AMP Financial Services Invests in Knowledgebase Optimization

Customer Experience
Customer Experience
By consolidating disparate data across the organization, AMP implemented an easily accessible knowledge source that offers clients and staff consistent product and service information.
Customer Service Optimization

Business Boost: Page views increased by 97%, while homepage abandonment decreased 20%.

For many companies, aggregating and managing data has become quite the struggle. But, for AMP Financial Services, the challenge posed by its eight separate knowledgebases made balancing consistency and efficiency nearly impossible. While the company aimed to provide accurate information across the organization, the siloed systems were difficult to update, creating compliance issues in the process. The available files were frequently out of date, thus providing clients and customer service officers (CSOs) with conflicting information depending upon the knowledge source. With such obstacles in mind, AMP set forth to improve customer self-service, boost CSO efficiency, and eliminate compliance risk from business.

Industries across the board recognize that differentiation has become the key to success. In AMP's case, providing reliable information was the key. By ensuring that information can be easily accessible and consistent across numerous platforms, AMP customers would be able to connect with the brand when and where they want, thus driving customer loyalty and retention to an otherwise dormant customer base. Stuart Magrath, director of AMP Direct and ipac marketing, notes that AMP's primary goals not only aimed to consolidate each individual knowledgebase into a single source, but also to reengage customers and retain current business while up-selling and cross-selling to maximize potential. This initiative also aimed to reduce contact center full time equivalents (FTE) as more customers adopt online self-service.

The organization-wide effort involved marketing, digital business, digital technology, customer service, direct sales, and adviser distribution, fronted by a steering committee with senior executives and working groups representing each of the key stakeholders. Representatives from digital business and customer service run the program's day-to-day management, working to ensure content is current, relevant, and compliant, thus making existing content more accessible for all while incorporating feedback on an ongoing basis. From the number of articles viewed by CSOs and time spent in the online knowledgebase, to first-call resolution and average call handling time, AMP observes all pertinent success measures in order to maintain and improve upon its existing knowledgebase at all times.

With its 'customer thinking' design in mind, AMP purposely gathered customer insights by recruiting a group of customers and entrusting them with the task of finding content on the brand's site, tracking each throughout their entire interaction. The insights were then used to design a paper prototyping process while a second group of customers were brought in to assist in solution design. According to Magrath, this approach put customers at the center of the improvement process, while ongoing reviews, customers and staff feedback, and an annual customer survey allow AMP to improve and enhance continuously.

Staff members now own the ability to automatically publish information to the Web and comment on articles to improve accuracy, creating greater staff engagement with the information used each day. This single source also delivers consistent information to frontline staff, financial advisers, and clients so internal users are equipped with the tools necessary for providing an exceptional customer experience, and customers can quickly and easily discover relevant product and service information on their own.

When AMP Financial Services replaced its eight knowledgebases with one source, the company also moved users from the navigational model to the search model on their website. While users were previously able to bookmark their favorite pages for speedy access to relevant content, such tools often left them to rely on outdated or non-compliant content that had yet to be removed from the system. Internally, AMP ran competitions within the contact center, enforcing a clean desk policy whereby hard copies of content were discarded, and bookmarks and shortcuts were deleted. Those that failed to comply would have to pay fines for charities in the form of a gold coin donation. Even call scripts and conversation guides were loaded into the knowledge base to encourage use of the tool to guarantee the entire organization would be sharing the same information across the board. The new knowledgebase also provides the ability to email links to various content so customers can read the information at their leisure instead of depending upon the call center representative to convey the data to them.

Upon implementation, AMP Financial Services marked great cost savings, as the greater usage of self-service options allowed the company to reduce the number of call center representatives. While AMP predicted a 40 percent boost in self-service, the company experienced a 100 percent increase in usage prior to launch. Page views increased by 97 percent, while homepage abandonment decreased from 66 percent to 46 percent. Average time spent on site also increased by 22 percent, while the usability of AMP's site increased from 57.6 percent to 65.7 percent, with particular improvements in the areas of effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.