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CRM technology transforms Australian Administration Services - a case study

  • 29 September, 2003 09:51

<p>A fully owned subsidiary of KAZ Group Ltd, the largest Australian owned IT and business process outsourcing company, Australian Administration Services (AAS) believes CRM technology has helped transform the company’s business offering to market in twelve short months.</p>
<p>About AAS
AAS provides outsourced services for the superannuation funds of over 25 funds clients, which manage the funds of nearly 3.5 million Australians, making it a premiere business partner in the industry.</p>
<p>Whereas a year ago the company was viewed as a leading provider of outsourced specialist administration services to superannuation clients, by integrating Pivotal CRM into its platform it is now recognized as a leading provider of administration, communication and marketing outsourced services for these types of clients. This provides a very real point of differentiation for AAS in this vertical space.</p>
<p>AAS’s clients, superannuation funds and redundancy trusts, position themselves as ‘lower cost superannuation fund alternatives’ and have chosen the outsourced services model as they wish to maximize the cost economies that come with it.</p>
<p>Pivotal helps set AAS apart
It goes without saying that customer contact and servicing is an essential part of AAS’s business. The company manages complex customer relationships, servicing the needs of its clients as well as the needs of its clients’ customers, which include employers (businesses who contribute superannuation on behalf of their employees) and members (employees who receive the contributions). As such the company is always looking for ways to improve the quality of its service offering, both to build its own business and to improve the delivery it provides on behalf of its clients to their customers.</p>
<p>Traditionally AAS has serviced and supported its customers using a transactional back-end system and Contact Centre. While this system continues to provide the backbone of the company’s administrative offering, the company felt it was missing opportunities to fully augment and proactively use the data it collected. In many respects a great deal of the information was already collected in the system, but the key to unlocking it was missing.</p>
<p>Pivotal’s CRM solution has provided that key and has been integrated into the historical system to provide an all-important analytical layer that enables data to be fully mined and analyzed to help AAS’s clients better understand their customers. As a result clients now have a full view of their employers and members and can precisely and proactively communicate with them in value-added ways.</p>
<p>“The integration of this CRM technology into our multimedia environment has enabled us to create a whole new business offering”, says Joan Murphy, Communications Manager, AAS.
“The integration of Pivotal’s CRM has allowed us to develop a raft of value-added services and competence in our offering, allowing us to quickly become a leading provider of specialist customer contact, communications and marketing as well as administrative services in this space. That’s a fundamental shift from a year ago and provides a compelling differentiation for us in the market”.</p>
<p>Cost-effective services, quality maintained
And AAS’s clients reap the benefits as they now have access to a far greater depth and breadth of customer information thanks to the support of an integrated customer contact technology platform. Importantly they have access to technology benefits normally enjoyed by larger companies without the price-ticket CRM infrastructure typically comes with.</p>
<p>“Using our model we can provide clients with state of the art CRM that ensures maximum efficiency at the lowest practical cost – without sacrificing quality and our clients are quickly realizing the benefits. That’s the real beauty of the outsourced model.”, says Murphy. “At the same time, we are winning internally, as we have a much better understanding of our clients’ businesses and their customer-bases so can provide greater value all round”.</p>
<p>“And it is not a ‘one size fits all approach’. Pivotal is the perfect CRM solution for us to as it is highly customizable, can be implemented incrementally, is well supported locally and above all else, is highly cost effective. We can tailor our approach each time to meet the needs of each of our client’s needs – as they do differ. For instance our first client to use the new technology, Catholic Superannuation Funds has 30,000 members, whereas another of our funds using Pivotal, REST, has 1.2 million. Pivotal provides the right functionality, at the right level, at any given point in time”.</p>
<p>Dual approach to customer servicing
Since implementation just twelve months ago seven of AAS’s clients have already upgraded to use the CRM model and realistically AAS believes many more of its clients will upgrade as they see the difference it is making to the seven early adopters.</p>
<p>“Without a doubt Pivotal has allowed us to create a whole new business solution for our clients, which means we can now offer choice in our customer servicing model. That’s important as it provides an important differentiation for us and means we can meet different needs in the industry at different price points,” says Murphy.</p>
<p>Contact Centre the backbone of the business
AAS’s Contact Centre, using Apropos interaction management technology, acts as the hub of its outsourced service, providing the all-important first point of contact for all funds clients, employers and members. Pivotal has been integrated into this system to help track and capture data flowing in the multimedia environment and to make all relevant data instantly available at the click of a mouse.</p>
<p>Because of the high number of queues AAS manages (each fund has at least one 1300 number, all of which terminate in discrete queues) and the relatively low volume of many of the queues, achieving service standards results in low overall occupancy of AAS’s team members. The Centre’s multi-media capacity, however, allows AAS to route phone calls, e-mails, faxes, web call backs, web chats, voice mails and written correspondence simultaneously to appropriate skilled consultants between queues.</p>
<p>When a customer or field officer makes contact through the Contact Centre, all relevant information to the contact is made available in a pop up screen instantly, meaning the contact can be fully serviced in a highly professional manner in real time. Contact Centre staff are fully equipped and informed to respond to contacts immediately and this has made enormous in-roads in developing lasting and loyal one on one relationships. Effectively, all customer and field staff interactions enjoy a seamless level of servicing no matter who they communicate with or in what manner with the Contact Centre.</p>
<p>At the same time the clients’ field staff are now fully equipped to easily capture and synchronize data from meetings with employers, members, unions and employer groups, making it available for all Contact Centre staff, CRM clients and their other field staff to access and use.</p>
<p>Bird’s eye view provided
Whereas in the historical administration model AAS’s clients relied on AAS to report on reasonably linear operational activity and achievements, with Pivotal integrated into the platform, the CRM clients now have their own access to a much richer wealth of information about each of their employers and members. Using Pivotal’s tools they can mine and analyze this data themselves to the nth degree, and not rely on AAS’s reporting back to them.</p>
<p>With the integrated platform CRM clients have total visibility of their employers and their members and with data mining and analysis are learning far more about their customers than they have ever known in the past.</p>
<p>For instance the CRM clients can identify which of their employers have large staff numbers but small membership numbers and actively promote their fund to potential new members in particular employer bases. Additionally by analyzing membership numbers against employers they can identify high value employers and create targeted communications for this group.</p>
<p>Greater efficiency in the Contact Centre
From AAS’s viewpoint on a service level it has been able to provide a far greater level of service to its clients’ customers. Any contact from a member or employer can now be routed to the same consultant on each occasion to help build relationships and provide continuity. A contact can also be routed to the last person the member or employer spoke to.</p>
<p>If the client wishes, AAS can segment their employers and members and provide differentiated service. For instance, high member balance callers could be routed to the most experienced consultants each time they contact AAS, no matter what the medium.</p>
<p>“Integrating Pivotal into our system has made an enormous difference to the way we work” says Murphy. “Without this system, the field staff employed by our clients do not have any information regarding any contact their employers and members have had with the Contact Centre or any real-time view of employer and member information”.</p>
<p>“Using our platform, the field staff has access to this information on their laptops (and in the future, PDAs) which they synchronize with Pivotal on a daily basis. This means for our CRM clients, the Contact Centre, the client’s field staff and the fund trustee office can see same-view details of all contacts or activities”.</p>
<p>“At the same time our CRM clients now have far greater control over their field staff as they are all required to use Pivotal as a matter of course. By analyzing the data we know the position of each CRM client at any point of time. Using the traditional model we have little control over the activities and data reporting of the field staff – it is very ad-hoc and un-coordinated”.</p>
<p>Total accountability, performance measured
By integrating Pivotal with Apropos and the back end transactional system, AAS uses Pivotal’s extensive querying and reporting functionality to report details of enquiry types and volumes as well as reporting performance statistics for field staff and membership demographics.</p>
<p>This provides the clients with an ability to closely manage and monitor their field staff and to set performance level agreements for all staff. At the same time the clients can use the reports and mining tools to review AAS’s performance against objectives and easily see the value AAS is providing their organization.</p>
<p>Results realized in 12 short months
Since implementing Pivotal AAS asserts that the solution has greatly enhanced the company’s technology driven competitive advantage and has enabled its CRM clients to gain a far better understanding of the nature of their relationships with their own employers and members.</p>
<p>As a result AAS believes its CRM clients and their customers receive a far higher level of customer servicing and professionalism than it has ever been able to provide with the limitations accorded by the traditional system. Clients are now able to easily identify opportunities to proactively communicate and market to segmented audiences (again this has not been possible with the traditional model).</p>
<p>Internally, Pivotal has enabled AAS to fast track its own understanding of the technology, and the company is realizing opportunities to far more effectively and meaningfully service and support its clients’ customers.</p>
<p>From a company-wide perspective, KAZ Group sees enormous potential in offering Pivotal to a far wider range of clients in the outsourced model, across an increased number of verticals and industries.</p>
<p>“Considerable opportunity exists for us to offer this technology solution to additional clients, across a range of verticals and industries. We see great potential for how we can use Pivotal and feel it is only early days yet in terms of realizing just what is possible. Pivotal has opened doors for our company and group, and we are excited for what the future holds”, says Stuart Korchinski, General Manager, KAZ Business Services.</p>
<p>Return on Investment for AAS</p>
<p>Pivotal has helped to:</p>
<p>AAS to provide a far higher quality of customer servicing, allowing quick turnarounds and instant answers to queries – the data is at the Contact Centre’s fingertips.</p>
<p>Increase the clients’ field staff’s visibility of their employers and members 100%</p>
<p>Create efficiencies in the company by helping the company to strategically identifying high value clients and employers and invest time and effort into growing these clients.</p>
<p>Improve the quality of data AAS’s clients can now access and mine as a result of better understanding its funds clients and customers’ needs and expectations.</p>
<p>Dramatically increase the potential market the KAZ Group can now target - both in terms of numbers of clients and the range of verticals.</p>
<p>Significantly impact on productivity levels and workflow practices, providing an integrated ability to route e-mail, written and fax correspondence through the interaction management system to increase the efficient use of down-time during lulls in call volume.</p>

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