RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

UK retail bank responds to customer service crisis with fast ramp of 750 FTEs in 12 weeks

The challenge: Ramp at maximum speed to meet unplanned surge in demand

A leading British retail bank was planning a critical tech migration from their legacy system to a new platform. To offer customers the support they might need during the transition, Firstsource was asked to provide a contingency contact center of 270 Full Time Employees (FTEs) for four months to boost the client’s own telephone banking team of 1,000.

Over a 4-week period, Firstsource recruited and onboarded all 270 FTEs. We also:

  • Put tried-and-trusted team structures in place to maximize productivity and performance
  • Devised and ran dedicated training around the client’s culture, products, services and specific project brief to ensure quality and consistency of call handling
  • Established call quality criteria to be tracked and evaluated on an ongoing basis
  • When migration day arrived, the contingency team was ready

The migration did not go as planned. The bank’s systems crashed. Unable to access their accounts, thousands of customers got on their phones and contact centers were inundated.

The client and Firstsource teams needed to work together with urgency and agility to:

  • Ramp up the number of contact center personnel available to support customers.
  • Advise on how to handle the trickiest of calls
  • Support and motivate associates through abusive calls and difficult shifts
  • Ensure they did everything they could to keep customers on side

Problems persisted for six weeks, with new challenges arising daily – some customers were given access to other customers’ accounts and, as news of the issue spread, fraudsters targeted the bank.

“A challenging but totally amazing year, demonstrating just how collaborative outsourcing partnerships should work. I cannot thank the Firstsource team enough for your hard work and dedication.”

Client Project Manager

The solution: Fast-track recruitment and ‘all hands’ approach

Firstsource adopted a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck approach to help the client at this critical time. The solution included:

  • Implementing fast-track recruitment: within days, we sourced an additional 436 contact- center personnel. Within 12 weeks, the headcount grew to 750.
  • Investing in 13 additional support and quality control roles to ensure the best possible outcomes for customers and the wellbeing of contact-center staff.
  • Committing over $93K to incentives that encouraged staff to return to work each day and stay motivated.
  • Providing support in areas beyond the scope of the original project such as specialist fraud support, business banking and social media management.
  • Extending the duration of support: telephone banking for an additional five months, fraud support for a year.
  • Funding a team to run a Workforce Management Excellence project to improve resource planning and make schedule adherence easier for the client so they could focus on their customers.

In the face of adversity, the client and Firstsource united behind the goal of looking after the end customers’ needs.

Social media support

15 dedicated Firstsource advisers handled 3,000 responses per week using pre-approved copy. Responses were monitored by team leaders and the client to ensure that speed and stress did not result in any compromise to quality or compliance.

The results: Full schedule adherence in difficult circumstances

The teams responded with outstanding speed and professionalism. They did everything possible to mitigate long-term damage. Rapid scaling meant that more advisers were able to help more customers. The growth of the scope from telephone banking to include business banking and fraud management was of course needs-must, but Firstsource’s ability to deliver under pressure earned them the trust and respect of the client. 

The partnership has gone from strength to strength, and Firstsource is the client’s first choice when they need additional telephone banking, business banking and fraud support.

  • 750 associates hired and onboarded in 12 weeks
  • 20% reduction in average handling time
  • 3,000 social media comments handled each week
  • Speed of scaling: support exceeded scope >180% within months
  • Quality Assurance scores 95%+
  • A true partnership: Firstsource started as tactical resource provider but became a trusted advisor

Business impact

750

associates hired and onboarded in 12 weeks


20%

reduction in average handling time


3,000

social media comments handled each week

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