Transition to transform - The Challenge
E.ON, a leading utility provider across Europe, was on a mission to revamp its contact centre capabilities as part of a broader Customer Contact as a Service (CCaaS) initiative. Despite their best efforts, the project had some roadblocks, particularly in delivering a seamless customer experience. Referred by AWS due to our advanced consulting status, Gamma was entrusted to alleviate their project delivery pain. We delivered on our promises, providing a rapid time to value and a significant return on investment for E.ON.
E.ON’s vision for improving not only the customer experience but also the advisor and business Management Information (MI) function through strategic and bold IT decisions led to significant responsibilities for Sam Charlton (Product Manager at E.ON) and his team. In partnership with Gamma, E.ON embarked on a journey to address these challenges, with a keen eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) and agent attrition.
One of the main issues E.ON faced was a lack of omnichannel capability. Their agents were scattered across multiple systems, resulting in inefficiency and extended wait times for customers. To remedy this, they sought to implement Amazon Connect and blend in omnichannel capabilities through SmartAgent, aiming to improve customer sentiment and offer agents a more balanced workload.
Additionally, E.ON needed to uplift Management information (MI) in certain areas, to improve its understanding of customer behaviour and needs. SmartAgent, Gamma’s enterprise CCaaS product proved pivotal in providing visibility into their pain points throughout the day and across different seasons. Armed with this data, E.ON could better understand their customers and respond to their needs with the quality service they deserve. Surfacing this data enabled the teams at E.ON and Gamma to understand the key business goals that had been set by the internal stakeholders within E.ON, thereby improving the performance of their contact centre.
E.ON faced significant obstacles during the company’s restructuring phase. The organisation was undergoing significant changes, including the separation of the supplier and metering business in order to offer better support to their customers. This was a pivotal moment that required careful monitoring of KPIs and had implications for agent attrition. A change that agents within the company found challenging to cope with, especially while multiple transitions were happening simultaneously.
Impressive isn't the word, frankly, with the way they managed to facilitate the meeting of our deadlines, it was outstanding.Sam Charlton
Thankfully Gamma offered an agile approach towards delivery, which not only ensured a quick time to value but also maximised the return on investment. This enabled a phased approach to implement the necessary changes at the right time through Amazon Connect and SmartAgent. This level of control allowed E.ON to manage their transition smoothly and effectively, at a pace where the advisors were comfortable and saw maximum adoption, ultimately leading to improved performance of the contact centre.
Another area of transformation was their IT systems, which were undergoing a complete re-platforming. They were moving away from a legacy system with numerous limitations, making it difficult to adapt quickly to customer needs and negatively impacting customer sentiment. Gamma’s contact centre solution, SmartAgent, provided the flexibility E.ON needed to grow and concentrate its efforts where required without being tied down by years of internal IT structures. With the restructuring, there was a real opportunity to review work practices and consolidate the tools that were hindering the contact centre’s productivity.
Throughout the process, Gammw impressed Sam with their ability to meet tight deadlines and facilitate the company’s transformation with outstanding results, delivering a rapid time to value. “The benefits of change are vast,” Sam said enthusiastically.
Embracing change allows a company to reevaluate its operations, particularly in terms of KPIs and agent attrition, and by adopting a new contact centre platform like Amazon Connect and SmartAgent, E.ON had the opportunity to reflect on its practices and make continual improvements where necessary.
Sam added, emphasising the significant return on investment: “Impressive isn’t the word, frankly, with the way they managed to facilitate the meeting of our deadlines, it was outstanding.”
Change is essential, especially when working in a dynamic environment like his where being able to adapt to external and economic changes is imperative to end customer safety and satisfaction. This adaptability positively impacted customer sentiment and led to improved performance of the contact centre.
They were interested in our strategic needs and the aftercare that they gave us post the initial delivery was brilliantSam Charlton
E.ON clearly understood the benefits of looking inward and evaluating their contact platform needs. The process allowed them to realign their strategy with their customer’s requirements, ensuring a harmonious balance between business goals and customer needs.
Another of the top priorities for E.ON was addressing their agents’ efficiency in handling inbound calls. Customers experienced long wait times during high-demand periods, affecting customer sentiment. To tackle this, they focused on implementing an omnichannel approach with SmartAgent, a comprehensive contact centre solution with a full suite of channels all pulled into one solution ready to use. This enabled all agents to handle various tasks efficiently, improving customer service during peak times by being able to respond to the customers in their preferred way of contacting E.ON.
Digitalisation was another significant aspect of their transformation strategy. SmartAgent and Amazon Connect, allowed E.ON to re-evaluate their definition of digital and embrace true digitisation, enhancing customer interactions through web forms and SMS communication. This shift not only improved the performance of the contact centre but also had a positive impact on customer sentiment.
“It was readdressing our desire to be digital. It’s a key strategy item for E.ON and being in IT, I always think well I am digital by the very nature, but the contact platform really allowed us to understand what digital really meant,” Sam said, highlighting the quick time to value that the platform offered.
Future-proofing was a key consideration for E.ON, and they found a reliable partner in Gamma. The company’s eagerness to understand E.ON’s strategic needs, similar to KPIs and concept agent attrition, and provide post-delivery support and integration capabilities made them an ideal choice. With Gamma’s assistance, E.ON could prepare for future changes without incurring significant time and financial costs, ensuring a sustainable return on investment. Together, E.ON and Gamma were able to identify key areas to accelerate, to help achieve objectives at significant seasonal milestones.
“It was the start of the pipeline of change, looking to the future when we have to future-proof ourselves, we don’t want to have to spend a lot of money time after time. So, we were very careful when we were choosing a partner that they are interested in our strategic needs and the aftercare that they give us post the initial delivery is brilliant,” Sam elaborated, emphasising the lasting return on investment and the importance of post-delivery support for long-term success.
Regarding measuring success, the SmartAgent solution provided E.ON with all the necessary metrics to underpin and support their key performance indicators (KPIs), including time to value and return on investment. Monthly performance reviews and transparency on all tickets helped E.ON gauge the system’s success. The uptime was significantly improved compared to their previous platform, and with an intelligent UI, frontline agents were much more at ease using the new tools, reducing concept agent attrition.
On the customer sentiment side, Gamma has been responsive in providing the necessary MI to support E.ON’s operations, thereby improving the performance of the contact centre – and the customer experience across the board.
Gamma’s genuine desire to understand E.ON’s vision and be a true partner in achieving their goals stood out to E.ON. The ability to communicate in their language and adapt to their needs through Amazon Connect makes Gamma a perfect partner.
“It’s that eagerness to be ahead of us in the game – quite the opposite of following our lead but taking the lead themselves on things we needed them to own for us was fantastic. It really helped us future-proof and delivered a quick time to value. We knew we were in the right hands,” Sam noted, emphasising the sustainable return on investment.
Gamma’s approach of prioritising customers’ perspectives and understanding their needs holistically adds immense value to their partnership. Whenever E.ON presents an idea, Gamma immediately considers its impact from the customer’s point of view, exemplifying its commitment to meeting E.ON’s requirements while ensuring best practice standards are met.
It's that eagerness to be ahead of us in the game – quite the opposite of following our lead but taking the lead themselves on things we needed them to own for us was fantasticSam Charlton
- SmartAgent: A comprehensive contact centre solution that provided the flexibility and omnichannel capabilities E.ON needed. Offering metrics that supported key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Amazon Connect: Providing the cloud-based infrastructure needed for a more agile and scalable contact centre operation, harnessing the power of Amazon Web Services.
- Advanced Management Information (MI) Tools: Gamma offered advanced MI capabilities, providing critical insights into customer behaviour, agent performance, and other key metrics.
- Intelligent UI: The user interface is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, easing the transition for frontline agents and reducing agent attrition.
- Quick Time to Value: Gamma’s agile approach to delivery ensured that E.ON realised value from the project quickly, meeting tight deadlines and facilitating transformation.
- Significant Return on Investment: The solutions provided not only met but exceeded E.ON’s needs, offering a sustainable ROI, particularly in terms of cost savings and improved operational efficiency.
- Alignment with KPIs: SmartAgent and other tools helped E.ON track key performance indicators effectively, aligning the contact centre’s operations with broader company objectives.
- Reduced Agent Attrition: The intelligent UI and effective onboarding reduced friction for frontline agents, leading to lower attrition rates.
- Improved Customer Sentiment: The omnichannel capabilities of SmartAgent and Amazon Connect led to more efficient customer service and positively impacted customer sentiment.
- Enhanced Performance of the Contact Centre: The robust suite of tools and technologies streamlined operations, reduced wait times for customers and overall elevated the performance of the contact centre.
- Data-Driven Insights: Advanced Management Information (MI) tools provided E.ON with the data they needed to understand customer behaviour and needs, thereby tailoring their services more effectively.
- Future-Proofing the Business: Gamma’s commitment to post-delivery support and their ability to adapt to E.ON’s changing needs make them an ideal long-term partner.
- Streamlined Onboarding and Training: Customised materials and a well-thought-out onboarding process made it easier for agents to adapt to the new system, speeding up internal workflows.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Both Gamma and E.ON prioritised customer experience (CX), ensuring that all changes and implementations were evaluated from the customer’s perspective for maximum impact.
- Operational Transparency: Monthly performance reviews and complete transparency on all tickets enable E.ON to gauge the system’s success accurately.
- Improved Agent Efficiency During High-Demand Periods: The omnichannel capabilities allowed agents to handle various tasks more efficiently, especially during peak times, improving both customer service and agent workload balance.
Finding the right partner
When asked about any changes he would make looking back at the whole transition, Sam mentions two things. First, with the speed of delivery, he would have demarcated better when transitioning from a project delivery phase to business unit operations to avoid confusion and encourage stakeholder engagement. Second, he suggests working on shared communication and road mapping with external partners like Amazon Web Services to focus on the areas that would benefit from more resources.
As for useful advice for like-minded individuals in the telecoms and network industry, Sam recommends not being afraid to ask for show and tells, where one can explore functionality in detail. Seeing a demonstration early on versus nearing completion teases out very different edge cases, so being able to consider existing functionality for new business challenges can offer value very fast. He also emphasises the importance of having a clear vision from the business to enable the partner to anticipate and deliver the solutions ahead of time.
... and working with them effectively
One of the key aspects of improving CX is putting yourself in the shoes of the customer, a strategy E.ON employed when building their vision for their contact centre operations. Finding the right partner was crucial to the success of this project, and with Gamma, they found a partner who not only delivered in terms of time to value but also contributed significantly to the return on investment and overall performance of the contact centre.
It really helped us future-proof and delivered a quick time to value. We knew we were in the right handsSam Charlton