Elementary, my dear customer………..
In today’s business climate, increasing efficiency while still delivering great service is the central aim of leading organisations. Balancing these two demands can be difficult, but by implementing an Eptica-based knowledge management system, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has achieved both cost savings and improved customer service levels.
NHSBSA’s Sherlock project uses Eptica’s technology to provide a centralised knowledgebase across all of its three contact centres. This ensures that its 230 agents can access accurate, up to date information in order to deliver fast, consistent answers to the 3 million calls NHSBSA receives every year.
In less than six months Sherlock has delivered even greater benefits than originally forecast:
- Training time for new agents has dropped by 30% (against a predicted 20%)
- The number of staff deployed on the service desk has been reduced by a third
- In a recent survey 72% of agents said that Sherlock had made their jobs easier and 62% believed it had added to the customer experience
- Sherlock is receiving over 2,000 queries per day from agents and the project is predicted to save £121,000 in its first year of operation, rising to £162,000 per annum in the future.
The NHSBSA is responsible for a wide range of healthcare-related administration services both for the NHS and general public. These include managing the NHS Pension Scheme in England and Wales, which has over 2 million members, administering the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme in the UK, processing and making payments to dentists and pharmacists and managing the NHS Student Bursary scheme.
What sets Sherlock apart is the level of involvement of customer service agents in creating the system and updating content. The information in Sherlock was collected through agent focus groups and was rolled out with a month of intensive training and feedback before it went fully live. Agents access information by simply typing questions into Sherlock and are able to flag where content needs updating with a single click. As well as 3,000 articles the system has useful phone numbers, desk aids and telephone messaging and a Buzz Area which lists updates to the knowledgebase by stream and time. This means that if staff have been away they can quickly see what has changed and can access the new information fast.
As the NHSBSA continues to grow Sherlock is demonstrating how centralising knowledge and providing consistent answers can deliver both efficiency and delighted customers, whatever industry you are in.