UK life and pension service wanted to improve SLA performance and improve customer experience

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The business

We worked with a large UK publicly quoted financial services company specialising in life and pensions. 

Their needs

The client made a policy decision to concentrate on the acquisition and management of closed funds. This required the company to improve the way it established and managed service level agreements for key customer processes such as premium collections, policy servicing and maturity, death and surrender payments.

How we he

We advised the management team on how to achieve these process improvement objectives by developing and executing a Lean and Six Sigma training strategy. Executive workshops were held to obtain buy-in followed by 6 waves of 4 week long Lean Six Sigma training sessions conducted for practitioners. 

In addition to the training, we developed a project tracking system, benefits capture and audit mechanisms. We also introduced mentoring systems, formal project review processes, and bespoke training material geared to the specifics of the industry. Rigorous certification criteria were developed and applied for candidates at various levels (Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts). Mentors were identified from the ranks of certified Black Belts that we had trained to receive further support and training. These mentors then attended Master Black Belt training and subsequently led further internal training themselves.
As part of Master Black Belt certification, project managers completely restructured customer services departments, merging call centre operations with back office support operations to meet customer needs.

Benefits achieved

Previously convoluted processes requiring customers to make multiple calls to several departments were addressed and simplified. Key processes including premium collections, policy servicing and maturity, death and surrender payments were now dealt with by a single operator on first contact. The existence of and adherence to service level agreements increased substantially, leading to a better customer experience and fewer regulatory issues.
During our involvement, 130 training projects were completed, delivering a 31 fold return on investment, on subjects including: 

• Reduce internal process errors
• Reduce set-up errors on policyholders’ premium payment standing orders
• Recruitment and retention processes
• Increase sales lead effectiveness
• Process cycle time reduction
• Reduce time of IT change estimates
• Customer retention
• Service Level Agreements
• Complaint resolution

The company became an attractive acquisition target. After subsequent acquisition the internal change agents were then deployed to improve the processes in companies newly acquired by the organisation, so continuing the cycle of improvement.


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