The requirement

The Money Advice Service (MAS) is an arm’s length body of the Department for Work and Pensions. The service provides free and impartial money guidance and debt advice online and by telephone across a wide range of money topics. Some of these topics include homes and mortgages, pensions, savings and investments, and key life events, such as starting a family, redundancy, bereavement, care and disability.

MAS offer their services through their website and contact centre across telephony, web chat, email and whitemail channels. This service handles over 100,000 calls and 50,000 web chats and has a very high satisfaction level, with 83% stating that they received the help they needed.

As the current supplier contract for the contact centre service was coming to an end MAS needed a new value-for-money provider quickly to make sure there was no gap in service for its many users.

MAS anticipated that the tender would be awarded to a provider able to deliver a solution that would show significant savings without impacting customer service. In addition, they should have a proven track record delivering a quality fully managed contact centre contract.

The solution

MAS used Contact Centre Services (RM3815) lot 1 to get its procurement documents in order as MAS could not do this on their own at the speed required. They then used lot 2 of the same agreement (RM3815) to choose a supplier. The procurement needed a very quick turnaround as there was only a short window before the previous contract expired. It typically takes 6 months for this size of requirement, however MAS was able to do this across 3 months with the support of the CCS framework team.

Ahead of the invitation to tender, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) set up sessions so that all suppliers had the opportunity to meet with MAS, understand their brand values and customer services requirements, while also hearing first-hand the challenges they anticipated during the contract term. This gave all potential suppliers time to develop their proposed solutions. MAS was very transparent about their requirements and the challenges which enabled CCS to support and inform proactively in their procurement.

As a CCS Contact Centre Services (RM3815) supplier, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS UK) were the successful supplier for MAS’ requirements. MAS needed a tiered model to ensure customers with different types of enquiries would be given the right information first time, without the need to transfer between staff.

HGS recommended MAS use a phased implementation moving from an environment where every call was handled in exactly the same way, to a triage system of basic enquiries and more complex ones. The more complex (tier 2) would be dealt with by a team of call handlers who have been trained to a deeper, more detailed level on the money guidance topics.

The results

So far under the new contract (CCS RM3815) MAS have reduced their call handling times compared to their previous supplier, reducing hourly rate costs, which means that MAS can invest in more projects to improve access to financial tools and calculators for budgeting, pensions and debt advice.

Also, technology has been used to improve the customer experience. WhatsApp was launched as an additional channel to support all, but in particular for the younger demographic who prefer digital interactions. Since its launch over 5,000 messages have been exchanged on WhatsApp between MAS and their customers. The added benefits of WhatsApp for customers is that they have the whole conversation at their fingertips, they can pick up the conversation where they left off at any point and send across screenshots or images of communications they have received.

Overall it has enabled MAS to deliver more help to more people who want to manage their money better with 92%+ calibrated quality scores across all channels.

We’re pleased to be working with our partners HGS to provide free and impartial money guidance through our new Contact Centre in Selkirk. We have a great Customer Advisor Team ready to support the thousands of people who come to us each week seeking help on how to manage their money. Last year, our contact centre delivered money guidance to over two hundred thousand people and we’re delighted to be taking this work forward with our new partners.

John-Penberthy Smith, Customer Director at the Money Advice Service

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