Upcoming Leadership Events

Are you a Director or Senior Leader? Join our regular forums to raise standards in customer operations together. The Forum hold events for leaders to network and hear from inspirational speakers through out the year.

Our face-to-face events have ben suspended until September. Join us then, or watch out for new virtual sessions. Meanwhile, take a look at our programme on Planning for Covid-19

Planning & Insight: The Heart Of An Improvement Culture At Three Ireland

Virtual Site Visit, 3rd June 13:00

Empowerment and ownership has given analysts confidence to work in a new way with stakeholders across the business, build new solutions and improve forecast accuracy.

Summary
An empowering innovation culture is driving significant and sustainable change at Three Ireland, based on a core value ‘one team’. It’s a great place to work, where anything seems possible and a simple development can have huge impact when passionate people pull together. A collaboration by Planning & Capability Transformation teams, 3 Cal is establishing a culture of planning ahead — seamlessly building on their award-winning real-time model to focus earlier in the planning cycle. It is now used across the business to plan activity with customer or colleague impact and has helped reduce forecast variance (from 20% to 2.5%) because activity is visible and built into the plan. Engaging with the operation, including Tech Mahindra in Mumbai, built ownership and embedded changes in the culture, so that everyone now better understands the impact of their activities on customers.

Chatbots Are Transforming The Online Sales Journey At AA Ireland

Virtual Site Visit 4th June 13:00

See how a small team pioneered live chat and chatbots for sales, differentiating customer experience, cutting the length of chats by a third and raising conversion by 11% at key times.

Summary
Chatbots and live webchat have been pioneered at AA Ireland to grow sales and make the online experience far better for customers. crucially, this didn’t require major resource and, as a pioneering customer of ServisBOT’s Conversational AI Platform, a single manager powered this transformation, building up the webchat sales team then delivering chatbot automation, in just eight weeks. The Bot has become the first point of contact, completing many questions and handing strong leads to an advisor where it doesn’t yet have the answer, or a more personal touch is required. A test and learn approach was used and advisors were fully involved, incorporating their expert knowledge of objection handling with the ability to make valued suggestions to customers. It’s been a huge success, showing what a small team can achieve, and the use of Bots is expanding, to become a strategic driver for the business.

Virtual Best Practice Day for Quality & Customer Experience

9th June 12:45-16:30

Join our free best practice day for members and others looking to keep up to date with the latest trends, learn about new approaches and network with professionals from other organisations or sectors. We will host this virtually on Zoom. 

This is the chance to meet and learn from all 6 finalists in the National Quality Best Practice Team Awards. Before the day, you get the chance to review short videos on YouTube, for all 6 teams. Then, on the day 
 - You get to talk to key players involved in making this happen, to draw out the learning and ask your own questions
 - We break into network groups, sharing experiences and digging deeper on key topics of interest 
 - We end the day by sharing key learning and learn about the issues we are working on, which can be the focus on future national networking events 

Onboard Training From London To Inverness At LNER

Virtual Site Visit, 11th June 13:00

See how planning helped tackle complex challenges in introducing the first new train type in 30 years, itself the first step in a journey of digital transformation.

Summary 
Successful implementation of the new Azuma trains has depended as much on the planning and delivery of training, as the technical introduction of the trains themselves. This required complex planning on such a crowded rail network, including suspending two daily services and gaining flexibility on schedules from colleagues. Yet over 1,600 crew were successfully trained, at the same time that trains were being tested and drivers trained, losing only one service in 18 months. Customer experience is transformed – moving LNER to 3rd out of 28 operators. And technology now provides new facilities and data, paving the way to expand the services further, in a competitive marketplace. Adapting key planning approaches, to face new challenges with limited technology, this is all about engaging with people at the right time to bring them on board on this strategic journey of change. 

Planning: Keeping Ahead Of The Change Curve In Travel At Jet2

Virtual Site Visit, 16th June 13:00

See how the customer contact operation at Jet2 has been transformed, to sustain growth and be increasingly agile in a challenging market, with homeworking, real time automation and digital channels.

Summary 

Transformation over the past 18 months has been rapid, powered by planning, resource strategy and technology. This is made possible by a culture that embeds change, to drive benefits and become increasingly agile. Homeworking is highly developed and fast-growing, with UK-wide recruitment and a robust virtual support network. Real Time automation (ARTI) from QStory is freeing up time for analysis and supporting homeworkers. Digital development plans include chatbots, asynchronous and in-app messaging. There’s been a hugely positive impact on colleagues and customers, with annualised attrition down to just 18% and adherence up to 82%, both in sales. What’s more, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays were the only travel sector businesses to feature in the Top 25 of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index.

How Omni-Channel Transforms Customer Experience In Retail At Clarks

Virtual Site Visit, 17th June 13:00

See how social media, CAI the Chatbot and a new digital platform are empowering advisors, delivering a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction and future-proofing this 200-year old brand.

Summary 
The digital team, and their technology partner Cirrus, have been a catalyst for radical changes at Clarks Shoes over the past 18 months. This has been transformational for both colleagues and customers – and opens up the brand in new ways to their global market. CAI, the chatbot, now takes 70% of incoming contact, half of them out of hours, resolving three quarters, with an 83% satisfaction rating. Fourteen systems have been combined into a unified desktop for advisors and data is captured across every touchpoint. As a result, the business can now listen to what customers want and colleagues feel they have a hand in owning the customer journey. Customer experience is handled in a measured way end-to-end, with a massive uplift in their independent Trust Pilot rating to 8.6 (Excellent). It’s a demonstration of how true supplier partnerships can power change in a receptive business. 

Planning As A Strategic Capability For The Business At Sky

Virtual Site Visit 18th June 09:15

See how ‘inspired experts’ in the Sky Planning Team drive innovation in planning, to bring strategic value to the business and make life better for customers and colleagues.

Summary 
Sky considers 2019 to have been a vintage year for the organisation. Customer numbers, sales and profitability have all shown material increases and the Planning Team are at the heart of these impressive results. A strong commercial intellect coupled with a thirst for innovation, which puts people and customers at the forefront of their thinking, makes the team pivotal to the success. No longer just about operational efficiencies, this team is helping to shape the future strategy of the business. They run many concurrent projects, such as automation with robotics and apps, reducing customer effort and improving colleague work-life integration. Freedom to innovate, test, fail fast and learn is central to the team’s culture, whilst their career pathways programme provides inspiration and development for their own people. 

Building A Culture Of Wellbeing: Dashboards & Coaching At L&G

Virtual Site Visit, 18th June 13:00

See how new PowerBI dashboards are driving actionable insight to support a new style of performance coaching and a culture of wellbeing and engagement.

Summary
A desire from the very top of the organisation to promote wellbeing and engagement has been embraced at all levels within the contact centre operation in Retail Protection at L&G. This transformation is being driven by a new approach to performance coaching, the new capability developed in the Insight team and great collaboration across the business. Partnering with external expertise brought in fresh thinking and the skills and knowledge transferred in-house is transforming the role of the MI & Insight team. Furthermore, this initiative has been pioneering the use of PowerBI dashboards in the business. This has all driven great excitement in teams, Team Managers have more time to spend with their teams and colleagues feel more supported and empowered whilst early results show marked improvement in attrition and absence.

AI & Process Transformation At Pace And Scale At Openreach

Virtual Site Visit, 23rd June 13:00

See how two rapid innovation programmes are transforming the billion-pound delivery of fibre networks nationwide, engaging people and generating more than £1m efficiency, in less than a year.

Summary 
Innovation expertise, recruited into Openreach, has been a catalyst for rapid transformation, with field engineers, support teams, unions & managers all onboard. A pioneering Machine Learning algorithm was developed in close collaboration with experienced engineers. Network Enhanced Analytics (NEA) predicts non-value activities and automatically reallocates resource to create capacity. In the service desk, process & systems transformation led to a new single Heads-Up Display (HUD), replacing 27 different systems. This radically simplified the service experience, for colleagues and customers, with calls down 30% and 16% faster. Both were delivered in only a matter of months and now an embedded continuous improvement culture means these solutions are sustained and continually developed. As a result, the new FTTP network can be rolled out faster and at lower cost. 

Planning Transformation And Systems Thinking At LV= General Insurance (LV= GI)

Virtual Site Visit, 24th June 09:15

See how Planning gained a seat at the top Customer & Ops table and built confidence in the plan, while at the same time genuinely supporting those accountable for ‘doing the right thing’ in their own area.

Summary 
Systems Thinking is often seen as incompatible with planning, yet the Planning Team at LV= embraced the opportunity to redefine their purpose, gaining a mandate to pioneer new activity and support people using data to make decisions. They are empowering advisors and providing bespoke support to business leaders. Planning models have been stripped back and simplified, data reports automated and made visible. Self-serve for lifestyle planning has cut escalations to Planning by 80% and helped people feel ‘set free’. A sector-first tool for surges in demand in home claims is planning what’s ‘waiting to happen’, before it happens, in stormy times! The shift in thinking has helped raise colleague engagement 12% across the business – and support the key goal of exceptional customer experiences, with NPS up seven points to +72. 

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As a member, you are not on your own but part of a community with others facing many similar challenges. We are here to help you to make a tangible impact in your organisation and show how developing the capability of each specialist professional function is fundamental to your business.

Book for one of our events to experience our exceptional community or get in touch to talk about how we can help you and your teams to be fully effective in adding value to your business. Email advice@theforum.social, call 0333 123 5960 or contact any of The Forum team


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As an independent association established since 2000, we offer a trusted space for professionals in contact centre, field service, back office or retail operation. Benchmark against the best in class and learn from innovators and pioneers.

Learning Academy

Upcoming modules

We have a wide range of virtual modules coming up.

Covid-19 Series

You have a community of support at The Forum. See the series of free webinars to help you through this unusual situation.

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Customer Strategy & Planning 2020
28th & 29th September 2020
Learn first-hand from practitioners and business leaders who are delivering successful change.

National Conferences 2019
Catch up on the highlights
Annual conferences dedicated to the needs of their communities.

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