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Contact Centre Technology

Driving contact centre performance at Yorkshire Building Society

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Sabio has worked with Yorkshire Building Society, the UK's second largest building society, for over a decade developing, implementing and supporting a best practice Avaya-based communications and contact centre infrastructure to support the Society's expanding activities.

We asked Janice Beattie, Yorkshire Building Society’s Group Contact Centre Manager, to give us some insight into the day-to-day challenges she faces as she drives activity across the Society’s Bradford, Cheltenham and Peterborough contact centres.

Everything comes together in the contact centre, so my role as Group Contact Centre Manager at Yorkshire Building Society means I get to deal with a broad range of operational challenges – from managing staffing and performance levels through to tracking ongoing technology developments and ensuring that we strike the right balance between compliance and effective customer engagement.

Getting the right mix of staff across our different contact centres is an essential part of my role, particularly as there’s an inevitable ongoing turnover of staff across our sites. For me, a critical thing to get right is the on boarding of new agents – making sure that they not only get to know everything about the Society and our offers, but also have the right customer service mindset and are fully up to speed with all our different processes and technologies. We’ve got a number of different approaches, such as live learning and a buddy system, that we use to make the transition to the contact centre floor as seamless as possible.

Coming from a Resource & Planning background, I’m also interested in how we can fine tune our performance and optimise our staff resources to meet our customers’ changing needs. Given the increasing shift towards multi-channel engagement, our challenge is to achieve the right level of skills blending to support our mix of voice, email, web chat and secure messaging channels.

Achieving this balance means making the most of our diverse agent demographics. For example at our Peterborough site we’ve got a lot of younger advisers, and consequently staff turnover is slightly higher. At our Bradford contact centre, however, we’ve got a much more established group of agents and management, and particularly strong continuity.

Matching these skills to customer requirements is a fascinating part of my role. Which teams, for example, are best placed to support our Web-expert customers from the former Egg business? What skills do we want our new agents to bring to Yorkshire Building Society, and where are we most likely to find them? Can we handle out-of-hours contact from just one of our three sites?

In terms of day-to-day activities, I make sure that I divide my time between our different contact centres – catching up with teams, listening to calls, getting involved with recruitment and training, and focusing in on any barriers to productivity.

Focusing on how we can deploy technology to unlock further performance improvements is also a major part of my role. We’ve now got a best-of-breed Avaya communications infrastructure in place, but our task now is to keep on refining the customer experience we offer, so catching up with our different customer feedback initiatives is clearly important.

At the moment we’re doing a lot of work around our Enterprise Content Management, making sure the right documentation is available for both customers and our advisers. Having worked with the technology before, I’m also keen to explore how we can take advantage of speech analytics at Yorkshire Building Society – however I’m aware that effective speech analytics projects depend as much on having the people and skills in place to translate analytics findings into real insights and performance improvement.

As you can see, my role as Group Contact Centre Manager at Yorkshire Building Society is wide-ranging – no two days are ever the same, and there are always new challenges to address!

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