The UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is powering ahead with its digital transformation. Taxing a vehicle, transferring a personalised registration, and renewing a driving licence can now all be done online. “We want to encourage as many customers as possible to transact with us digitally, and to be a clear centre of excellence in digital transactions,” said Carole Evans, Head of the DVLA’s Contact Centre.
With around 48 million licence records and 39 million vehicle licence records, the DVLA is committing to digital transformation on a massive scale. “When we introduced new self-service features on our website, the calls to our contact centre actually went up,” explained Rob Holohan, Product Owner for the DVLA’s Contact Centre Modernisation Project. “During peaks in demand, around 20% of people were struggling to get through to us as we didn’t have enough people to pick up every call.”
The DVLA maintains the registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers in Great Britain. This information helps to improve road safety, reduce vehicle related crime, and support environmental initiatives. The organisation’s digital ambitions are rooted in its mission to make things simpler, better, and safer for drivers and vehicle owners in Great Britain. “We handle around 1.1 million contacts from customers per month,” said Holohan. “Going digital changed the type of support we needed to provide to our customers.”
A single platform for customer interactions
To support its digital roadmap and customer demand, the DVLA embarked on a major modernisation of its Swansea-based contact centre. “As well as empowering employees and customers for a digital age, we needed to make financial savings to meet government cost reduction targets for 2020,” said Evans.
Establishing a single platform was a key priority for Holohan and his team. As he explained: “In the past, advisors had to switch between multiple systems and screens to answer queries, which impacted efficiency and customer response times.”
In March 2016, the DVLA’s contact centre entered a new era with the implementation of Service Cloud. Advisors can now use a single platform to answer queries via the telephone, email, web chat, and social media. “Customers have greater choice around how and when they contact us and can move seamlessly across our contact channels,” said Evans.
Although the telephone remains the preferred channel, the new web chat capabilities have proved a great success. Contact centre advisors participate in around 25,000 web chats per month, with a first contact resolution rate of 91% compared with 76% for telephone calls. Customer satisfaction levels are also higher at 90% versus 85% for telephone-based contacts. “When we start a web chat, we already know where the customer’s transaction failed and their personal details. This reduces the time we need to spend on each chat and increases the number of customers that we can help,” said Liam Harris, Multi-channel Advisor for DVLA.
Advisors can also see how customers rated their chats. As Harris explained: “We can see negative and positive feedback in our Salesforce dashboards, as well as how long we spend on chats and other interesting stats.” The DVLA has also introduced templates to help advisors to respond to social media posts. “Social media has become an important channel for engaging with people,” explained Liz Rees, Senior Marketing and Content Manager at the DVLA.
As well as connecting with individual drivers and vehicle owners, the DVLA also runs marketing campaigns on key sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. “With Marketing Cloud, we can publish content more easily and run campaigns more cost-effectively,” said Rees. “We can also analyse and report on the results, which helps to improve the quality of our campaigns to ensure we get the best traction and engagment in terms of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’.”
Driving innovation and improvement
Advisors don’t just need access to tools and templates when engaging with customers they need access to knowledge. In the past when an advisor wanted to check how best to answer a query, they had to search the DVLA intranet. “We had to remember where information was stored,” explained Harris. “With Salesforce, we can click through to knowledge articles really easily.” Advisors use Chatter to provide feedback on knowledge articles, so they can be refined to better meet their needs.
Since introducing the new knowledge base, the average handling time for telephone calls has decreased by more than 10 seconds for certain key services, which has a massive impact on the overall resourcing of the contact centre. “We didn't set out to create an internal knowledge library, but it’s been one of the biggest successes,” said Holohan. The knowledge articles, which also simplify the on-boarding and training of new team members, are regularly updated based on feedback from the advisors and the content of customer calls.
The DVLA is already planning the next wave of service improvements, which includes introducing a web to case solution and integrating its telephony systems with Service Cloud. “With Salesforce, we can knock out new functionality in days or weeks,” said Holohan. To capture improvement suggestions from the contact centre team, the DVLA has built a dedicated ideas app on Salesforce. The ideas are rated and discussed on Chatter before being put into production. “We want to be a centre of excellence, and that means we need to keep improving our processes and the customer experience,” added Holohan.
Simpler processes, better tools, and richer knowledge have helped to boost engagement levels for contact centre staff from 66% to 73% - compared with an overall rating of 63% for DVLA employees. “Our contact centre culture has always encouraged high levels of staff engagement,” said Evans. “With Salesforce, we can empower and engage our advisors to deliver a better and faster response to millions of drivers and vehicle owners across the country.”