Twilio, a cloud communications platform, has announced that its cloud-based contact centre solution, Flex, has been selected by BGL Group, a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, which includes in its portfolio a number of insurance brands including Budget Insurance and Beagle Street, as well as the popular price comparison site comparethemarket.com. With Flex, BGL has built a new, virtual contact centre in just 8 days in response to the pandemic, enabling agents to work remotely and safely while continuing to provide its three million customers in the Insurance Distribution and Outsourcing business with the best possible customer service.
Operating with customers at its heart, BGL discovered that while self-service capabilities are growing in popularity for customers, being able to talk to an advisor for more complex queries remains vital. The Group began exploring how automation could benefit operations, while enhancing the experience of customers and ran a pilot with Twilio in January 2019. This proved successful in testing and a roadmap was in place to transition from its existing on-premise solution to a fully Flex-based model. However, when the work from home directives were introduced in response to the rapid growth of Covid-19 during the first quarter of 2020, an on-premise model could not quickly facilitate this, so the pressure was on to find a way to move to remote working without impacting BGL’s customers and ongoing operations. Twilio Flex was the only way forward.
Over the course of eight days, 25 members of the BGL team transitioned its operations to a Twilio cloud-based contact centre. During this time, 250 new laptops were built, 60 agents were upskilled on web chat, 1,050 desktops were reconfigured, and the team managed to get hold of the last 900 headsets in the UK. In total, 1,200 agents became fully remote for the duration of the lockdown, and all of BGL’s contact centres remained open and serving customers during this time.
Jayne Lansdell, associate director of process and technology, BGL Group, said: “BGL’s customer experience is all about making it easy for our customers to interact with us. The test, learn and adapt approach that Twilio enables through its open platform makes the refinement of that experience far easier to achieve than it would otherwise be. Moreover, when lockdown restrictions came in, our priority was keeping colleagues safe and customers supported, and our investment in Flex meant that this was achievable in a short space of time and without dropping a day of service. We were able to keep all channels of communication open and achieve or improve our customer satisfaction scores, and our teams adopted the new system with enthusiasm.”
As the pandemic continues to present new challenges to businesses and consumers alike, BGL remains committed to its customers and to ensuring that its agents continue to be motivated to deliver the best possible experience. The Group is focused on enhancing its approach and is looking to build on its use of AI for effective routing and increase automation in its voice channels. When the second wave of Covid-19 lockdowns came in, BGL was confident that it could continue to deliver for its customers, without putting colleagues at risk.
Lansdell added: “In the insurance industry, the level of automation is already extensive and growing, and the pandemic has accelerated that, having reinforced the need for businesses to simplify processes and enable more effective digital access. Thanks to the work we’ve done on our platforms and now with Twilio, we know that we are ready, no matter what Covid throws at us, and will have a more flexible model for the future as the shape of our workforce evolves to reflect the needs of the new normal. And, with a blueprint for ongoing development, we are able to continue to evolve and to bring online and voice channels together so that no matter where the customer starts, or what they find most easy to deal with, they get consistent responses and excellent services across all parts of BGL.”
David Parry-Jones, vice president, EMEA, Twilio, said: “Companies have accelerated their digital communications strategy by an average of six years, and the work done by the BGL team demonstrates the value of taking this approach. This isn’t simply about Covid. It’s about the future of customer engagement and moving quickly to re architect and meaningfully improve every interaction every business has with every customer. At Twilio we’ve witnessed first-hand how the great digital acceleration has borne fruit in terms of customer engagement, with BGL being a great example of an organisation that has put customer experience and employee health at the heart of its strategy, with great effect.”