Working together to improve customer service
“To deliver ‘Legendary Service’ you need to empower your operational leadership to liberate their creativity while creating an environment where a flexible workforce can thrive and add greater value.”
Director of Contact & Support
Nationwide are proud of the customer service they provide as the world’s largest building society, but in 2016 were looking for a way to take service to a new level.
Nationwide believed that significant skilled capacity could be freed from existing operations to focus on delivering their aim of “legendary customer service”. The question was “how?”
It was no longer sufficient just to review past performance as a guide to tomorrow’s operational plans. The opportunity lay in breaking down the silos, cross-training and sharing skilled resources. To do that, Nationwide needed to take a leap forward in operational management capability.
Nationwide chose ActiveOps to provide new intuitive tools and proven training to help their people to raise their game to market-leading standards.
It has given us the ability to retain quality and trained employees in the business, and reduced training time.
Senior Operations Manager, Delivery & Operations
Managing the Annual ISA Peak
Although expected and planned-for, there have always been challenges from recruiting and onboarding sufficient short-term labour.
Managing the unexpected with increased agility
From time-to-time, organisations such as Nationwide will inevitably experience unexpected events that cause a spike in customer enquiries and related activities.
Prior to NAOM, the main response was to rely on our employees to simply work harder and longer until the workload returned to normal. Although Nationwide employees could be relied upon for exceptional support at such times, this certainly caused some undue stress and could impact on the quality of customer service.
Since the introduction of the new NAOM tools and capabilities, better real-time visibility of work and available skilled resources means that capacity can be rapidly directed to the highest priority work.
The benefit highlights in numbers include:
- 10% uplift in operational productivity
- 10% latent capacity proven
- Over 80% positive employee morale ratings during the implementation
- 160K hours lent between teams in the first year (averaging 1600 hours/team)
- 100% of all team leaders accredited in AOM
Making the transformation
The “Nationwide Active Operations Management” (NAOM) programme involved the deployment of ActiveOps and the AOM method in 12-week “waves” to 1500 Nationwide employees across 4 departments and 5 locations.
ActiveOps enabled employees to log their activities quickly and efficiently to build real-time and historic, individual, and team productivity profiles, including time spent on training, meetings, and non-core activity.
As the individual, team, and departmental performance data was made readily available, team managers could quickly identify where spare capacity could be utilised across teams who might need it, and free the skilled capacity for the necessary cross-training.
The introduction of the NAOM method provided a consistent management process. This enabled teams to better collaborate, allowing them to apply the data insights and reports provided in ActiveOps to react quickly to changing workloads.
The result was a radical improvement in the ability to ‘load balance’ between teams, share best practices, and identify skills training opportunities. Team leaders now openly share their capacity and workload through twice-weekly meetings, supported by a consistent process and visible and accurate performance data.
Nationwide excelled by applying this collaborative mindset from the outset. They quickly achieved important team-level efficiency gains but very rapidly moved on to cross-department/cross-location opportunities.
This generated significant business benefits very rapidly by matching skilled capacity from one team to non-correlated peaks in demand, which were occurring (some predictably, some not so) in different departments and locations.
Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, as well as one of the largest savings providers and the second largest mortgage provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers and members.
Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet, and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide’s head office is in Swindon.