Playing to strengths to make things better for the customer

by Lance

The challenge

When Paul Painton took on the role of Head of Complaints at Virgin Media, he set himself the objective of improving the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the department. As the NPS figures had been ‘heading south’ for some time, he knew it was going to be challenging. So he decided to take a two-pronged approach to deliver the improvement he was looking for.

He tasked his team to improve such things as processes, root cause analysis and reporting systems; whilst he asked us to improve colleague engagement, develop his Team Managers (TMs), and create a vision and direction for the Complaints Department.

This type of work is right up our street so, even when additional challenges arrived, such as the sale of Virgin Media, restructuring and changes to customers’ bills, we were still confident we could help Paul achieve his objective.

The solution

Create the vision and direction

When we spoke to Paul , he had a clear idea of where he wanted the department to be by the start of the next year. To help colleagues and TMs get really engaged with this vision, we wanted them to shape what it would actually look like.

We achieved this by holding one-to-one interviews with TMs and running focus groups with front-line staff. The idea of these was to get their thoughts on where the department was, where they wanted it to be, and what they needed to do differently to make the vision a reality.

TMs share the vision and direction face-to-face with every colleague

Sharing this vision with the rest of the department was the task of the TMs and it was a great opportunity for us to develop their skills too. Firstly we designed a vision-sharing workshop that needed to be delivered to all colleagues, then we trained the TMs to deliver it.

The result

So what impact did this all have?

Well comments from colleagues such as, “I’ve never felt this enthused about the department in my five years!” means we made a difference to how they felt about what they were doing. Of course these comments were great, but it would be the KPIs that demonstrate whether the objective was achieved or not. So here goes…

• NPS improved to a two-year record high

• The colleague engagement score improved by over 20% on the previous year

• In an Ofcom report, comparing all providers, Virgin Media had the lowest number of complaints for their Landline and Broadband services, and the number of complaints for Pay TV was below the industry average

Want to know more?

There are loads of benefits to this approach such as:

‘train the trainer’ is really cost effective

sharing the vision face-to-face gave the TM’s the opportunity to answer questions and queries immediately

colleagues who’d helped to shape the vision through the focus groups were included in the workshops too. So TMs had the opportunity to check with them that the vision represented what they’d discussed at their focus group. This added authenticity and demonstrated to other colleagues on the workshop that we’d listened to what they told us

we could get everyone to think about what the vision meant for them and what they would do differently to make it a reality. It was all about signposting how they were in control of their own future

Develop the TMs

The TMs were really up for developing themselves. So we helped them decide what development or coaching would be most useful for them. We then designed a suite of development workshops which were aligned to and built on the existing Virgin Media in-house training.

What Paul said…

“Our team at Virgin Media were outstanding, delivering over and above business expectations. Lance and Craig worked very closely with our people to help drive measurable improvements in communication, engagement and customer experience. These improvements were central to our fantastic achievements and I’d like to thank both Lance and Craig for their hard work and professionalism. They made it fun too!”

Paul Painton, Head of Complaints

If you want to know more about the work we did at Virgin Media then give either Lance or Craig a call on +44 (0)1858 461071; they’d love to share their experience with you over a cuppa.