Aviva raises the bar with Sensée
ward winning customer service
Efficiency gains of c. 30%
Ability to meet peak demand with agile resourcing and short shifts
Complete brand and cultural alignment to strategic “Systems Thinking” initiative
Virtual recruitment, training and service delivery
On-demand access to skilled, highly productive agents able to empathise with customers
CSAT scores that exceed Aviva’s in-house operations
Complete control, security and visibility of homeworking operations
Disaster recovery peace of mind
The quest for a culturally aligned partner
As a leader in the highly competitive insurance industry,
Aviva is fully aware
of the importance of delivering exceptional, compliant customer service alongside
its superior product portfolio to secure and retain market share. That’s why, in
2012, the organisation set out on a mission to be recognised as the benchmark for
customer service excellence, and introduced
'Systems Thinking', an innovative,
strategic initiative designed to underpin customer service objectives by removing
targets and introducing measures that track all aspects of performance but with no
single focus on one.
Given that Aviva receives over 5 million
customer contacts each year, this was
quite an ambitious objective. In addition to these exceptionally high call volumes,
customers contact Aviva at times of distressing,
life-changing events – from the
loss of a family member or a car accident, to the theft of cherished possessions
or a natural disaster - so it is crucial that all calls are handled effectively,
and with the greatest possible empathy to the specific customer circumstance.
The constraints of traditional bricks and mortar operations – namely a fixed
recruitment catchment area and rigid, 8 hour daily shifts - made it challenging
or Aviva to deal with typical calling
patterns, and also changes in demand.
On top of this, Aviva also needed to meet
stringent regulatory requirements,
so an ability to manage processes was essential.
“It’s very clear that consumer habits are changing; the days of 9-5 are gone.
Customers want to talk to knowledgeable agents when it suits them, and intraday
fluctuations can mean that we deviate from standard scheduling by 50-60 people
at the highest peak. However, on the other hand, employees want rewarding work
and don’t want to commute to work split shifts. We needed to find a partner that
would rise to the challenge of these conflicting requirements, deliver compliant,
world-class customer service, and align perfectly with our
strategic initiative,” explains
Chris Nobbs, Head of Contact Centres at Aviva.
After a lengthy due diligence followed by a tender process,
Sensée to pilot the virtualisation of their contact centre operation through
The blueprint for success
Just a few months after being appointed, Sensée
had created a high performance
homeworking contact centre operation.
HomeAgents were recruited specifically
to work in line with existing peaks in customer demand. To be in line with
'Systems Thinking', recruits needed
to be equipped with the skills and knowledge
to handle all customer service, sales and retention for Aviva’s discerning
customer base. Given the diversity and level of skills required, the virtual
classroom training course lasted a full 6-weeks (as it does in-house).
proprietary and specialist homeworking technology platform integrated with
Aviva’s own systems and ensured fully
compliant processes and customer
interactions whenever appropriate.
Furthermore, unforeseen events, very close to Aviva’s
heart for its customers,
can also have serious implications for its own operations.
"Of course we too
are at the mercy of weather and natural disasters, so it gives us great peace
of mind to know that if we do get snowed in or flooded, Sensée’s homeworking
network can, if need be, take over virtually instantaneously,"
With the pilot, Aviva set out to prove
that homeworking could deliver efficient,
cost-effective, resilient and compliant customer service that also constituted
great experiences for its customer base.
Aviva made sure that all activities met
stringent obligations. As Sensée
delivered on all fronts, Aviva decided to
scale its use of homeworking and
today, Sensée employs approximately 100
home agents dedicated to Aviva and has
also implemented Sensée homeworking in other
brands of the business.
Prestigious, industry recognition
Since 2012, Aviva and
Sensée have enjoyed an open and collaborative partnership.
Aviva is implementing some very refreshing
approaches to innovative working that
are being replicated by Sensée and paying
dividends. For example, average
handling time targets have been abolished so that agents can meet the needs of
customers and give them the best quality of service. This also frees up expensive
management time – both within Aviva and
Sensée - to focus on higher value
activities, such as process innovation and agent upskilling.
Aviva’s commitment to customers – and to
being recognised as the benchmark for
customer service – has led to the
organisation winning the prestigious 'Top 50'
large contact centre award for two
"To say that we are proud
of this achievement would be an understatement, but it would only be truthful
to acknowledge that without a doubt, Sensée played an equal part in our success.
From our perspective, they’re us, they are no different"
"Sensée has de-risked homeworking and is the best in their field; they do what
they do really, really, well. From the quality of their people and processes,
right through to specialist technology that delivers the control, visibility
and security levels we require in a regulated environment, I haven’t come across
another outsourcer than can provide services to this level and give a company
like ours the confidence to be the first to adopt homeworking. In my view,
Sensée is the clear market leader,"
Aviva provides around 31 million
customers worldwide with insurance, savings
and investment products. Aviva
is the UK's largest insurer and one of Europe's
leading providers of life and general insurance. The company is committed to
serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business,
which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are
proud to work. Aviva is a regular member of the
elite Top 50 for Customer Service in the UK.
Sensée unlocks significant benefits
by transforming the way companies work.
Our multi-channel customer management services, delivered by highly skilled
home agents, give our clients unprecedented
agility to respond to rapidly
changing market conditions, significant operational cost reductions and
exceptionally high levels of customer satisfaction. The leading homeworking
outsourcer, Sensée employs c. 700 home agents
to serve a prestigious client
base that includes
RAC and Rank Interactive.