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Working with Blue Sky Performance Improvement Bearmach Ltd

Blue Sky Works 1

Who We Are



Blue Sky Works – Delivering Exceptional Results






Client List



How Do We Do It



Case Studies



Professional Qualifications


1. Who We Are Blue Sky is a dynamic, inspirational performance improvement consultancy specialising in: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sales – Maximising sales across channel - contact centre and F2F. Leadership – Changing leadership behaviours in a sustainable way through exceptional facilitation. Customer Experience – Engaging your people and enhancing the customer journey while reducing cost to serve. Executive Coaching - helping senior executives become the best leaders they can be Training – Inspiring true behavioural change that has a measurable impact on performance.

Established in 1997, and based in Guildford, Surrey, we work with clients in the UK, Europe. Middle East and USA including: Barclays, Virgin, NS&I, DVLA, Liverpool Victoria, Royal Mail, Nationwide and Centrica. Our vision is ‘To make such a difference that our clients love us.’ We measure client advocacy through the ‘Net Promoter Score’

How do we measure the value we create? ♦ ♦

Emotion – You will see and feel the difference in the people we touch. Logic – Measuring uplifts against control groups in Key Performance Indicator’s such as; Sales Conversion; Add-on sales; Customer Retention; Staff Attrition and Productivity.

"Our decision to appoint Blue Sky for a second time was as a result of the excellent work they did for us on the first project we did together. On both projects their teams have been very focussed, results driven and a pleasure to work with. It is largely thanks to their involvement that we have achieved so much in creating the most successful contact centre team in the airline industry."

Director of Customer Services, Virgin Atlantic Airways

How do we know it works? ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

ROI – on average we deliver an in excess of 300%. Awards – our programmes have won 23 awards in the last 4 years. FTSE 100 – we have worked with over 20% of the FSTE 100 within operations, learning & development and HR. Clients – keep asking us back!

What makes us truly different is: ♦

We are so confident in the results we deliver we offer a Risk & Reward partnership.


♦ ♦

We offer a unique combination of creativity and robust methodologies including the Conscious Choice Cycle. The improved performance is sustained rather than short lived.

What is the scope of our work? ♦

Sectors – Financial Services, Travel & Leisure, Telecommunications, Utilities, Retail Public Sector, Outsourcing and Technology.

People – training and motivation from the leadership team through to staff on the front line.

Implementation – new management processes that drive performance from five key perspectives; customer, people, operations, organisation and culture. We take a holistic view of all factors1 influencing performance as outlined below:

What are we like to work with? We’re not your typical consultant. We are seen as part of the team, we are hands on, and we bring the right mix of personal ownership and holding our client accountable; however our clients are the best people to answer this one so please see our client testimonials.


In order to fulfil a holistic service we would partner with Sabio for the technology components of the work. 2

2. Blue Sky Works – Delivering Exceptional Results Working across many industries and channels we are passionate about delivering exceptional results for our clients and these have led to many success stories and awards. We can take our learnings from each of these sectors and apply them to benefit Bearmach Ltd. Sales ♦

NS&I – A sales through service programme entitled ‘Just Ask’ delivered £200million in additional revenue. The programme won a National Training award and a Financial Innovation award for Most Effective Training.

AXA – Sales improvement programme delivered at both advisor and Manager Level that produced some brilliant results including an increase in GWP (gross written premium) of 320%.

Carphone Warehouse – Annual risk and reward partnership for all Sales Agents, Managers and Senior Managers. Achieved a 60% increase in conversion rate with a 50% uplift and a motivated, energetic sales culture.

Royal & Sun Alliance – Sales performance improvement programme delivered a 60% increase in cross-sell and up-sell sales revenue.

HFS Loans – Performance improvement programme delivered five-fold increase in market share. Application conversion increase by 18%, and average loan size up by 24%. HFS Loans voted as 7th in the ‘Best SME Companies to Work for’ by The Times (2005).

Virgin Atlantic Airways – Award winning performance improvement programme delivered 50% increase in sales conversion and reduced cost per sale by almost half.

Royal Mail – sales through service of front line staff along with coaching capability and performance management of 1st and 2nd Line Managers. Uplifts range from 180% to 517%.

American Express – Retail sales training programme for launch of Travellers Cheque Card delivered a threefold increase in sales. The programme included stores owned by First Choice, Thomas Cook and Midlands Coop.

Virgin Holidays – Results from multiple sales performance improvement programmes equated to 50% increase in both trade and direct business, smashing targets and delivering ROI between 350% and 450%. 3

Leadership Development & Cultural Change ♦

HBOS – Leadership development programme which had a tangible impact on the behaviour of senior management. Key management behaviours improved by 11% and the programme picked up 2 Training Journal awards including the Special Achievement Award at this year’s 2008 conference.

Orange – A modular management development programme delivered to 400 customer service Managers that is seeing some great results. The collections team increased results by 300% in a month post workshop and whereas in the beginning, most Managers were at the apprentice development level for the key competencies. Now, around 80% are actually demonstrating the key competencies at that level and these Managers are embarking on their practitioner level journey. The programme has been accredited by Tyneside University and awarded a foundation degree in Call Centre Management.

BSkyB – Management development programme to deliver a skilled, effective management team to drive sales performance put £5 million on the bottom line.

Thomas Cook Global & Financial Services – Performance improvement programme increased cultural rating scores from an average of 50% to 80% in all categories.

Greater Manchester Ambulance Service – Senior management development programme delivered. “Blue sky really understood what makes a 999 operation tick and tailored the training to meet our needs.”

Sage – A leadership development programme entitled ‘Enable’ that is creating incredible and powerful employee engagement and empowerment resulting in uplift in performance across many diverse departments with a 270% increase in staff promotions alone

DVLA – A modular management programme branded ‘Momentum’ which was aimed at tackling a shift in mindset to improve customer experience. Customer satisfaction improved by 11%, with efficiency in response increasing by over 30%. The programme won the ‘best improvement strategy’ award at the CCF European Call Centre Awards.


Customer Experience ♦

Invesco – A customer experience transformation programme helped Invesco achieve first place in the Investrack Customer Service Benchmarking Study and win the 5 star service award at the Financial Advisor Awards.

Leading Financial Motor Services Company – An ultimate customer experience programme with 80% of staff achieving their Practitioner license by consistently scoring over 80% on quality.

Virgin Atlantic Airways – Award winning performance improvement programme took them from 12th to 3rd place in the BPA Travel Sector customer service index.

Linklaters – Won an award for Best Customer Experience. Service levels are met over 80% of the time as opposed to 20% before the change programme.

BBC – Change programme helped win ‘Customer Help Desk of the Year’ award. Also chosen ‘subject matter experts’ / advisors to BBC Worldwide learning in matters relating to sales, service and leadership.

Aquila – Customer Experience transformation programme that improved customer service performance ranking (IIP) from 13th (out of 14) to 1st place.

EDF Energy – Multichannel service performance improvement programme enabled 3 EDF Energy companies to rise from consistently bottom of the OFGEM service league table to upper quartile. Service recommendation letters rose by 169%.

ING Direct – A significant increase in net promoter score from 64% to 90.4%.


Measuring Return on Investment

3. Awards


3. Awards “The whole Momentum Programme has been stunning. You have exceeded my expectations in every way” Ian Broom Head of Contact Centre DVLA Winner - Best Improvement strategy – European Call Centre Awards 2007

“You have played a big part in helping us to achieve this award. Many thanks for all your help” Colin Ross and Jill Waters Head of Direct Sales NS&I Winner - IFS award for 'Most effective delivery channels initiative

“The programme has exceeded my every expectation. Managers go in a little fearful and perhaps a little cynical and come out of it utterly transformed.” Paul Stobart CEO, Sage Winner - CIPD Excellence through Innovation Award 2008

The true measure of our success does not lie in our own standing and reputation, but in that of our clients. The recognition and awards our clients receive are a great indicator of this success and highlights that we are not the only people who believe in the value that Blue Sky delivers: ♦ 2009 NTA Regional Training Award – 02 ♦ 2009 ECCA Highly Commended for ‘Best Improvement Category’ – 02 ♦ 2008 NTA Regional Award in Partnership and Collaboration – DVLA ♦ 2008 Training Journal Award for ‘Special Achievement’ – HBOS ♦ 2008 Training Journal Award, ‘Best Externally Developed & Delivered’ – HBOS ♦ 2008 CIPD Excellence through Innovation or Technology Award with Sage ‘Enable’ Leadership programme ♦ 2008 Welsh Contact Centre Award for Best People Development with DVLA and the ‘Momentum’ programme ♦ 2007 Financial Innovation Award for Most Effective Training Programme with National Savings & Investments ‘Just Ask’ programme ♦ 2007 National Training Award with EDF Energy ‘Turning Up The Volts’ programme ♦ 2007 National Training Award with National Savings & Investments ‘Just Ask’ programme ♦ 2007 Regional Training Award for our work with UCAS ♦ 2007 ECCA award for Best Improvement Strategy with DVLA ♦ 2007 ECCA highly commended for ‘Best Improvement Strategy’ with National Savings and Investments ♦ 2007 Motivation Awards – ‘Best Use of Training’ with EDF Energy ♦ 2006 Invesco Perpetual – only fund management group to receive the 5 star service award at the Financial Adviser Awards ♦ 2006 IFS award for 'Most effective delivery channels initiative' with National Savings and Investments ♦ 2006 Training Journal Award ‘Best Externally Developed and Delivered Programme’ for our work with First Choice Holidays ♦ 2006 ‘EDF Energy - Most Improved Customer Experience’, Customer Experience Awards ♦ 2006 ‘Best Customer Service Award’ OFGEM – EDF Energy ♦ 2006 ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ Training Journal – First Choice Holidays ♦ 2006 ‘Innovation in Sales Award’ National Training Awards – First Choice Holidays ♦ 2006 ‘Best Training Programme’ European Call Centre Awards – EDF Energy ♦ 2005 National Training Award with Virgin Atlantic, in sustaining performance over a 3 year period 7

4. Client List Financial Services

Abbey Alliance & Leicester American Express Axa Insurance Axa Sun Life Affinion International Bank of Ireland Barclaycard Barclays Barclays Wealth Churchill Insurance Co-op Financial Services First Plus HBOS ING Direct Insurance Advisory Service Invesco Liverpool Victoria Lloyds TSB NS&I NatWest Insurance Norwich & Peterborough Building Society Norwich Union Portman Building Society Prudential Royal & SunAlliance Royal Bank of Scotland Group Scottish Widows Standard Life


Alamo BMW Financial Services Mercedes Benz Volkswagen Financial

Media & Communications BBC Helpdesk BBC Worldwide BSkyB Affinion International

Retail / Consumer First Choice Retail ICI Paints JD Williams Marks & Spencer Merloni MFI Parcel Force Royal Mail Virgin Games Virgin Health Bank

Outsourcing Contact 24 Pell & Bales Sitel UK Ltd

Travel & Leisure

Bourne Leisure Center Parcs Eurostar First Choice Haven Holidays Ladbrokes Park Resorts Stena Line Thomas Cook Signature Thomas Cook Global Financial Services Thomson Holidays ThomsonFly TV Travel Shop Virgin Atlantic Airways Virgin Holidays Virgin Trains


3 Bulldog Communications BT Carphone Warehouse Colt Telecom Mobinil O2 Orange T-Mobile Virgin Mobile Vodafone

Public Sector

Bolton City Council Department for Work & Pensions DVLA Greater Manchester Ambulance Service Environment Agency Legal Services Commission NHS Professionals Research Council UCAS West Mercia Constabulary


BBC IT Helpdesk Gateway Computers Linklaters IT Helpdesk Sage Symantec


BG Group BOC Group Central Networks Centrica EDF Energy Powergen Scottish Water United Utilities


5. How Do We Do It To deliver improved performance we use consultancy, training and performance based techniques and the mix will depend on the project; within some we will use all of the tools at our disposal, others will be either consulting or training focused. Each project tends to follow a 4 stage excellence model and our services relate directly to these 4 stages. All 4 stages are driven by an understanding of your needs at the start of the project.

Services we can offer Bearmach Ltd: Performance Evaluation – Stage 1 There are different options for performance evaluation depending on your needs: 1

Full Performance Evaluation – assessing the overall performance of an operation against company objectives. Covering: customer, people, operations, business and culture. Developing fully integrated performance improvement plans based on the output of the evaluation process.


People Focused Evaluation – focused on providing detailed analysis and recommendations in respect of gaps in knowledge, skill and attitude for leaders, managers and staff.


Customer Focused Evaluation –.Conducting an internal and external assessment of the customer journey and the level of service experience provided.


Performance Improvement – Stage 2 Performance improvement programmes will involve either consulting or training services, often both. Consulting Services We offer consulting services in the following areas: 1

Operational and management processes

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Performance management frameworks: Determining KPI’s, reporting frameworks etc. Resource analysis, planning and forecasting. Quality measurement and management programmes. Provision of interim management. Management operating systems.


HR Processes

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Bespoke competency frameworks. Reward and recognition schemes. Staff retention strategies. Assessment centres. Internal recruitment process design.


Customer Experience Transformation

Client Vision – How do you want your customers to feel about your organisation? Customer Experience Evaluation – How well is your business geared up to delivering the desired experience? Customer Experience Transformation – Implementing the strategy and tactical plan and engaging people to deliver the best possible customer experience. Continuous Improvement.


Cultural Change

♦ ♦

Cultural change programmes. Psychometric profiling.

♦ ♦


Training Services We offer training services, design and delivery, in the following areas: 1

Leadership and Management Development

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Full leadership and management development programmes. Mentoring programmes. Executive coaching. Team coaching and mentoring.


Sales Training

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sales Skills (4 levels, apprentice through to master.) Sales team leadership. Sales management. Directing a sales operation.


Customer Service Training

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Customer service skills (4 levels, apprentice through to master.) Service team leadership. Customer service management. Directing a service operation.

Performance Maintenance – Stage 3 Ensuring that improvement in results is sustained and built upon. 1

Performance Healthchecks – an objective measure/check on performance, enabling operations to stay on track. Completed on an annual or 6 monthly basis.


Co-sourced Training Partnership – a shared responsibility for ensuring skills, knowledge and behaviours are able to meet business needs.


Advanced Training Programmes – driving continuous performance improvement.


Performance coaching – Analysing performance statistics and making recommendations for improvement, getting buy-in where necessary for required changes and driving implementation of those changes. Coaching the management team to maximise sales and service performance. Ongoing monitoring of the impact and effectiveness of coaching implementation.


Performance Partnership Some of the clients contract into our performance partnership relationship, which means a commitment from both parties to deliver against agreed targets, while sharing both the risk and the reward. Essentially we will embed a proven performance management system into your business that with the necessary support and deliver sustained performance improvements. We also agree which KPI is to be uplifted and by how much e.g. a 10% improvement in sales conversion. We then formulate and implement the necessary interventions to deliver the uplift. We commit to ‘delivering the number’ whilst you commit to implementing our recommendations. If we fail to deliver, an agreed portion of our fees are returned and if we exceed target we receive a performance bonus. We would be happy to discuss this with you further.


6. Case Studies National Savings & Investments – ‘Just Ask’ National Savings & Investments (NS&I) offers much more than Premium Bonds but their twenty six million customers did not know that. With limited advertising activity, no CRM strategy and a reluctance to promote themselves pro-actively, how could NS&I spread the word about their thirteen other investment products? Lost opportunities NS&I has predominantly mature customers who enjoy the reassurance of investing in a Government-backed, non-profit making institution, and who typically have a large expendable income to invest. But despite their loyal customer base, NS&I were losing millions in lost opportunities. This was because there was no mechanism for following up customers who wanted to cash in their investments. Requests were dealt with promptly and without question, which left customers feeling positive, but meant NS&I were watching huge potential revenues walk out the door. They had to encourage reinvestment without turning customers off with aggressive sales techniques. NS&I had to be wary of turning off their loyal staff too. Many had been in the same role, chiefly order taking, for years. The job was repetitive and not particularly interesting, but people tended to stay. Would the very mention of selling frighten them away? What We Did – The Blue Sky Solution Blue Sky helped NS&I create an inbound campaign called ‘Just Ask’. Its aim was to show customer service advisors how a few appropriately targeted questions could open up a dialogue about the customer’s expectations and needs and lead to significant increases in revenue. Sales through service The training team, led by Blue Sky’s Managing Consultants, Miles Jowett and Clare Mitchell devised a ‘soft’ approach to introduce sales through service. Says Miles, “We believe customer service should help customers make the right decision. It’s not so much about selling as guidance. Customers needed to be asked at the key communication opportunity the reason behind their decision. This gives staff sufficient information to guide customers through a decision-making process that could result in customers reinvesting in an alternative product, or investing more money.” In a traditional environment where sales carried negative connotations, there was scepticism. Says Clare Mitchell, “Staff would argue, ‘If a customer wants to cash in their investment there’s nothing we can do. They’ve made their decision.’ We showed them that by simply saying ‘we’re 13

sorry to lose you as a customer, have we done something wrong’ or asking why they wanted to cash in their investment, far from getting annoyed, customers were glad to have been asked.” The tailored training programme was practical, involving role-play and practice sessions. Staff helped to write call scripts using their considerable knowledge of their products and customers, which generated a sense of ownership. Who we did it for Over 200 advisors and team leaders have experienced the ‘Just Ask’ programme. What was the outcome? The results were outstanding. Says Jill Waters, Head of Direct Sales at NS&I; “From my point of view ‘Just Ask’ has been a success from day one and I would highly recommend the Blue Sky approach. If £50m sales can be delivered during a training phase then just think of the potential going forward.” However, whilst the success of the inbound teams was extraordinary, millions were still being lost. Some customers write rather than phone, or get a form from the Post Office. So a new, dedicated outbound team was created to assess the opportunities provided by these customers. Their job was to telephone and welcome new, high value customers and make tactical calls following marketing activities. An internal recruitment exercise identified advisors with the right ability and aptitude, and an intensive sales workshop sharpened their skills. There was, however, an issue about how to target and reward the team. Union objections meant individuals could not be targeted, but the team could be, so individual successes were highlighted and celebrated with fun prizes and awards. “Having a more mature workforce was a definite bonus,” says Blue Sky Managing Consultant Lindsay Terris, who managed the outbound project. “They have a lovely manner with the customers, and an ease and confidence that only come with experience.” In their first month of operation, the new outbound team exceeded their £1million target by £500,000.In month two they achieved 250% of target. The programme overall generated £200 million in incremental revenue last year, with customer satisfaction dramatically increasing. NS&I and Blue Sky can also add a string of prestigious awards to their belts due to winning 3 awards for the ‘Just Ask’ programme in 2007 alone, including the highly sought after National Training Award.


‘Just Ask’ created opportunities that could have been lost were it not for a few well-phrased questions and a motivated, experienced team who learnt to soft sell. And this year we are building on the success of 2007 with a ‘Just Ask Momentum’ programme to ensure continued achievement. NS&I outbound advisor, Wendy Smith, sums it up: “We have turned into such sweet-talkers!” All Blue Sky workshop delivery features skills practice, quizzes, tests and exercises throughout, to test and validate learning. Post course evaluation of the programme was achieved through delegate feedback and the identification and agreement of a clear set of measurement criteria at the start of the programme that could then be measured through: ♦

Sales and Service performance results.

Operational performance results.

Regular and consistent quality monitoring and assessment.

Staff feedback.

Customer feedback.

Coaching observation and reporting.

Key results included: ♦

Increased customer retention.

Increased average customer investment.

Against an annual company target the highest performing team delivers revenue of over double this.

Average performers achieve revenue of £34,000,000 above target (116%).

Increased customer confidence and trust.

Increased staff motivation and job satisfaction.

No decline in grade of service.

4 training awards including a National Training Award in 2007.


BMW Group Financial Services BMW Financial Services have a high value brand and great processes and procedures to ensure efficiency. However, they recognised that their customer experience fell short of their brand and 2007 was the year for ensuring that the customer experience was also second to none. What We Did – The Blue Sky Solution BMW Financial Services wanted a team that offered a consistently high level customer service across the operation; from Sales and Service, to Debt Recovery and from Advisor to Team Leader. The programme must not be just a training programme, but a platform for change that would: ♦

Inject inspiration into the vision.

Differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘ultimate’ customer experience.

Create a mindset shift, engaging staff – ‘Why should I do it?’

Put the advisor in the customer’s shoes, enabling them to empathise with the customer; whether they are the end consumer or a dealer, buying a car or making a complaint.

After conducting a diagnostic, Blue Sky designed and delivered a customer experience programme to ensure all staff were delivering the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’. Working with the staff from the front line to the senior team, a vision for the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ was created to deliver a higher level of buy-in and engagement. This was followed by a series of launch events to create a buzz and excitement for the programme. A 3 day Practitioners Workshop was designed focusing on experiential learning. All 180 staff attended ensuring consistency throughout all departments. It was essential that we worked closely with the BMW L&D team through the design phase to ensure that the materials reflected the high quality standards they themselves adhered to. Regular project reviews were held with input and value added by the internal team throughout. Delegates were asked to complete pre-work that would help them to engage from the outset. This pre-work included using the online ‘Car Configurator’ facility on the BMW website to design their ideal BMW. This would validate and build their passion for the BMW brand and help them to understand their customers’ emotional journey as owner of a BMW.


The workshop was designed around an experiential library of activity broken down over the 3 days to cover: ♦

Creating the right mindset.

Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.

‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Creating the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ cannot be achieved by simply providing people with advanced call handling skills. You must foster a passion for and true belief in the power and value of their brand and also a recognition of how this impacts on both internal and external customers. Examples of how this was achieved included: ♦

Shock Tactics By asking delegates to handover the keys for the BMW they receive as part of their package, and giving them the opportunity to explore and discuss how they would feel if they were told they were not getting them back, we were able to create a ‘disturb’ and a recognition of how the customer feels.

A Day in the Life of… Generally advisors’ had a negative view of dealers, who were seen at times more as difficult suppliers than internal customers. Advisors were given a blank diary, broken down by hours, and asked to consider what a dealer’s day looked like; when were their busy times, what tasks might frustrate them, how and when would they need the advisors help? This was further explored to understand the impact this relationship had on the overall customer journey, to ensure the delegates recognised that providing the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ meant more than just the service they provided directly to the end consumer.

Once the right mindset had been created, we asked delegates to look at the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’. Techniques and tools covered included: ♦

Putting people ahead of process.

Vocal dashboard.

Customer types / flexing styles.

Harnessing the conversation cycle.

Advanced questioning techniques.

Active and advanced listening skills.

Adding value to every call.

Handling difficult conversations.

‘Bring a call’ self assessments.

As part of their pre-work, delegates had been asked to ‘bring a call’ of their own that they assessed at the beginning and end of the workshop. This created reality around the standard of service being offered prior 17

to the course, whilst also demonstrating and celebrating the step change they achieved during the workshop. Recorded skills practice completed the workshop with individual feedback provided to ensure that end of workshop action plans were realistic and could be implemented back in the live environment. After the workshop, delegates completed an on line treasure hunt to embed the learning, as well as several other action learning assignments, culminating in a random call being assessed by a panel to sign them off as an ‘Ultimate Customer Experience Practitioner’. Managers attended the Ultimate Customer Experience workshop and were also trained in how to coach staff to achieve the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’. A new quality monitoring system has been designed and put in place to ensure this standard becomes the norm. BMW Financial Services can now be sure their customer experience is as ultimate as the drive! BMW FS are working together to develop and deliver a suite of workshops at ‘Expert’ and ‘Master’ level as well, giving staff the chance to develop further. Who we did it for 180 BMW Financial Services Advisors and their Managers took part in the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ programme. What was the Outcome? Over 80% of staff have now achieved their Practitioner licence, with call monitoring scores increasing month on month. To ensure this is maintained the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ workshop has now been built into their induction programme. Staff are now self managing to the new standard, display a real desire to deliver the ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ and many have voluntarily chosen to embark on the ‘Expert’ and ‘Master’ workshops. In addition to skills practice, quizzes and tests during the workshop to validate learning, supported by post workshop delegate feedback; evaluating the success of this programme has been facilitated through the robust accreditation process for achieving a Practitioner’s licence. The following outlines the key stages to be accredited as a Practitioner: ♦

Attend 3 day ‘Ultimate Customer Experience’ Workshop.

1:1 live coaching session to consolidate learning.

Complete on line treasure hunt and transform-a-script activities.

Achieve consistent quality score of over 80%.


Random call assessed by panel and signed off as ‘Practitioner’ bespoke accreditation received.


DVLA – The Momentum Programme Following a period of significant growth and change, the DVLA Customer Enquiry Group (CEG) contact centre was facing a number of inter-linked issues: • ♦

Customer surveys revealed a disappointing 73% satisfaction rate.

A relatively poor customer experience resulting from inconsistent call quality and slow response to e-mails.

Low morale resulting from poor, inconsistent or infrequent one to one sessions between line managers and staff.

In 2006 a new performance management framework was introduced into the DVLA Contact Centre. In 2007 the organisation conducted a review of performance management practices, and was disappointed by its findings. The review identified that performance management had not been successfully embedded within the culture or practices of the operation. Both the consistency of implementation and associated management skills were disappointing. The Agency recognised an opportunity to develop a management team that recognised and maximised on performance through people. Ultimately they were looking to develop an environment where, as the Head of Contact Centre said; “people change the shape of their day to become people and performance oriented”. What Did We Do? Having understood the management team’s desire to build an effective, proactive and motivated management community, we first needed gain a picture of how they were currently operating. A full training diagnostic was undertaken culminating in the design of a 12 month management development programme that would equip the management team with the skills, knowledge, desire and confidence to take control and ensure maximum performance. During the initial design and continuously throughout the delivery of the programme a collaborative approach was taken with regular project meetings, post pilot reviews and an open and honest 2 way flow of feedback. This approach ensured that the programme achieved its objectives in conjunction with the changing and varied demands of the C.E.G, and not in spite of it. The staged programme, designed to build a momentum of learning, self discovery and performance improvement was built around the following workshops: 20

Contact Centre Vision & Culture.

Levering Performance in a Contact Centre.

Getting Optimum Performance in a Contact Centre.

Building & Motivating Contact Centre Teams.

Advanced Contact Centre Management Skills.

Maximising the Effectiveness of a Contact Centre Leader.

The programme was branded ‘Momentum’ and followed roadmap of development activities including workshop delivery described above, action learning, coaching and learning surgeries. The following diagram illustrates the Momentum Programme:

Each workshop was designed to be interactive, fun, thought provoking, challenging and pragmatic; providing delegates with practical tools, techniques and approaches whilst also tackling the mindset shift that was required. A key factor in the success of the programme was the work that took place outside of the classroom through pre-work, action learning, development surgeries and 1:1 coaching. Pre-work was designed to ensure that delegates arrived at workshops engaged and ready for learning; for example compiling performance stats and KPI’s for their team prior to the levering workshop highlighted the gaps in the way they were measuring performance and lay the ground for an open debate. 21

Action learning sets were created to ensure that delegates implemented their learning into the live environment with the expectation that they would share case studies and best practice with their peers at regular intervals after each workshop delivery. After each workshop delivery every individual manager received focussed 1:1 coaching consolidation with a Blue Sky Training Consultant to support them in making their new skills and knowledge work in the reality of their role. Delegates were then provided with further support by their own managers in the form of development surgeries, where they could share their action plans and discuss their successes and challenges in a focussed way. Who we did it for More than 120 EO and HEO managers have taken part in the Momentum Programme since early 2007. What was the outcome? Feedback received at the scheduled Coaching Sessions and Learning Sets indicates that managers are demonstrating a greater sense of confidence, accountability and consistency in people and performance management issues. Impact in the workplace The ‘momentum’ programme successfully maintained the impact as evidenced by the graphs below (training began Jan-07 yet impact has been maintained, and in many cases, improved). ♌

E-mails answered in a day increasing from an average of 68% before the training to 99% now (Mar-08): 100.0%

e-mails answered in 1 day 75.0%



0.0% 2006


2008 (to date)


CQC’s (quality assessments) increased from an average of 86% in 2006 to 94.6% now (against 82% target): 100.0%

Call quality (CQC)




0.0% 2006


2008 (to date)

Unique CLI (first call resolution) increasing from 59.9% to 67.6%

Impact on the customer ♦

An immediate increase in quarterly Mystery Shopper scores from 90% in March 07 to 91%.

Customer satisfaction increasing from 73% when surveyed in June 07 to 84% now.

Total complaints reducing from 87 y/e Mar-07 to 59 y/e Mar-08. 100

Annual complaints total 75



0 To Mar 2007 To Mar 2008 Impact on DVLA As a public service, a required measure for the DVLA Contact Centre is the service level. Service level is very seasonal (aligned to peaks in vehicle transactions), so the best way of demonstrating the improvement here is through quarterly year on year comparison as demonstrated below:


2006 2007 2008 75.0%



0.0% June





Value for money As a government Agency, DVLA’s priority is value for money. This is demonstrated by calculating the number of people that would have needed to be recruited to deliver the same uplift in operational productivity: ♦

Cost if through recruitment: £837,750

Cost of training programme: £398,000

This demonstrates that training was more than double the value for money of the other alternative performance has improved as evidenced by: A 2007 CCF European Call Centre Award The programme won the ‘best improvement strategy’ award for 2007.

Accreditation The Momentum programme has gained accreditation by the Customer Contact Association for its Advanced Team Leader Diploma. Managers successfully completing the full programme and meeting the evaluation criteria will receive the qualification in recognition of their achievement.

“I’m stunned by the impact Momentum has had; Blue Sky have exceeded my expectations in every way.”

Ian Broom, Head of the CEG


Virgin Atlantic – 2005 Training Award Winning Performance Improvement Programme Following the 9/11 attacks, bookings dramatically reduced through the Virgin Atlantic call centre. Witness a major culture change… The Blue Sky Solution The only way revenue could be bolstered was to increase the conversion rate of sales enquiries to sales, and reduce the cost of sales. To achieve this, Blue Sky had to develop a sales culture to run alongside the service culture that existed. A separate sales operation was created to handle 80% of the sales calls. Sales staff were recruited, and rewarded through a new bonus scheme linked to new key performance indicators. Sales managers were developed in sales skills, coaching and performance management, with all sales advisors developed through a 3-day sales course. Results “The impact on the business was immediate, and within 3-months the programme had paid for itself,” stated Vanessa Baker, contact centre sales manager. Highlights of the results include: ♦

3% increase in conversion rate from 6% in 2002 to 8% in 2003 and 9% in 2005.

Revenue increased by 48% in 2 years (substantially ahead of the industry average.)

Mori poll showed that 92% of the contact centre sales team were proud to work for Virgin Atlantic.

Award winning performance improvement programme which took them from 12th to 3rd place in the BPA Travel Sector customer service index.

2005 National Training Award with Virgin Atlantic, in sustaining performance over a 3 year period.

"Our decision to appoint Blue Sky for a second time was a result of the excellent work they did for us on the first project we did together, revitalising our UK Contact Centre. On both projects their teams have been very focussed, results driven and a pleasure to work with. It is largely thanks to their involvement that we have achieved so much in creating the most successful contact centre sales team in the airline industry.”


7. Professional Qualifications Blue Sky and/or members of its personnel are members of the following professional organisations or hold the following qualifications: ♦

Prince II Practitioner(s)

Project Management Professional under PMI (Project Management Institute)

SDI Qualified (Strength Deployment Inventory)

Qualified in Behavioural Technology

Psychometrician and MBTI Practitioner(s)

Institute of Direct Marketing

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD)

Association for Management Education & Development

Call Centre Association

Chartered institute of Marketing

NLP Licensed Practitioners

Post Graduate diploma in Executive Coaching

In addition, we have been involved in the following: ♦

Member of Retail Week Judging Panel for Rising Stars 2005

Chair of the European Call Centre of the Year Judges Panel 2002

Member of the European Call Centre of the Year Judges Panel 2001 - 2008

We are regularly used as consultants to the Industry Advisory Boards on best practice issues and have been asked by the BBC to be the subject matter experts in areas relating to customer service and sales management for their launch of BBC Worldwide Learning.


Introducing Blue Sky Performance Improvment  
Introducing Blue Sky Performance Improvment  

An information pack to introduce Bearmach Ltd to Blue Sky and our services