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Photobox: from good to great

E xceptional multi-channel service for exceptional products


  • Unparalleled resourcing flexibility from daily to seasonally
  • Operational cost savings of 22%
  • Exceptional customer experiences
  • Increased staff loyalty
  • CSAT improvement from 80% to >90%
  • Empathetic, loyal and enthusiastic agents
  • Proactive and collaborative partnership

Discerning customers and clear goals

PhotoBox’s international customer base invests a great deal of time and effort to craft the perfect gift or memento for a wide range of occasions. And given the company’s vast product range - from its best-selling photobooks to canvasses and mugs – there are infinite permutations meaning that products are completely customisable and a very personal experience. Combine this with the fact that a large proportion of the organisation’s business comes via ‘word of mouth’, it’s no surprise that customer experience is a key strategic priority for PhotoBox.

However, the organisation’s sales are intrinsically seasonally driven – approximately 50% occur over the Christmas season – which means that PhotoBox has to deal with extreme levels of volatility in customer demand. And when the group launched operations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, there was the added complication of matching fluctuating resource requirements to a number of different time zones.

"Our customers buy unique, personalised and emotional products and often require a fair degree of support – at a time that suits them, whatever their time zone. While it’s impossible to generalise our customers and their customer service needs, we can unilaterally generalise that each and every customer deserves a great customer experience from PhotoBox," explains Helen Ellis , Head of Global Customer Services.

After a careful review of the business’ unique requirements, it became clear that homeworking was the best solution for PhotoBox and Sensée was appointed as its specialist outsourcing partner. By bringing demographically aligned agents to the table to serve PhotoBox customers, SenséeSensée would be able to provide high levels of technical support as well as great customer care.

Award winning multi-channel customer service

PhotoBox has always provided good customer service, but in 2011, the group decided that it must deliver consistently ‘great’ customer service to maintain its market leadership position. Part of this exercise was to rationalise its supplier base – a move which saw PhotoBox consolidate its external partner numbers from 5 to 2.

As a part of this and in addition improving the quality of phone and email interactions, PhotoBox asked Sensée to deliver extended opening hours to serve its domestic and growing, international customer base. Today, PhotoBox provides multi-lingual phone, email and live chat support from 7am until 11pm – 7 days a week for Europe.

Building on their already established relationship, Sensée quickly helped PhotoBox to gear up quality, channel availability and geographic reach. PhotoBox benefitted from Sensée’s specialist homeworking technology – as well as their excellent people and processes – which is was absolutely aligned to PhotoBox’s needs, and gave them the requisite levels of control, security and visibility of operations. "Quality interactions – irrespective of the channel used – are vitally important to our business and Sensée shares our commitment in this area. They’re unwavering in their commitment to us as a business and utterly proactive - if ever they suspect there may be an issue in our operation or an area for improvement they let us know straight away. This behaviour has earned our trust and respect," shares Helen.

The partnership has certainly paid off. In February 2013, PhotoBox increased its quality score, achieving over 90%, and later that year enjoyed industry recognition for the quality of service it delivers. "Exceeding our CSAT goal was a really big deal to us - particularly given the fact our volatility is so extreme. We were delighted when we won the coveted top spot in the ‘Top 50’ for customer service and the whole team feels that Sensée contributed heavily to that achievement," continues Helen.

In addition to these positive key performance indicators, PhotoBox is experiencing a positive sales upturn and encouraging results in its newest territories.

Homeworking – a host of compelling benefits for PhotoBox

The benefits have been compelling on all fronts. First of all, Sensée agents often outperform the in-house team and PhotoBox believes that this is down to the fact that the dedicated home agents are very experienced, with a host of life experiences that enable them to really empathise with its customer base across multiple channels.

This is compounded by single digit attrition which means the valuable acquired skills are retained, with some of the agents having served PhotoBox’s customers for over 7 years. PhotoBox’s business is an enriching environment for Sensée’s home agents and this has led to strong agent commitment and loyalty, which in turn delivers increased employee engagement and extremely low staff attrition. This means that in emergency or for seasonal peaks, PhotoBox has a huge ready to go resource need be.

"To conclude, I’d just like say that Sensée is so incredibly flexible, I’ve never seen anything like it. But equally importantly, they set themselves very high standards and do everything in their power to meet them. The team has given us so much confidence – mainly due to a practically palpable focus and commitment – that we trust them to deliver for us, with never any need to micro-manage. They are part of our team, there really is no ‘them and us’. It’s a great partnership – we really couldn’t have asked for anything better," concludes Helen.

About PhotoBox

PhotoBox is Europe's leading online digital photo service with over 30 million members, helping people create memories and keep them alive through Photobooks, cards, wall art, mugs, t-shirts, and more. Founded in 2000 by Graham Hobson, in 2006, PhotoBox merged with French counterpart Photoways and later, in July 2011, with personalised card company Moonpig. The company operates in 19 countries, predominantly in Europe and in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

About Sensée

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 Argos, Aviva, Eurostar, PhotoBox, RAC and Rank Interactive.