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How we're driving value well beyond the contact centre

How did we use mountains of data to help a major UK retailer reach new heights

As one of the largest department store retailers in the UK, our client has seen an enormous increase in the number of customers choosing to shop – and communicate – online. We’ve been working with this high-end store for over three years, providing the contact centre for its online shopping service.



The retailer was amassing a lot of data which had the potential to be incredibly useful.


We used this data to provide invaluable insights into the supply chain.


Within just weeks of the launch of the programme for the supply chain, customer experience was improved.


The challenge

Like many organisations, this retailer was amassing a lot of data – data which had the potential to be incredibly useful – not only to them and their customers, but also their suppliers. We knew we could do a lot with this data.

Our approach

Every day we’re listening to their customers and – throughout that day – our Customer Intelligence Platform gives us empirical data about how to make things better for them. But this data also had the potential to provide invaluable insights into the supply chain. So, working closely with the retailer, we implemented a programme which:

  • gave them total visibility of which suppliers and distributors were helping the brand, and which ones needed to improve
  • produced a ‘League Table’ of the performance of the top 20 suppliers based on hard facts – such as how much their performance necessitated in ‘goodwill’ payments, and the ratio of calls received per delivery
  • instituted a process of regular reporting and an alert to flag up issues in the supply base early, so they could be rectified before the impact on the customer base was severe
  • built a customer dashboard which could be automatically sent on a periodic timetable to the Retail management team and allow them to consistently manage their supplier performance and measure improvements.

The impact

It quickly became apparent that there were immediate issues to address. 52 % of the chase calls were generated by 0.3% of the suppliers, just ten distributors. So, it was pretty clear where to target support and remedial action. For example, we were able to identify one major supplier of electrical goods who had an after-sales query process that was taking as long as four weeks.

We could also see that faulty goods accounted for only 5% of the goodwill payments they were having to make – whereas poor service accounted for almost 75%.

Armed with this kind of insight, the retailer was able to take positive steps to improve the customer experience within weeks of the launch of the programme. One supplier selling mattresses was generating 21% of calls on mattress tension and disposal. The information was passed on and the supplier rapidly changed their website – improving their own business performance, and simultaneously meeting the retailer’s promise of outstanding customer service.

Our relationship with Capita is a true partnership and their dedication to customer service is well matched with our own. The new system ensures that any sticking points in the supply chain that are affecting our customers are automatically flagged up, meaning that we are able to step in and resolve them. We can be proactive and spot, say, if there’s a particular product that people have bought that’s generating a higher number of post-sale calls or emails compared to other products. We know then that there is an issue and can investigate – which benefits everyone involved.

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