If you’re not already planning for Peak…

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Capita Customer Management 23rd May 2017 3 minute read

If you’re not already planning for Peak... (Part 3)

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 Karen Brough, Capita Divisional HR Director.

ENGAGEMENT

Early engagement with the client to understand their predicted needs is vital, with good contingency planning built in. Given the pace of change in the retail and technology markets, the ability to adapt rapidly is essential. An unexpected event can drive volumes in a way that means more (or fewer) people could be required at very short notice. So that engagement to really understand what might happen is key.

Also, excellent project management across all workstreams, and in particular, good collaboration with recruitment and learning delivery partners. They need to know what is required and be able to work with us as part of the team. We have to take into account any changes to pay rates that are in line with local market intelligence, so a joined up approach between the operation, HR, CIR and Finance is essential. Working with Learning Services to enable them to plan and deliver what they need is also important. Lately we’ve also been getting better at upskilling Team Managers to step-up during peak, and we’ll improve that even further this year.

Capita has years of experience in Peak planning, and a good track record. That means we can help clients consider points they may not immediately think of, and we can help predict pitfalls and offer solutions. We have also learned and refined how we operate year on year. One example would be the work we’ve done recently with CIR to target new talent pools and recruit peak requirements differently. That might be directly rather than through an agency, or by offering different terms for Peak employees, instead of assuming one size fits all for each Peak client.

Also Peaks traditionally suffer from high attrition rates - not unsurprising when you are bringing in high volumes of new recruits, in a short period of time, to an operation that is under pressure. But we have had some great successes in bringing those rates down. For instance, across a range of our retail clients we’ve seen attrition rates fall by 1.5%, 4.5% even a whopping 12.8% in the lead up to last Christmas!

To read more about how Capita Customer Management can help you achieve operational excellence for Peak, check out the May 2017 edition of Intelligence at our Intelligence report hub here.

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