Case Study: Scottish Power

How our service helps SP Energy Networks answer over 98% of enquiries on average

The Problem

With most of its customers based in some of the windiest, stormiest parts of the UK, maintaining reliable electricity supplies is a constant challenge for SP.

However, the company is subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as its competitors, and is expected to deliver continuous customer service improvements. If outages do occur, failing to inform customers effectively can result in penalty fines worth millions of pounds.

The bad weather impacts SP’s contact centre operations, as there are times when demand generated by power outages can reach over twenty times its normal level.

Investing in customer premise contact centre platforms would have required SP to spend large capital sums on infrastructure that would have been overengineered for day-to-day demand levels, while still being insufficient to handle the massive peaks caused by outages.

So, when the contract with its incumbent provider came to an end, SP went out to tender to find a new and improved architecture for its incident management contact centre.

The Solution

We began by using the storm® platform to buffer SP’s contact centre, providing access to effectively unlimited capacity. SP only pays for this excess capacity when it uses it, making for a much more cost-effective solution. We developed a custom interface integrated with SP’s back-end electricity network system, which monitors the electricity grid for faults in real-time. SP uses this interface to update their call flows and provision pro-active SMS messages to their customers, based on current information on faults in their power network.

Integration with NICE TotalView, the workforce optimisation package used by SP, also gives administrators a unified view of the data they need to anticipate staffing requirements based on agent skills and detailed performance metrics. In addition, integration with SP’s management platforms, Datamart, and SAP Business Objects, has allowed SP to build detailed reports on every aspect of contact handling.

Finally, storm provides Automated Contact Distribution (ACD) functionality in the cloud for SP’s entire “Faults and Emergencies” contact centre, de-skilling their existing on-premise system for use as a simple PBX.

Before & After

Before After
With over 3.5 million customers in Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales, SP’s contact centre struggled to meet its SLAs during outages, especially when bad weather hit. During storms in January 2012, SP received 2 months’ worth of calls in a single day. storm®’s intelligent routing and automation enabled SP to handle this huge surge in traffic seamlessly.
Most of SP’s contact centre infrastructure was on-site, with 10% outsourced as an overflow solution. Despite having two suppliers, capacity was insufficient to meet peak demand levels. storm provides SP automated call distribution in the cloud and outbound SMS alerts, helping SP to realise hundreds of thousands of pounds of annualised savings from year one.
Customers had limited access to automated messages and most had to speak contact centre agents, resulting in long queues during periods of large-scale disruption. storm’s detailed real-time and historical reporting to make incremental improvements to its IVR, helping to achieve an average of 75% automation for all enquiries.
Service levels did not meet the standards required by Ofgem, the regulator, meaning that SP was incurring penalty fines reaching into hundreds of thousands of pounds. SP regularly tops Ofgem’s leader-board for low abandoned call rates, and was able to move from a six-figure penalty to a reward position within a two year period.

Testimonial

“We needed an approach that gave us the capacity and versatility to respond effectively to sudden changes. During storms in January 2012, we used the platform to handle 2 months’ worth of calls in a single day. The system performed seamlessly under this extreme pressure, enabling us to process as many as 6,000 enquiries an hour. We were blown away by the storm® platform and by the approach of the Content Guru team. They worked in partnership with us to deliver exactly what we needed.”

Andrew Gallacher, Customer Service Manager, SP Energy Networks

For its utilities proposition, storm® LOSS, Content Guru has been awarded Best Enterprise Vertical Market Solution at the Comms National Awards 2014 and earned it ‘Highly Commended’ placing in the Cloud Provider Innovation of the Year category at the 2014 UK IT Industry Awards.

The Problem

With most of its customers based in some of the windiest, stormiest parts of the UK, maintaining reliable electricity supplies is a constant challenge for SP.

However, the company is subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as its competitors, and is expected to deliver continuous customer service improvements. If outages do occur, failing to inform customers effectively can result in penalty fines worth millions of pounds.

The bad weather impacts SP’s contact centre operations, as there are times when demand generated by power outages can reach over twenty times its normal level.

Investing in customer premise contact centre platforms would have required SP to spend large capital sums on infrastructure that would have been overengineered for day-to-day demand levels, while still being insufficient to handle the massive peaks caused by outages.

So, when the contract with its incumbent provider came to an end, SP went out to tender to find a new and improved architecture for its incident management contact centre.

The Solution

We began by using the storm® platform to buffer SP’s contact centre, providing access to effectively unlimited capacity. SP only pays for this excess capacity when it uses it, making for a much more cost-effective solution. We developed a custom interface integrated with SP’s back-end electricity network system, which monitors the electricity grid for faults in real-time. SP uses this interface to update their call flows and provision pro-active SMS messages to their customers, based on current information on faults in their power network.

Integration with NICE TotalView, the workforce optimisation package used by SP, also gives administrators a unified view of the data they need to anticipate staffing requirements based on agent skills and detailed performance metrics. In addition, integration with SP’s management platforms, Datamart, and SAP Business Objects, has allowed SP to build detailed reports on every aspect of contact handling.

Finally, storm provides Automated Contact Distribution (ACD) functionality in the cloud for SP’s entire “Faults and Emergencies” contact centre, de-skilling their existing on-premise system for use as a simple PBX.

How it Works

1. Rapid touch-screen service building & provisioning of custom messages.
2. Integration with ENMAC provides current information on faults in network.
3. Relevant information pushed out to customers via SMS.
4. Customers access information automatically via IVR.
5. Any enquiries not handled automatically are intelligently routed to contact centre, using storm®’s cloud-based automated contact distribution.
6. Unified real-time & historical reporting across ENMAC, contact centre operations, end-user access methods, NICE TotalView, Datamart and Business Objects (via additional integration) for workflow optimisation and MI.