Yorkshire Water Transforms Customer Experience with Verint Quality Management

Yorkshire Water is a water supply and treatment utility company servicing Yorkshire and part of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire in England.

The results

  • Drives an engaging and rewarding customer experience that incorporates the voice of the customer.

  • Automates quality assurance while surfacing the most important interactions.

  • Enables agile and effective coaching to help people develop their skills.

  • Improved Institute of Customer Service Index score by 5.1 points.

  • Decreased volume of repeat calls from over 15 percent to 12 percent.

  • Reduced number of stage 1 billing complaints by one third.

About Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water is a water supply and treatment utility company servicing Yorkshire and part of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire in England. The parent company, Kelda Group, created Loop as a subsidiary to manage customer service for Yorkshire Water.

Customer billing is one of the two key services provided by Loop, alongside contact center customer service. The 300-strong billing team supports everyday voice and email inquiries – ranging from change of address to advice on how to reduce water consumption. An additional 150 people provide backoffice support services, such as complex metering claims and complaints.


The opportunity

Loop has been a Verint customer for more than 20 years. It required a means to evaluate large numbers of customer billing inquiries across various criteria, including importance, agent performance, and customer input. Loop realized that customer insights would be difficult, if not impossible, to attain by randomly sampling small numbers of interactions and evaluating them against inwardly focused metrics.

“Our main drivers for quality management are two-fold,” says Paul Bentley, Development Center Manager at Loop. “First, we need to monitor the quality of service to report regularly and consistently to the industry watchdog, OFWAT. Second, we want to understand more about our interactions to deliver an even more rewarding service.”

Drive a better customer experience with Verint Quality Management

Loop has deployed Verint Quality Management among its quality support team (QST), predominantly comprised of coaches, to monitor voice and correspondence calls using pre-defined forms integrated into Verint. The QST also uses the platform for onward coaching, using insights from Verint Quality Management to develop team member skills, maintain competence, and drive a better customer experience.

All calls are recorded, and approximately 950 billing inquiries are evaluated every month, equivalent to about two percent of all customer contacts.

Prior to Verint, Loop used a call monitoring system which had no screen capture element, making it time-consuming to evaluate customer calls and identify coaching needs. Evaluations themselves were captured on a separate sheet, meaning coaches had to use multiple systems to obtain a view of customer interactions.

Today, Verint Quality Management enables the QST to examine every aspect of a customer interaction, including voice conversations and associated screen data, all from a single, unified screen.

Emphasize the customer experience with Verint Quality Management

A recent initiative is also addressing outmoded forms (almost 50 in total), which previously underpinned quality monitoring. These forms offered minimal drill-down insight into the quality of engagement on “soft” skills such as empathy. Moreover, the customer experience, which Loop calls the “customer promise,” section of the forms was relatively small. Loop could only rate the overall experience on a four-point scale, ranging from “basic” to “exceptional.”

“There was very little science behind the questions,” says Bentley. “The outputs were minimal, and we struggled to look at skills such as listening, customer empathy, or emotional intelligence.”

The forms have now been streamlined in Verint Quality Management, with a strong emphasis on the customer experience. Verint’s team of consultants have supported Loop with the design of forms, which are carefully built to provide the desired outputs for reporting purposes. Loop can now identify the skills frontline advisors need to develop, such as how well they understand the customer scenario. A risk-based approach has also been adopted, scoring high to low, based on the severity of customer experience impact.

“We can now monitor customer experience far more effectively,” explains Bentley. For example, we can identify the contact types driving the calls and why they are driving the calls.”

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Reimagine quality management

Loop is reimagining quality management with Verint. Its forward-thinking customer engagement strategy is delivering value across the organization:

  • Meets compliance obligations: OFWAT sets a minimum “confidence grade” that should be attained by a utility company for a given metric, with a target confidence grade. Companies like Loop are expected to improve reporting performance over time, leading to the target confidence grade or higher. Using Verint Quality Management, Loop has documented evidence of engagements, including complaints, repeat calls, and other criteria, which are submitted to OFWAT.

“With Verint Quality Management we can ‘sense check’ our service quality,” notes Bentley. “That customer experience is verified by independent reports.” Over the last two years, Loop’s rating on the Institute of the Customer Service Index has improved by seven places, meaning they are now ranked fifth and track 5.1 points above the average utilities score.

  • Measures people performance: Previously, Loop measured performance through two simple performance indicators, which lacked insight around advisor skill level, or the areas where the process was failing. Now, intelligent analysis enables Loop to take a snapshot of new hires’ performance and compare that with more experienced agents. The team can then monitor this on a regular basis, providing coaching as appropriate.

In response, an innovative project named “Inspired” has been launched to roll out modern coaching to all of Loop’s customer-facing people leaders. A oneday customer experience workshop has also been developed, which includes coaching in soft skills like empathy and active listening. The project has enabled Loop to jump from a bronze to gold ranking on the Investors in People (IIP) standard. Agents are now more empowered to deliver the right solutions when handling complex questions.

  • Increases productivity: Loop can automatically categorize calls that impact the customer experience, including greetings, escalations, and call hold behavior. This has resulted in a drop in repeat calls from over 15 percent to 12 percent. Powerful search and filtering functionality helps surface data such as high-profile accounts. Further, the solution can help Loop focus quickly on the critical parts of the process that drive a higher value of interactions and take immediate action. For example, the number of stage 1 billing requests has reduced by one third.

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