My Transcom Experience

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Author: Helene Ruda

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TalkTalk walks the walk with digital customer service strategy

Five years ago, TalkTalk was one of the most complained about telecoms operators in Britain. Today the company has completely turned things by revamping the contact centre operating model and finding new ways for customers to get the support they need across digital channels. As a result, TalkTalk is succeeding in its mission to be a value champion taking on the traditional giants in one of the toughest industries in Britain. 

After being handed the Daily Mail’s ‘Wooden Spoon’, given to companies their readers deem have the worst customer service, TalkTalk, which delivers value for money phone, broadband and TV packages to more than 4 million UK customers, realised it needed to change. One of the problems was that it had recently acquired several different companies who all had their own customer service networks. As a result it was working with many different outsourcing providers, making it incredibly hard to deliver a consistent customer experience.

Talk Talk

A decision was made to simplify and streamline the number of partners and at each stage, TalkTalk chose to stick with Transcom, despite the fact that Transcom’s Manila-based operations were so far from the UK.

“The temptation was to work with someone closer, so that’s a testament to the quality of Transcom’s services that it negated the distance,” says Sholto Mee, Head of Customer Service for TalkTalk. “We wanted to move to a larger strategic partnership where we could develop a deeply embedded relationship, one with equal respect where we share in each other’s successes and have to work together in order to be successful together.”

Remarkable turnaround

The results have been remarkable, and today TalkTalk outperforms larger players such as BT in the regulator’s formal reports on customer satisfaction and complaint handling. One of the main reasons is because TalkTalk has realised that customers increasingly want to interact with companies using a variety of channels, especially digital ones. One of the company’s main strategies has been to invest in innovations such as Live Chat functionality and online self-service so that customers can solve their problems digitally, thereby reducing the numbers of calls into contact centres.

“We are seeing customers migrate to digital channels more and more, and customer satisfaction is much higher in those areas as a result. Today 40 percent of our frontline customer service is through live chat, compared to 5 percent a few years ago,” says Sholto Mee.

And consumers are more demanding, and more likely to switch than ever before, keeping those customers happy is crucial.

“Internet connectivity is as important to consumers today as electricity or water. People expect to be able to be online 24/7, and expectations are on a completely different level than they were five or 10 years ago. It’s crucial we deliver support in a way that retains those customers,” says Mark Lyndsell, Transcom’s Country Manager for UK and Asia Pacific Accounts.

New solutions changing the game

Today about 1,800 agents in two of Transcom’s delivery centers in Manilla handle all types of customer queries for TalkTalk, from billing to technical support.

And TalkTalk is constantly adopting innovative solutions, such as voice biometric software that helps identify customers without having to go through lengthy security questions. Transcom has also created escalation layers so that more skilled agents can deal with callers who have urgent problems or complaints.

And TalkTalk is planning to launch a new WhatsApp-style messaging application where customers can send questions and replies to agents at any time, without the need for instant responses.

“That’s really exciting because it fundamentally changes the experience from the customer’s point of view. They can engage with us on their terms, when it suits them. If they need an instant response, they get one. But if they want to send a message, then get on the train and check the response later, they can fit in their questions around their day-to-day lives,” says Sholto Mee.

It’s clear that TalkTalk is determined to stay ahead of the game and isn’t afraid to make fast and sweeping changes to the way the company operates. That means their partners must have the same attitude, and willingness to evolve.

“The reason why our partnership has lasted so long is that Transcom has been able to align to their culture,” says Mark Lyndsell. “TalkTalk is very entrepreneurial. They like to zig when everybody else zags. They like to buck the trend. That means you have be very agile and flexible in terms of your thinking when you’re working with them.”

And that’s also why TalkTalk feel they have found the perfect partner in Transcom.

“We operate at the value-end of the market which means we can’t outspend our competition, we have to outthink them. That means we have a culture of moving quickly and delivering innovative products. So all our partners have to be flexible with us,” says Sholto Mee. “Transcom is great at that because they have a flexible management team with the ability to deal with ambiguity and deal with change. We talk about challenging with integrity. It’s a two-way dialogue, and that’s based on trust.”

This article, written by Mattias Karén, appeared in the latest issue of the Hello Transcom magazine.

Download the Hello Transcom magazine here.

Author: Sarah Wass

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Transcom Cares in Leeds supports Candlelighters – fighting children’s cancer

The Transcom Leeds team has always been very proud to support local charities in our area. Back in the summer of 2014, our team decided that a charity of the year would be elected to support the Transcom Cares initiative.

Each team decided on which charity they would like to elect as their charity of choice, and was subsequently opened up for voting.

All charities were very worthy causes; however since June 2014 The Candlelighters Trust was established as our chosen charity of the year.

Candlelighters Logo

The Candlelighters Trust was established 40 years ago by two parents in the local area to the Transcom Leeds office, whose child had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. They identified that more support was required for families and today, the charity is still run by parents of children who have or have had cancer.

So, whether it is through the support of the friendly staff and experienced counselors, that ‘home away from home’ environment they nurture on the ward in Leeds or funding vital research into new treatments and cures. Candlelighters is determined to support each and every person impacted by child cancer.

From the time of diagnosis, Candlelighters ensures that everyone knows where to turn for that essential support. Every family is allocated a social worker, who will be there to provide advice on a wide range of issues, from coping with the emotional demands of treatment to resolving financial difficulties.

The social worker can simply be there as a friendly face, a shoulder to lean on or someone to talk to. Or they can provide practical help such as arranging applications for hardship grants or arranging holidays for terminally ill children with their loved ones who may not have the opportunity again.

Over the last year, the Charity Committee, Chris Davis Katie Steward & Lucy Ibbetson, with the support of the entire Leeds team have held a number of charity fundraising events. Most recently, we had a bake off competition and raised £580.64

Transcom Cares in Leeds supports Candlelighters – fighting children’s cancer

Photo originally published at Candlelighter’s Facebook page.

 

We are delighted that our contributions are helping to fund a brand new family support center which offers respite care for family members and children.

You can see and follow their progress on the Candlelighters’ Facebook page as well as details of the support Transcom and other supporters are doing for this great cause.

Author: Rebecca Fretwell

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Innovation and product knowledge key factors when Transcom UK wins government contract

Our Leeds site has enjoyed a successful partnership directly with the primary loan provider for further education in the UK for five years. During 2014 the UK Government created a new outsourcing model (Debt Market Integrator) that controls the placement of Government owned debts. A leading UK panel management company for debt solutions was awarded the contract via a protracted tender process and became the supplier of choice for the Government in terms of outsourcing functions and control for the DMI.

The subsequent tender process for inclusion on the panel for outsourcing opportunities allowed Transcom UK to reveal our already successful, tried, tested and proven strategies and to agree commercials that would allow for the relationship to continue. In December 2014, it was announced that Transcom had been retained as a partner for the client.

Innovation was a key factor in our success; dialogue between the client and the broker had clearly referenced Transcom’s flexibility and adaptability to provide a service which demonstrated recognition of the client’s needs and our unsurpassed product knowledge. The innovation reflected actions taken in July of last year as we recognized the need for ‘out of the box’ thinking to increase revenue streams for the client and for our business.

The customer base of this client comprises a blend of students who attended University in the UK but are registered as living overseas, as well as those who are registered as living in the UK. A large proportion of the work we undertake is located in Australia, New Zealand and the West Coast of America where extreme time zone differences exist. We initially created a trial of 6am opening to capitalize on the Australian customers which has resulted in uplifting average cash collections for the client.  The trial was then extended to include opening hours to 3am to capitalize on the West Coast of America which has continued to strengthen our collections and the client relationship. In October we were awarded 100% allocation based on our success.

Let’s extend our congratulations and thanks to the dedicated team who embraced the changes and delivered some truly amazing results.