.
- With placement of this team structurally within our Customer Experience business unit, we have been able to enrich our existing customer data sets with another layer of detailed information.
What are three key benefits you have seen since introducing speech analytics?
We are now able to provide the 'why' that sits behind the data, and to quantify what isn't captured by an existing data point.
Easily find calls that are related to specific segments or topics, to expedite targeted analysis to answer the business questions.
As the Voice of the Customer into the Auto & General business, we now have the enabling capability to say we are representative of the voice of the customer on over all the call-based customer interactions
General Manager, Change and Customer Experience, Auto & General