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When a leading UK and international insurer turned to us for help in managing their customer service operations ─ encompassing end-to-end administration, digital services and business support, we embarked on our highly effective three-stage service modernisation programme, based on streamlining the standard operating framework (simplify), comprehensive process re-engineering measures (strengthen) and continuous improvement by overlaying digital and enabling technologies (succeed).

The assignment was not without its challenges, however. With more than 1.6 million life and pensions customers globally, the client’s back-office operations involved almost 3,000 individual workflow processes across four international sites. Many of these processes were fragmented, leading to a lack of transparency and control.

This, in turn, hindered our ability to eliminate errors and truly understand and deliver on customer expectations. Furthermore, our client found it almost impossible to carry out accurate and sophisticated forecasting and planning.

As a result, the end-to-end customer experience took an average of 35 days from initial request to fulfilment. Some outlying enquiries could even take up to 100 days. Customers quickly made their dissatisfaction known. Service delivery received a negative Net Promoter Score (NPS) and overall customer satisfaction was less than 70%.

Something needed to change. The client’s overall approach to the plethora of services it provided needed to be modernised and transformed to address its customers’ ever-changing demands.

Collaborating with the client, we designed the three-year service modernisation programme to radically transform customer experience and improve the overall control environment. We were charged with completely optimising the client’s end-to-end customer experience across key customer ‘moments of truth’ and moving from outdated measures to true customer outcome-based measures.

The service modernisation programme involved:

  • Introducing a new standard operating framework and increased first point resolution (FPR)
  • Implementing an end-to-end customer-outcome-based servicing model to support future digital transformation
  • Transforming the customer experience by reducing average end-to-end processing times from 35 days to fewer than three days, and completing 80% of customer transactions at FPR
  • Working with the client to define a future digital proposition while also introducing some initial capabilities to support delivery of FPR aspirations and eliminate paper-based processing
  • Delivering upper-quartile customer satisfaction and a 50-point increase in NPS
  • Introducing new and simplified customer outcome-based measures and significantly enhancing customer footprint management information to support continuous improvement
  • Reducing complaints by more than 50% through improved speed of service and reduced hand-offs
  • Enhancing the existing control environment through radically simplified processes, introduction of a new end-to-end quality framework and creation of a best-in-class first-line risk and controls team
  • Redefining the capabilities of future operational leaders, performing a gap analysis and delivering new development, coaching and recruitment programmes to address capability gaps
  • Making the most of Capita divisional capabilities and expertise by integrating complaints, client accounting, actuarial services, management information and planning, and claims and underwriting teams.

We also deployed a market-leading workflow tool to deliver complete visibility into front- and back-office processes and performance across the four sites. Desktop analytics provide real-time and historical visibility, automating the capture and analysis of application usage to identify process, compliance and operational inefficiencies. By capturing the customer footprint across all demands, channels and locations, we can truly understand the customer threshold. From this, waste can be identified and tackled to deliver significantly improved customer outcomes that consistently exceed the customer threshold.

The technology also enables us to create real-time work management, enabling ‘line balancing’ across multiple locations and channels. In addition, we now have the flexibility to create demand and supply models that visualise the impact on service-level achievement under various scenarios. This enables our people to implement and maintain sophisticated supply and demand models using historical customer-behaviour data, as well as known future regulatory activity and market trends, to identify future customer demand requirements.

By standardising the deployed software and using it as the core foundation of its modernisation programme, we have dramatically improved customer outcomes on behalf of our client:

  • Fulfils 80% of all customer demands at FPR
  • Reduced average end-to-end processing times from 35 days to fewer than three days
  • Increased overall NPS score by 50 points
  • Improved bereavement claims NPS from -11 to +79, ease of service from 68% to 99%, and customer satisfaction from 72% to 99%
  • Reduced 2,663 customer-workflow processes to 250 end-to-end processes
  • Replaced manual, inefficient paper-based processes with paperless digital-verification processes
  • Lowered complaints by 50%
  • Reduced colleagues’ attrition by 70% by increasing job satisfaction and purpose
  • Improved operational control environment, which is en route to best-in-class first line controls
  • Eliminated key person dependencies through targeted multi-skilling based on current and future customer demands.
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