Case Study: Contact Centre Strategy
Harrods are known for their devotion to quality and offering exceptional service to customers. From exclusive deals with brands that can not be found anywhere else in the world, to their globally famous Christmas Hampers, Harrods offer a service unmatched in the retail environment.
Harrods Limited is a department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London. It is owned by the state of Qatar via its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. The store occupies a 5-acre (2 ha) site and has 330 departments covering 1.1 million sq ft of retail space and Harrods employ over 8,000 staff at their London location alone. It is one of the largest and most famous department stores in Europe.
In 2020/1, Harrods working with Soniza established a customer service strategy. This included the 3 pillars of the service, i. Technology (UC and Contact Centre), ii. Resource (Staffing and Structure), and iii. Business Processes.
Harrods had a fragmented approach to customer service, supporting their 8,000 staff and 8 contact centres throughout the business with no integration..
Retail trade is a particular challenge in the current environment and Harrods were looking at ways to optimise the service offering and reduce operational cost.
Each department operated in silo, creating a fragmented customer journey, varying levels of service, and limited scope to take advantage of economies of scale. Additionally, it was difficult to manage customer expectations and easily scale the service based on customer demand.
The inefficiency with this approach affected Harrods customers, colleagues, and service operators (service centre colleagues).
Soniza embarked on a full review of the operating model, including the technology in use, resource management, management structure, business processes, service levels and cost.
We ran workshops across all areas to establish:
Who are the customers of each department and why are they contacting the service centres?
What is the volume of work to be serviced, through data analysis of call/email/ticket volumes through peak and trough agent utilisation and compared against achieving SLA.
How is the service being fulfilled from a resource perspective, general agent vs SME.
What role self-service and automation has and how to resource correctly to hit SLA.
What should the management structure be and what role/responsibility and management activities are applicable.
The technology in use and its ability to meet the client requirements.
Soniza completed an extensive data collection and analysis exercise, investigating where service improvements could be made and collecting the data which proved the efficiencies gains.
Soniza analysed four strategic approaches, detailing pros/cons, and providing budgetary costs for each approach
Working with Harrods project team we established a three-phase strategy which delivered on service improvement. This included a reduction in resource required, implementation of new technology, commitment to service levels, flexibility to scale during peak trading, better sales opportunities, and reduction in operating costs.
Following the completion of the strategy, Soniza was further engaged to support Harrods on the design, architecture and service offering of their customer service and ‘single voice of the customer’ project. This included, omni-channel, service support, a new ticket management solution, workforce management, automation, self-service options, and a host of other initiatives which are currently being implemented.
Soniza continue to work with Harrods on various projects including strategies for outsourcing, capacity management, further procurement activities, solution design and integration opportunities and how to implement digital communications.
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