Last week Teleperformance UK hosted another event focused on exploring the way the entire customer service industry is changing. Titled ‘Optimising Customer Experience in the Digital Era’ the event analysed channel shift in the modern customer service environment.
Ian Hamerton, Head of Donor Services at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has been interacting with blood and organ donors for years using a variety of methods and tools. Traditionally the phone was dominant in working with donors, but in the past couple of years NHSBT has made great efforts to start interacting with donors and potential donors using new methods. He talked at our event about how NHSBT sees their experience as an enormous channel shift.
In 2010 NHSBT only offered the phone and email to people who needed information or support. In 2011 they started using a Facebook page and a smartphone app and in 2012 they started using social media tools more comprehensively – focusing on Facebook and Twitter.
Ian outlined some research indicating how the consumers NHSBT interacts with are now far more comfortable interacting with organisations across a number of channels – the omni-channel consumer is really here. Remember that because this is the NHS, we are talking potentially about almost all adults in the UK rather than just those interested in a specific brand or service.
Since their change in consumer communication strategy changed in 2010, NHSBT has seen some dramatic results. Inbound phone calls (1.45m) have dropped by 13.5% and emails (2.9m) have gone up by 11.5%. Actions taken on social media started at 400 per month in March 2012 and are already up to 5,000 per month.
Outbound communications have seen a similar shift, though calls remain about the same they are now augmented with 3m emails (only started in 2011) and 3.2m SMS messages.
Ian described how this improvement in communication has directly helped NHSBT, in particular when blood supplies drop to critical levels it is now far easier to appeal to the public to help out.
Ian’s case study was a great description of an organisation that is exploring the way people have changed their communication methods – and succeeding to work with people using the new channels.
NHSBT would like to thank Nicola Millard at BT and Davies Hickman for their contributions to these slides.
Photo by Christopher Paul licensed under Creative Commons