Employee-Centric Initiatives from Active Digital

Active Digital was formed in 1996, operating from offices in Kent, London, and Dublin. Today they are a part of the O2 Direct Partner Network, delivering smartphones, tables, fixed-line solutions and apps to over 16,000 businesses. Many of those businesses include VIPs from the world of music and sport, including the country's Olympic teams and rugby union stars.

At the UK Employee Awards 2017, they were the winners of the Business Change and Transformation category for advancing their business towards better customer, and employee, experience.

We look at Active Digital’s recent structural overhauls and the implementation of comprehensive training throughout the organisation which led to their win.

With these changes, the company was able to increase team morale, improve customer satisfaction scores and improve many processes across the board, such as first call resolution, which resulted in a substantial uplift in profits.

Business Context behind the Changes

Active Digital was always known as the telecommunications company standing out for bespoke customer service, yet in May 2015 their Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT rating) stood at a solid 7.5/10.

Even though this score isn’t bad considering industry standards, Active Digital wanted to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’. Since the telecommunications market is so competitive, the company understood that in order to transform their business and stay competitive they had to focus on better team collaboration.

Furthermore, in order to provide a better experience for customers, Active Digital realised that they needed to empower their front-line teams to be able to deal with customer issues.

Even though the company trained and implemented customer experience Gurus that would handle customer interactions, it was found that only 55% of customer complaints were being handled by Active Gurus.

Despite being the first point of contact for clients, frontline teams were often unable to resolve even the simplest questions directly due to a lack of authority or knowledge of the client's account.

These findings resulted in four key target objectives that Active Digital wanted to accomplish.

  • To increase first-call resolutions by 20%
  • To reduce the escalation of issues to Account Managers by 40%
  • While increasing the company’s Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) past 74%
  • And while achieving an increase in CSAT scores from 7.5/10 to 8.5/10

Winning with Employee Input

Once these targets have been established, Active Digital launched a campaign to find out what they can do to increase Guru participation in customer issues while reducing the workload of Account Managers.

Their approach led them to collect both customer and employee feedback which revealed the root causes behind internal problems.

The resulting feedback showed that both Gurus and Account Managers kept their work separate, with contact only occurring when Gurus passed requests to Managers.

Understandably, Gurus wanted a higher sense of empowerment in order to take ownership of their work, projects and customer issues.

Furthermore, the customer input revealed that frustration occurred when customers had difficulty reaching Account Managers as this was the only way they could resolve important issues.

Thanks to this input, the company was able to focus on changing their internal processes to empower Gurus and provide a better customer experience through faster service.

Changes were made that handed over more responsibility to the Gurus who embraced the added challenges, seeing them as something empowering.

Active Communication

In order to support the newly made changes and increased Guru responsibility, Active Digital decided to create an active hub where employees could stay informed and work together to provide better customer service.

This was done through the development of a new app developed in-house which became an invaluable tool for all teams.

Accessed through iOS mobile devices, the app provides Gurus with up-to-date information as well as help to achieve key team objectives and goals.

Employee experience and Team Training

With these brand-new changes also came the introduction of better training programs that helped Active Digital develop staff and retain talent while improving opportunities for everyone.

The company actively invests in each employee through training workshops as well as the ‘Bright Sparks Club’ where employees are encouraged to put forth ideas and participate in company development.

Since training is mostly targeted towards the improvement of customer satisfaction, Active Digital maintained a customer retention rate of 95% as a direct result.

And it's not 'only work' for Active Digital's employees, the employee experience has also drastically changed as a result of recent changes.

For example:

  • Company iPads - Every employee now receives a company iPad to use with the newly developed app.
  • No Work ‘It’s Your Birthday!’ - Employees are granted a day off on their birthday.
  • Monthly Joker Days - Employees can play their ‘joker cards’ once a month to leave the office early, no questions asked.
  • Power hour - One morning a week, staff can take an hour ‘break-out session’ at a local café. Paid for by the company.
  • Feet Up Friday - The company hosts ‘drinks & nibbles’ at the local pub and restaurant on the last Friday of every month.
  • Celebrate Success! – The company provides lunches & champagne for team achievements, such as a contract win.
  • Power Snacks - Free healthy fruit and snacks are provided for all employees to enjoy.
  • Flexible working - Employees are also encouraged to work remotely to allow time to focus on customers.
  • R & R Days - Work from home days (rest) and reward days (do something fun).

Business Impact and Results

By changing frontline processes, the company has:

- Reduced the number of calls escalating from Gurus to Executives by 75%
- Enabled customers to have two named points of contact instead of one, their Account Manager and Gurus
- Increased their potential for upselling through more face-to-face contact with customers, thanks to greater Guru Involvement.

Furthermore, Active Digital also met their targets with CSI scores increasing to 91%, customer retention standing at 95% and CSAT scores reaching the set target of 8.5/10.

Call escalations have also been drastically reduced by 70%, and first call resolution now stands at 90%.

Overall the company stands in a much stronger position with Gurus taking charge of customer interactions. Account Managers are now free to pursue sales leads which has increased proposal volumes and brought new clients to the company.

Team morale is also at an all-time high thanks to all of the employee-centric changes and treats provided by the company to create a better working environment for all.

Nominate your initiative! Employees are at the heart of every business, and we would love to hear how your company creates innovative ways to reward and support its staff. There is still time to enter the UK Employee Experience awards this year and celebrate your success. Click here to see the categories and enter your initiative online now.