United Utilities Reduces HR Support Calls by 50 Percent with Verint

Leading U.K. water provider’s bold, imaginative deployment of Verint Knowledge Management is powering self-service, HR efficiency, and ensuring consistency across the hybrid workforce – with over 6,000 people now benefiting from trusted, just-in-time answers to their most pressing HR related queries.

The results

  • Reduced “everyday” HR queries by 50 percent, including a 15 percent decrease in call volume to the HR Shared Services team.

  • Provided faster customer service with contextual information.

  • Achieved 99 percent SLA with a 48 hour turn around.

  • Achieved a five-fold increase in user engagement.

About United Utilities

United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services in the North West of England. The organization delivers 1.8 billion liters of water a day to more than three million homes and businesses in the North West. The operation relies on hundreds of reservoirs, treatment works, and pumping stations; thousands of kilometers of water pipes and sewers; and a workforce over 6,000 strong.

united utilities logo

The opportunity: Water to 3 million homes every day

The HR function is the critical support function for all of United Utilities’ operations, supporting everything from recruitment and training to payroll and performance management. The challenge for the HR Shared Services Team was to sustain an efficient, effective and responsive service to all employees.

“It was difficult to find answers through our existing intranet,” explains Libby Forde, HR Systems Specialist at United Utilities. “Search results for HR queries brought up lengthy, time-consuming documents that didn’t always provide the answers to employees’ questions. There was inconsistency too, with people often receiving different search results to the same question.”

Inevitably, this led to a rise in direct engagement with the HR team. “We wanted a modern, agile means of communication,” says Forde. ”A proactive service that would deliver a dramatic improvement in employee self-service, increase productivity, and ensure consistency in our HR response.”

Just-in-time HR knowledge is more important than ever. Post-Covid, people have pressing queries regarding issues such as hybrid working and process change. Moreover, there is a growing interest in themes such as equality and accessibility, which are best answered accurately and quickly.

woman at home using laptop

Consistency across a hybrid workforce

United Utilities standardized on Verint Knowledge Management to deliver the right HR knowledge, at the right time, to the right people. Integrated seamlessly across its business and HR operations, the innovative Verint solution powers self-service, contact center efficiency, and consistency for United Utilities’ hybrid workforce.

”Ask HR” gives over 6,000 employees a first contact resolution platform that can answer almost any question. Available 24/7 and on any device, the underlying Verint Knowledge Management solution acts as a single source of truth for United Utilities’ HR content and policies. It also solicits feedback from users, giving the HR team quality insight into what information is useful and what’s missing. “Knowledge Management underpins a truly consumer-grade service in a business world,” notes Forde.

The intelligent platform also displays popular search questions and latest news on Ask HR. This keeps people more informed and engaged on topics that would previously have prompted calls to the HR department.

Most recent figures show that Ask HR is used for 8,500 messages, with up to 2,000 users per day. In the past 12 months, there were 41,200 searches (up 21 percent from the previous year), 95,700 sessions (up nine percent), and almost 120,000 article views.

“Its popularity rises during specific events,” Forde continues. “For example, we see a surge in demand during the payroll period. People also use it to see company benefits, such as which discounts are available in restaurants.”

Ask HR is also in demand for equality and accessibility enquiries. Forde explains, “We recently updated the content to include more gender-neutral terminology and accessible content, such as audio and visual guides. For examples, some people were struggling to read certain technical documents, so we provided an accompanying video guide.”

A separate, dedicated instance of Verint Knowledge Management is used by United Utilities’ HR to improve the quality of answers and ensure compliance with regulations and company processes.

The benefits: Knowledge appears with little or no searching

The benefits gained from the dynamic Verint Knowledge Management solution include:

  • Provides faster customer service with contextual information: Uses context from customer history to personalize results, resulting in the right knowledge appearing with little to no searching. “There are now fewer failed searches, which improves the employee experience,” says Forde. “We have also developed a 17-page document, listing search keywords likely to be misspelled, such as ‘bereavement.’”
  • Increases agility: Using Verint Knowledge Management, United Utilities is achieving a 99 percent SLA with a forty-eight-hour response and excellent feedback from the company.
  • Improves user engagement: There has been a five-fold increase in user engagement alongside a 50 percent reduction in ”everyday” HR questions, including a 15 percent decrease in call volume to the HR Shared Services team.
  • Enhances productivity: Day-to-day maintenance and regular content updates are managed by a member of the HR team. This means information is live and up to date as soon as it’s issued, without the burden of IT time or expertise.

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Provide employees with the answers they need

Forde and her team are continually looking to the future. They can continue to cycle through information on Ask HR, a task they know is of paramount importance. Using Knowledge Management insights and user feedback, the team can ensure that all the information on the portal is timely and providing employees with the answers they need – now and into the future.

“Verint Knowledge Management is the linchpin of ‘Ask HR,’” Forde concludes. “It helps to reduce HR support call volumes, drive consistent support quality, and improve efficiency.”

Featured Verint solutions

  • Knowledge Management

    Deliver the right knowledge, at the right time, to enable self-service, improve the consistency and quality of answers, and achieve compliance with regulations and company processes.

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