11th May 2017 3 minute read
You’re taking a risk. Christmas may seem a long way off (just over 30 weeks if you’re counting) but businesses with an end-of-year Peak to prepare for will already be making their plans to ramp up, calculating how many additional advisors they need to deal with the surge in customer enquiries. And if they’re not already thinking about it, they’re taking a massive gamble with perhaps their most critical trading period of the year. A bad Peak can sabotage a year’s worth of financial targets.
For many Capita Customer Management clients the planning is now well underway, and spring is a key time to get the fundamentals into place.
So as Peak preparation starts to heat up, we ask three Capita experts what the secrets are to getting it right. Today it’s Martin West, Capita Planning Director (Operations).
Unsurprisingly, as Planning Director for the UK, I have to say that good planning is one of the key things for a good Peak! This means getting as much information as we can from our clients in terms of their business projections, so we can start planning how we are going to provide the right level of skilled resource, at the right time and in the right location, to enable our operations to deliver a great Peak.
There are many factors that we need to consider as part of this planning process including recruitment (can we physically recruit that number of people in that location), training (do we have the trainers and the rooms to train our new people), space (do we have the desks and physical space to seat our new recruits) and technology (do we have the IT connectivity and telephony in place to enable our new people to answer the customers’ calls). All of these areas influence our Peak plans, and so the sooner we can get started on it in the year, the better.
Finally, we need to plan for the unexpected. Six to nine months ahead of Peak for a lot of our clients does mean that invariably things will change. Therefore my team needs to get a really good feel for the ‘art of the possible’ within their accounts and within their regions. As we get closer to Peak for each client, those plans will get tighter. This enables us to lock down more and more of the resource plans, right down to the launch day, when we will manage the delivery of resources through our real-time Service Delivery teams.
In a good Peak there should be no surprises, and therefore good preparation is key. Work closely with each client well ahead of time, get a good understanding of what each client expects from us (as it can be different to what we think), and then work with each support department (e.g. recruitment, training, IT, facilities etc.) to ensure all our building blocks are in place.
I think we have some of the best Planners in the UK working for Capita. We also have a vast range of skills and knowledge across multiple business types and sectors. This is critical for planning as it means we can call on each other’s expertise to help out where needed. We can flex our Planning resource quickly where needed, both in terms of manpower and skills & knowledge. We have our plan; we know what levers we can pull.
To read more about how Capita Customer Management can help you achieve operational excellence for Peak, click here.