15 March 2021
Following the business separation of Xoserve and Correla, both will continue to deliver the exceptional customer service and improvements that led to this score. We will continue to ensure that customer centricity remains the number one priority.
Andrew Szabo, Correla’s Chief Customer Officer, (previously CCO for Xoserve), explains why this is something to celebrate.
What has been your vision for increasing Xoserve’s ICS score?
Our vision is to become a truly world-class service provider. To achieve that, we need to measure progress, which is why we set out a three-year plan at the start of 2020 to take us from the bottom 10 per cent of the UK Customer Service Index, to the top 10 per cent.
What do the results tell us?
The team at Xoserve (which has recently separated into Xoserve and Correla) have recorded the highest customer service levels it’s ever had. In 2017/8, our score was 63. This increased to 69.7 in 2018/9 and dropped back in 2019/20 to 67.1. We now have a score of 75, rising by 7.9 points in just a year and 12 points since 2017/18. The results also put us above the ICS benchmark for the utility sector and on a par with customer service levels throughout the country. It’s a huge improvement and something everyone involved should take pride in.
Who has been responsible for this result?
This has been a collective effort across the whole team, who are now split across Xoserve and Correla. Everyone has worked tirelessly towards improving the customer experience we provide. During the last year, we’ve adapted our business to work remotely given the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. We have embraced the opportunity to increase our flexibility and engagement levels by supporting our people and our customers at a time of real difficulty. This has enabled us to achieve some significant improvements and results, setting us on the right trajectory for our future goals.
What have you done to improve customer satisfaction?
In the last year, we’ve focussed on going back-to-basics and laying solid foundations from which to build. We’ve reviewed and changed how we interact with customers, resolved a number of the technology defects which have lingered since Project Nexus, invested in customer journey mapping and introduced more effective ways of measuring operational performance. Only by doing so have we been able to make tangible progress, because if you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
At the heart of what we’ve done is the ‘Master Plan’. It sounds grand, but in fact, it’s all about simplicity, setting a clear prioritisation framework to ensure that all our teams are driven by a fundamental goal of improving customer satisfaction. We’ve taken the feedback we’ve received from customers to focus on key areas to improve the experience we provide to customers. A great example is Query Management. When a customer gets in touch, we need to be able to get the right information to them first time, as quickly as possible and though the right channels of communication. We’ve had great feedback from customers about the improvements we’ve made in this area and we have more improvements under development for the future.
What does this mean for customers?
By improving the service, we provide to customers our intention to is to help them improve their ability to deliver value to the end consumer, which is ultimately whom the industry exists to serve. Following separation, both Xoserve and Correla will continue to focus on improving customer service, using the ICS score as a barometer of progress.
What are your plans for the future?
Over the coming months we will continue to improve the key touchpoints through which we interact with our customers. This will include development of our digital channels and website to provide an easy to use, effective gateway to our business. In practice, this means adding self-service elements to Xoserve.com, so customers can get the information they need quickly and simply.
We will also be investing more in our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to ensure we fully understand every interaction we have with our customers. This will be accompanied by a new Contact Management System (CMS) that will replace the current, legacy platform.
I believe these actions will help us reach an even higher customer satisfaction score next year as we continue to move towards the top 10 per cent of service providers in the UK Customer Service Index.
What’s the most impressive part of this great news?
The level of improvement we’ve seen in the last 12 months is incredibly impressive. However, to deliver the improvement we have against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, is something that we’re hugely proud of. Over the last 18 months, our people have risen to meet some very difficult challenges and have proven how seriously we take our ambition to become a world class service provider. We recognise that we still have more to do to fulfil our ambition, however to realise the improvements we’ve seen in the last year, while working remotely, contending with the challenges of lockdown and dealing with a significant level of organisational change has been fantastic. As we embark on the next part of our journey, these results are a strong foundation to ensure this rate of improvement continues.
Over the coming months, using our regular ‘You Said, We Did’ updates on Xoserve’s website, we will be sharing more with you about the improvements we are collectively making to our customer service. We’ll continue to provide these updates through Xoserve.com and through existing Xoserve email channels. If you have any questions or would like to know more about please contact me or your Customer Advocate.
The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) is the independent professional membership body for customer service, working across all sectors to drive business performance through service excellence. Being a member allows access to its benchmarking surveys, which measure customer satisfaction.
The ICS runs the UK’s largest cross-sector customer benchmarking study, working with over 10,000 customers, gathering 45,000 responses from across 13 sectors. It measures 26 metrics of customer experience. It also looks into the channel of communication customers use and satisfaction with each, while also considering drivers of complaints and complaint handling.
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