With a heritage that dates back to 1812, Dignity is one of the UK’s most trusted providers of funeral services in the UK. They own over 800 funeral locations and operate 46 crematoria as well as offering a range of Prepaid Funeral Plans, allowing clients to arrange and pay for their funeral in advance.
Several years back the use of telephony to sell funerals plans started to take off. Dignity were initially reluctant to sell in this way but as this area continued to grow, convinced it could be done ethically and with compassion, they decided they would create their own call centre team to sell these services. This model allowed them to create a set of rules and best practice guidelines to ensure that the service the customer received was of the highest standard and fully met with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) guidelines. This model could then be shared with any other 3rd parties they chose to sell on their behalf.
Approach to Quality Monitoring
As Dignity engaged with more 3rd party call centres they noted that many of these fell short of the high standards that they wanted and focussed too readily on sales rather than compliance of their guidelines.
They engaged with BPA Quality and they took on the monitoring of calls within these centres assisted by BPA Builder. Dignity drew on BPA’s 30 years of experience in call centre monitoring to help them draw up a comprehensive set of guidelines and a monitoring form that would ensure agents are achieving the mandatory requirements such as, spotting vulnerable customers, not making assumptions, speaking concisely, building rapport and ultimately offering the right plan for the customer.
These checks allowed them not only to be able to measure the agents like-for-like but also to monitor the customer’s whole journey to ensure they have been told everything and they are aware of what they are buying.
Engaging BPA to both help create the quality guidelines and to monitor quality across the contact centres has been a huge success for Dignity. It ensures that sales are being made ethically and in line with not only the FPA guidelines but also with their own exacting standards. Dignity has seen an improvement in the standard of calls and levels of compliance, and the monitoring allows them to highlight training areas or tackle issues head-on very quickly after a call has taken place.
BPA currently listen to around 500 calls per month across the call centres which represents around 160 individual sales. The monitoring data is fed back to Dignity, combined with other information (i.e. cancellations) and collated into Telephone Governance Outbound Dashboard.
This dashboard not only gives Dignity a score for each agent but also a score for every one of the calls the customer has during the sales cycle, giving them visibility to the whole customer journey.
Our long relationship with BPA demonstrates the importance we place on compliance and on offering exemplary and ethical service. It is very much a partnership; we value their input in ensuring our guidelines are being implemented and in defining the criteria that need to be met.
Paul Toghill, Director of Distribution and Partnerships
Paul Toghill, Director of Distribution and Partnerships said: “Our long relationship with BPA demonstrates the level of importance that we place on compliance and on offering exemplary and ethical service to our customers.
“The relationship is very much one of a partnership and we value their input in not only ensuring our guidelines are being implemented but also in defining the criteria that need to be met. Having had the same individuals monitoring calls for us some while, they know our business really well now and regularly take the test that we give to call agents.
“We have a continuous two-way discussion and we use the monitoring data to constantly review and amend the tests based on each centre’s results. This allows us to react quickly to any issues and this, in turn, has a positive impact on the customer, which is what we want to achieve.”