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  • November 15, 2021
  • News

2021 KM REALITY AWARD WINNER: BT Consumer

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2021 KM Promise and Reality AwardThe KM Reality Award recognizes an organization in which knowledge management is a positive reality, not just rhetoric. The award recipient has demonstrated leadership in the implementation of knowledge management practices and processes, realizing measurable business benefits. To be considered for the Reality Award, the knowledge management program must be in place for at least 1 year, receive support from senior management, and have defined metrics to evaluate the initiative and its impact on organizational goals.

2021 KM REALITY AWARD WINNER: BT Consumer

During the KMWorld Connect 2021 conference, BT Consumer was announced as the winner of the 2021 KM Reality Award. BT Consumer is one of the world's leading communications services companies, serving more than 30 million customers with more than 600 stores. With its three brands, BT, EE, and Plusnet, BT Consumer is the largest provider of mobile and fixed broadband communications services in the U.K. and has begun a journey to create one converged, smart network built on its fixed and mobile networks—going beyond 4G, 5G, WiFi, and ultrafast broadband to seamlessly connect customers wherever they are to the things that matter most to them. BT employs roughly 19,600 people full-time, with roughly 13,000 of these directly helping customers in our contact centers.

Nick Lane, BT Consumer“We’re a business striving for both super-high customer experience and brilliant consistency of service,” said Nick Lane, managing director, BT Consumer Service.  “Our knowledge transformation has been pivotal in us driving for these goals—systematically improving the experience we provide to our customers at the same time as helping our thousands and thousands of frontline colleagues deliver brilliant and personal service every time.”

The challenge

Across BT, EE, and Plustnet, BT Consumer’s service teams were operating very differently, using a variety of knowledge tools with an inconsistent approach to supporting its customers. To deliver the best customer experience across its converged network, the company wanted to bring together one knowledge solution focused on the best of all brands to deliver a consistent user experience. As part of its plan for the future, the company wanted to simplify its IT footprint and get to a single knowledge solution to reduce complexity. After a benchmark exercise was completed, eGain was chosen as BT’s partner for knowledge management and a program of activity to build its "Albert" (named after Albert Einstein) KM solution across all three brands was put into place in 2019-2020.

The strategy

Using its best advisors across the three brands to support each KM build, the company was able to build its knowledge into the tool and share it with everyone, bridging the gap in performance and delivering improvements in first contact resolution, call handling time, and net promoter scores (NPSs). Using eGain across all its call centers gives the company access to detailed process-level insight which supports its service transformation teams to deliver further improvements in efficiency. The reporting also offers operational teams behavior insight to support coaching and performance activity. For new product launches, it is able to provide detailed, guided help solutions with a full governance support model, saving significant time and cost. Ultimately, this solution is the service platform for delivering its convergent network strategy of the future.

Project champions

This project was championed by Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer, and sponsored by Lane.

A detailed business case was approved supporting the consumer strategy and delivered tangible benefits from launch. Operational directors across all three brands were supporters from the start and helped to push usage of the tool in all areas, delivering an average tool conformance of 90%. The company has also been able to demonstrate a direct correlation between usage and improved “bonus-related” performance, making it a "no-brainer" for everyone.

Metrics

The key metrics in place include tool conformance, correct usage, first contact resolution (FCR), NPSs, and call handling time. With the eGain solution, BT can review all metrics from high level through to individual call detail. Quality gate metrics were in place for each area before launch and with an average target of 5% improvement. Once launched, the company was then able to take advantage of the self-serve reporting suite which has become a lifeline for the teams.

Finance teams were able to track each delivery closely to ensure a return on investment before the next phase of the project was started. BT also measures the technical performance of the system by means of uptime and response times. Availability was key, given the importance of knowledge to the company’s advisors; it ensured that resiliency was in place and regularly reviews the solution performance with eGain and the BT IT community to ensure it meets the close-to-100%-uptime technical SLAs.

The results

The Albert build was completed more than a year ago, taking longer than originally anticipated because access to some of the BT sites was not possible due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Over the past 2 years, BT has delivered more than 3,000 new guided help flows and articles, building each area from scratch with a small team of subject matter experts from the operation, working alongside BT’s designers. Each area was given a full support wrap, with a pilot, trial, and scheduled roll out.

That engagement has led to 12,000 active advisors (92%) and more than 500,000 guided help sessions run every week. Conformance has continued to grow and with a direct relationship between usage and key KPIs, it is seeing an average 8% improvement in FCRs and 5% in NPSs for the highest users.

As part of the strategy, BT merged three knowledge design teams together and completed a restructure, delivering a 50% reduction in headcount and a £500,000 total labor cost (TLC) savings, using economies of scale from the new knowledge solution to build multi-skilled, multi-brand teams. The simplification of the IT footprint and the closure of three additional knowledge solutions (which were no longer needed) have combined to save the business more than £1 million per year. All areas now have a side-by-side brand view of performance to support optimization and drive efficiency. This work continues to deliver benefits on a weekly basis, particularly around call handling time. More importantly, BT now has a platform to deliver its future strategy, to take full advantage of its technology road map, and to continue to support its 30 million consumer customers.

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