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Skipton Building Society Builds the Future Brick by Brick Along a Measured Path

With a history spanning over 170 years and as the UK’s fourth largest building society, Skipton Building Society (SBS) serves over 1.2 million customers from its head office and 88 branches.

Overview

With a history spanning over 170 years and as the UK’s fourth largest building society, Skipton Building Society (SBS) serves over 1.2 million customers from its head office and 88 branches.

In 2023, Skipton launched a large-scale transformation programme to address declining customer effort scores. The programme focuses on three principles: digital-first, enabling human interaction when needed, and absolute customer focus.

The first critical project for the programme was to rapidly migrate their on-premises telephony system to Genesys Cloud, setting the foundation for future customer service innovation.

As a building society we’re very much customer led as opposed to a bank who may want to deploy a specific channel to make efficiencies or cost savings. Growing digital presence and customer choice meant taking our contact centre to the cloud. Critical services like telephony and web chat are heavily regulated.

So, we needed a partner that could provide absolute certainty and careful risk management.

Stephen McNamara,
Head of Digital Commercialisation, Skipton Building Society

Challenge

In the 2022 KPMG Customer Experience Excellence report, Skipton Building Society’s ranking fell from 36th in 2021 to 74th. This decline triggered the launch of a large-scale digital transformation programme aimed at transitioning Skipton to a ‘digital-first’ organisation. Prioritising the customer experience is at the heart of the ongoing transformation, not only ensuring queries are quickly resolved but also being able to identify and highlight vulnerable customers who may need extra support.

In addition to the customer experience transformation driver there was a pressing requirement for Skipton to replace on-prem contact centre technology, which was approaching end of support. With the regulatory need to protect against technology failure front-of-mind, Skipton was required to roll out a new contact centre platform quickly, while still ensuring quality and minimising risk associated with the deployment.

Solution

Following a rigorous tender process, Skipton whittled twelve vendors down to a shortlist of three before reaching a decision. Genesys Cloud was selected due to its established position in the market as the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) leader and its status as a proven and tested platform, with a clear development roadmap. Kerv was selected as a delivery and innovation partner due to the energy, pragmatism and deep product knowledge shown during the tender process.

Rolled out to 1,700 users, the overall solution was comprised of Genesys Cloud together with a range of Kerv developed products to accelerate the deployment; including CX Dynamics – a pre-packaged Microsoft Dynamics connector, CX Vizz – a data connector for Genesys Cloud, and data migration services to migrate bespoke integration components into several of Skipton’s back-office systems.

The can-do attitude from Kerv Experience was exceptional and really helped us through some tricky brick wall moments. We had a large work backlog… (Kerv) came up with smarter ways of getting from A to B more quickly and safely.

Ben Shirt, Project Manager, Skipton Building Society

 

Skipton required a swift migration from its on-prem Genesys Connect platform, aiming to minimise end of life risk and enhance quality. Kerv Experience leveraged their cloud migration assurance strategy, comprising Cyara automation tooling, quality assurance processes, and extensive experience with Genesys Cloud. Read more about the separate elements of the successful project in the Design Solution.

Event: Hear the Skipton story, 26 September, London

Navigating Consumer Duty in Finance: Linking Customer Experience to Customer Operations using AI and Data. Hear how Skipton have provided a streamlined CX and served their vulnerable consumers with the right support, products and assistance.

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Result

RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Cloud migration

derisked and accelerated with automation tools.

1,700 users

fully trained and ready to go in three weeks.

CX improved

with higher first contact resolution
and lower average handling time.

Weekly new releases

provide a clear roadmap for innovation.

The new Genesys Cloud platform enables over 1,700 users to manage phone, email, and chat conversations from a standard desktop, in the process rationalising 1,768 configured DDIs with 418 queues and 382 inbound call flows. Along with in-house customisations, Skipton successfully integrated an existing workforce management solution and data warehouse infrastructure. A task made easier by Genesys open APIs and native cloud fabric, together with Kerv’s pre-built integration frameworks.

Although too early to quantify results, Skipton believes average handling time and first contact resolution have both already improved, while customers and brokers have more opportunities to self-serve. Now, with asynchronous Genesys Web Messaging available on its website, advisors can have three or four interactions on the go at the same time.

Previously, software updates would be planned 12-18 months in advance and used to be a big concern from a service impact point of view. Now, with clear line of sight provided by Genesys Cloud as to where the innovation roadmap is heading, Skipton tech teams receive and deploy updates once a week, with far less stress and effort.

Potential new projects include building out Consumer Duty capabilities through generative AI, exploring self-serve options for card payments and the potential use of biometric voice technology to automate the identification and verification process. Skipton also intends to connect Genesys Cloud with its Microsoft Dynamics CRM system as it looks to capture customer data earlier. For example, when they move through the IVR process and queue for an advisor.

Our aim in the future is – way before they reach an advisor – to answer questions like, ‘What’s the customer’s intent? Do they seem angry or upset? What do we already know about them?’. That’s the assured way of showing real empathy.

Stephen Mcnamara, Head of Digital Commercialisation, Skipton Building Society

 

Skipton aims to quickly pilot new AI functionality such as predictive engagement to nudge customers on their website. The Genesys Cloud fabric, together with flexible free trials, allows Skipton to iteratively implement new functionality and easily measure success before proceeding to a full-scale rollout.

Kerv Experience brought innovative ideas that really challenged our thinking. For a regulated organisation operating in pretty tight risk and compliance frameworks that was refreshing.
With Kerv we went from a blank sheet of paper, no requirements, no contract or legals, to go live within nine months. That really was extraordinary.

Stephen Mcnamara, Head of Digital Commercialisation, Skipton Building Society

 

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