Achieving greatness through agility and compliance

Back to All Posts

James Hinchliffe 13th December 2018 5 minute read

Achieving greatness through agility and compliance

Voice Group was acquired by Capita in 2015 as a specialist sales and retention operation, with a reputation for effectively driving short, tactical sales campaigns that deliver fast-acting revenue boosts for clients facing challenging sales situations. Here, founder and Managing Director James Hinchliffe discusses the increased focus on agility and compliance in the industry, and how motivating people to achieve greatness is the key to making it work. (From an article originally published in our June 2018 edition of Intelligence.)

Seeing what a broader partnership could bring, without having to commit to it upfront for several years, works really well in today’s market. Try before you buy, if you like. I see this as an opportunity for clients to explore what wider capabilities Capita Customer Management can deliver; we have varied propositions for achieving different objectives, and a partnership can develop steadily, in its own time.

We’re an agile business because that’s the only way we can survive and grow. We are only ever as good as yesterday’s results. That’s our world, and the idea of signing a five-year contract upfront is kind of unheard of - we have to prove ourselves first. Most of our contracts have a 90-day exit clause if we consistently underperform.

Agility is also essential as our business needs to react in real time to what’s happening in the market.

We operate in a world where any client may phone us and say, “We need an additional 20 people in the next 48 hours. Can you do it?” We have to be able to say yes, because if we don’t, one our competitors will. In the past we’ve recruited up to 100 people in less than a week to get something up and running, and you can only do that if the idea of agility runs through your entire organisation and forms part of the culture.

Compliance comes to the forefront

I think one of the biggest changes in our world over the last five years has been that compliance and quality are now at the very forefront of sales conversations, to the point where you may have several meetings with a potential client discussing those subjects before the word ‘sales’ is even used.

For example, a business may have fallen foul of an industry regulatory body, and they know they absolutely cannot afford to drop the ball. We have to be able to prove we are a supremely safe pair of hands and have a deep appreciation and knowledge of their specific regulatory requirements and guidelines. With GDPR we are required to know the provenance of any data we might utilise and that customers have opted-in to marketing. Our teams cannot do anything that could possibly be construed as mis-selling and have to ensure we meet the customer’s needs. PCI compliance when taking payment details is another area for compliance to reduce the risk of potential fraud. Therefore, we deploy the latest technology in this space so that no payments details are heard, seen or stored.

The great people challenge

I don’t think I’ll say anything different from my Customer Management colleagues here but the biggest challenge is people, first and foremost. We are a people business. 75% of our costs go on recruiting, training and retaining the best people, and keeping them motivated to deliver for our clients and the business.

This is a tough environment. They may get 30 ‘no’s before they get a ‘yes’, so they have to be extraordinarily resilient to come back to each new call with a smile. The pressure is on and results are measured every 15 minutes – how many people have you spoken to, how many people have you converted? They are measured to the nth degree, so it’s no surprise that ever more time and effort goes into keeping those teams engaged, coached and supported. I don’t think there’s a TV game show we’ve not adapted to drive performance and engagement across the teams. And you’ve got to keep it fresh – what worked yesterday won’t work today.

But what I think helps us deliver this is the fact that we, as a senior management team, all started life on the phones. We can look at everything through the eyes of the advisor, because we’ve done it ourselves – what encourages them, what excited them, and what demotivates them! It plays a huge part in establishing the culture and the buzz that we have – and I really don’t think you’ll find that anywhere else.

Great people are integral to our business. To find out about how our teams and individuals have helped to make a meaningful difference to our clients and their customers, read our September 2018 edition of Intelligence here.

Why fixing a customer’s complaint really is the least you can do

by Tracey Roberts 26/07/2019

5 minute read

Read the article

Why being alert to emotional context can boost customer satisfaction and benefit the bottom line

by Kerry Edwards 25/07/2019

5 minute read

Read the article

Keeping your promises? Here’s what your customers think

by Jo Causon 22/07/2019

5 minute read

Read the article

Contact us

News & blog

Read the news & blog

Capita PLC Head Office: The Copyright Building, 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR

Registered in England No. 01336850. Part of Capita plc.
© Copyright Capita PLC 2019