Three Awards Case Study and Site Visit 2014: IVR Demand Management and effective resourcing

How planning led transformation that slashed budgeted demand by 20% last year – incurring no capital expenditure – with benefits realised in both the UK and India.

The Service Demand Planning Team at Three initiated several projects as part of a Cross Functional transformation team. Chief among these were projects that halved interactive voice response (IVR) journey times and transformed IVR into a self-service channel of choice – customer take-up rising a massive 75%. Critical enablers were improved reporting, end-to-end analysis of the customer experience and external benchmarking. Together, these fed into systematic, strategic reforms. Alongside this, initiatives around wrap-time and team consolidation have delivered operational expenditure gains of £2.4million and £1.3million respectively, while the introduction of flexible shift patterns in India has significantly raised intraday service level performance. In combination, these steps helped raise NPS 12 points.


  • 55% reduction in IVR journey time
  • IVR self-serve take-up rose 75%
  • 21,000 fewer intra-team transfers
  • FCR improved 6%
  • Wrap-time efficiencies worth £2.4m
  • NPS up from 0 to +12
  • 20% overall reduction in budgeted demand in 2013, with no capital

Site Visit was on 18th June in Glasgow

Attending Companies
Hughes Insurance, NHS 24, npower, 02, RBS Bank, SSE plc, Teleperformance and LV=

Example Job Titles
Telephony Strategy Manager, Performance Manager, Head of Business Planning & Forecasting, Resource Analyst, IVR Manager, Data Analyst

Key takeaways and learning
  • Needed to Improve customer journey and make it easier for customer: Optimise call routing and IVR and improve self-serve option. IVR was previously used as a deflection tool and not identified as a separate channel.  "Utilise external insight and internal analysis to drive a step change in the experience and effectiveness of Three's IVR channel."
  • Starting point was to benchmark, define the gap, understand where we are. "Removing opinion and using facts"
  • Omni or multi channel, IVR is often seen as a thru put and not as it's own channel.  How much revenue does your IVR generate? How much could it?
  • If the queue time including IVR time exceed 2 minutes the customer satisfaction will suffer.  "Our average was 118 seconds, it's now less than 60 seconds?"
  • Be consistent with your IVR options, especially if your customers call regularly.  "The less options you've got the less that can go wrong!"

IVR & On-Hold, considerations from different perspectives


  • Are the right calls routed to skilled advisors
  • Reason for the call along with customer details and history
  • Confidence and security
  • Education impact of short call removal
  • Reliable data capture
  • Effective MI and reporting
  • Feedback loop for issues and improvements


  • Ease of use
  • Few options
  • Clear simple wording, no jargon
  • No duplication
  • Right agent first time
  • Choice
  • Quick
  • Consistent


  • Identified as a channel of choice
  • Reflects brand values
  • Marketing opportunity & cross selling (must be relevant for customer)
  • Aids customer journey
  • Reactionary (tactical and disaster recovery)
  • Easy to use, minimal customer effort

Quotes from Delegates
“Open conversation around both success & challenges.  A lot of best practice and useful/relevant information shared.”  Zertashia Awan, 02

“Good structure of presentation of the learning from Three followed by making you think through the elements in the workshop.”  Gareth Patrick, Hughes Insurance

“Go back to the business with our changes and discuss what we have learnt and how we will/can apply this to review/redesign our IVR’s.”  Kate Hurle, SSE

“Interesting in how advanced companies are with their system and how much they got there.”  Amanda Cassidy, NHS 24

“Was great to get together with people from other organisations who are looking to achieve a similar thing.”  Brian Morrow, RBS Bank

Take a look at these articles, videos and links
2014 Innovation Awards Winners and Case Studies
Find out more about Best Practice in IVR and On-Hold telephony
IVR and on-hold messages: are they fit for purpose?
Seventeen finalists announced for the 2014 awards


(c) Professional Planning Forum 2000-2019
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