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HomeServe USA - Enhancing the Customer Experience – A Process Study in Contractor Recruitment

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

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 3 million customers and handling 2.5MM calls annually with a <30 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 - Business Services Industries

Nomination Title: Enhancing the Customer Experience – A Process Study in Contractor Recruitment

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (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:

HomeServe has operated in North America since 2003 with impressive year over year growth. In fact, in 18 months, our business has grown 48% from over 2 million customers to over 3 million customers. This rapid growth now generates over 500,000 emergency repair jobs annually with half of these jobs completed by our own directly employed technicians and half by a network of over 1,100 plumbing, electrical and HVAC sub-contractors. To accommodate this growth and provide the best possible customer experience, the life blood of our business is contractor recruiting.

To ensure our customers receive the best possible service and meet the company’s growth needs, the Recruiting team’s job is to recruit the best sub-contractors in the country as quickly and efficiently as possible, while ensuring they comply with strict business requirements. Some of these business requirements include: An “A+” or above BBB rating, online ratings of 4 stars or better, 24x7service, the ability to meet specific insurance requirements and have their technicians drug screened and background checked. Clearly, we are looking for only the very best.

In 2015, the Recruitment team used a manual, paper based process to recruit new contractors, leveraging telemarketing techniques to contact prospective sub-contractors and relied on the use of email to send and receive service agreements and supporting documentation. This approach was not fit for purpose for a fast growing organization, driving the following suboptimal metrics:

-Average lead time of 89 days to recruit a sub-contractor
-An average of just 2.5 sub-contractors recruited per month/per FTE
-Cost of $2,300 per recruited sub-contractor
-Extended timeframe of 50+ days to onboard a sub-contractor post recruitment

After completing an in-depth time-in-motion study in early 2015, several opportunities were identified to streamline the recruitment process, which included:

Implementing the Salesforce CRM solution. This implementation helped streamline the recruitment process and provided the ability to report in real-time, the status of all open leads, pending service agreements and progress against recruitment targets.

-Deploying Docusign. This gave sub-contractors the ability to easily review and sign the service agreement and other supporting paperwork with the click of a button.

-Leveraging digital marketing. This improvement leveraged a variety of marketing techniques using Facebook, targeted email solicitation and Google AdWords to dramatically increase the number of leads coming into the Recruitment team.

-Creating a dedicated onboarding team. The creation of this team helped expedite the onboarding process and provided consistency in the way sub-contractors were trained on HomeServe’s policies, procedures and technology.

The results from these initiatives have transformed the department and the way we recruit new sub-contractors, leading to the following improvements:

-Average days to recruit reduced from an average of 89 days to 17 days – an 80% improvement!
-Leads generated from digital marketing increased from 3 per month to 60.
-Average contractors recruited per FTE up from 2.5 to 6.5 – a 162% improvement!
-Onboarding process reduced from 53 days to less than 10 – an 80% improvement!

Not only have these results enabled the business to expand and service customers in new parts of the country at an impressive pace, they have also reduced the overhead of the team significantly – reducing the average cost of a newly recruited sub-contractor from $2,300 to under $900, which in 2017 represented an annual savings of over $565,000! These processes have also led to performance improvements in our survey feedback which improved from 4.5 stars in 2015 to 4.8 stars in 2017 against a 5-star rating. This, despite growing our customer base by 48% and handling record high claim volume during the same period.

The progress made with our recruiting process has significantly improved the ability to meet the needs of our customers, ensured the best possible quality and provided the process transparency necessary to drive continuous improvement. We are proud to nominate this process for this prestigious award.