HomeServe USA- Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year

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Company: HomeServe USA
Company Description: HomeServe is a leading provider of home repair service plans to assist homeowners with plumbing, electrical, heating and AC system repairs when they need it the most. HomeServe has helped homeowners in the US since 2003 with over 2.8 million customers servicing more than 4.3 million repair plans and handling 2.4M calls annually with a <22 sec av. speed to answer & 98% claims satisfaction rating!
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: Creating centers of excellence in Back Office processing to deliver an exceptional customer experience!

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

In the second half of 2015, the Business Operations Team began an organizational transformation focused on developing centers of excellence for our Back Office processing. The mission for this newly combined team of six specialties was to create an end-to-end seamless experience for customers from marketing to enrollment to fulfillment to billing, whether the customer chose service via the phone, mail, or web channels. The leadership team, a combination of internal experts and a few new industry recruits, developed the seamless experience and business change process that set the foundation for a dramatic improvement to our customer experience throughout 2016. Roles within the teams were redefined, a short and long term technology roadmap was developed, and an operational data store was created to provide greatly enhanced metric reporting.

The Enrollment team automated manual processes, challenged every existing business rule, cross-trained each member, and increased process rule compliance with our vendor partner. The results: 99.8% SLA for responding to written correspondence within 5 days, 99.6% quality, a 98% enrollment success rate, huge gains in productivity and much faster time to start the customer’s policy.

The Fulfillment team implemented multiple process improvements to speed up in-home delivery of materials by 69% (from 97% in 21 days to 99% in 6.5 days). Exceptions were minimized (now <1%); templates were streamlined; manual processes were automated. In addition, the team implemented paperless capabilities – giving the customer the option to receive materials and reprints via email.

The Payment team, working with a payment processing industry leader, implemented a flexible billing platform that allows the customer to choose the method of payment that works best for them. Through the new technology, customers can actually select the billing date they want and have the flexibility to choose multiple payment methods. Providing choice reduced our ‘involuntary cancels’. Today, our billing collection rates well exceed the 87% industry averages. We reduced exception rates by 62%, from 3.4% to 1.3% and payment fees by 42%, from 3.6% to 2.1%. Credit card collection rates improved 13%, from 82.1% to 93% while achieving ACH collection rates of 96.7%.

The Partner Operations team is focused on billing directly to the customer’s utility bill. Through a concerted effort of documenting all partner processing; working with our utility partners to challenge historical business rules; and automating manual processing we were able to increase enrollment conversion by 3 percentage points; reduce unallocated cash by 83%; and decrease involuntary cancels by 42% by implementing a process allowing the customer to pay a past due balance prior to canceling their contract. Implementing this past due process has been incredibly successful for the customer experience while also recouping $1.5M of past due revenue this year.

A Remediation Solutions team was created. Once an issue impacting customers is identified, an alert notifies impacted departments, an owner is assigned and focuses on “stopping the bleeding”, remediating impacted customers, and identifying the root cause preventing future occurrences.

The Production Control team reduced support tickets 49% through enhanced testing, improved quality, implementing self-service tools, and streamlining communication. The result is improved productivity and fewer system issues for our customers and employees.

The combined teams, under the leadership and vision of Fred Rodriguez, could not have achieved this level of success without the dedication of each specialty team working in a collaborative fashion and with the business. The willingness to challenge the status quo and champion change while always asking...”is this the best outcome for our customer?” all led to the multiple enhancements being implemented within a relatively short period of time.