Develop Life - People, Project, Knowledge

Case Study - Omni-Channel Service Partner Procurement

To meet their customer demand as part of its commitment to the "Better City, Better Lives" programme, this high-profile London Council's vision was to enable and empower its customers to transact with its services quickly and easily at any time, and through any channel.

Part of this vision was to be delivered through the transition of Council Contact Centre services to a new Service Provider and in a new operating model that embodies Channel Shift signposting to new online functionality via the Council's new website.

Overview and approach

Peter Venn was brought in by the Council to advise on all elements of the Contact Centre Service Provider procurement and subsequent transition of services. He was recruited because of his experience in three key areas:

  • Setting up and managing contact centres
  • Service partner management
  • Self-serve channel switch programmes.

Understanding how outsource Service Providers operate, Peter was able to contribute to a clear, concise and well-defined Service Specification, guaranteeing that responders could be evaluated effectively and consistently. Additionally, using his commercial expertise around how service providers cost, he was able to recommend a pricing model within the Invitation to Tender that ensured that any contract could be managed effectively, with KPIs that provided early warning against any behaviours that could drive cost up.

However, the essence of the approach Peter took was around people. Understanding that, in a period of great change, it is people, not process nor technology, that will create success or risk failure, we were able to ensure Council contribution and buy-in throughout the programme, by engaging with internal colleagues in the public service departments, Procurement, Legal, Finance and Contracts Management.

Phased Approach

Peter's involvement in the project was over several phases:

Invitation to Tender

  • Working with the Services to document a robust requirement that service providers could understand and quote against
  • Recommending a suite of KPIs that would drive the right behaviours and provide an early warning of bad habits
  • Recommending a set of pricing models that would encourage channel shift.
Tender Evaluation
  • Including design of evaluation matrix in 3 levels across multiple method statements.
Transition Planning
  • Reducing transition risks through creating and managing a multi-level project plan that allowed for a managed transition of services over a 4-month period.
Service Readiness
  • Ensuring that all channel shift opportunities were captured and embedded in the Service Specifications and system scripts, so that the new operating model could be assured.
  • Developing a multi-faceted induction programme that brought Westminster into the Contact Centre and created a true affinity to the Brand Values and essential behaviours of the Council.


The Contact Centre is at the heart of the new Council Customer Service operating model which is now delivering:

  • The ability for customers to complete end-to-end transactions using self-service, thus enabling channel shift away from telephone and face-to-face channels towards self-service, while delivering improved customer experience
  • Efficient and effective assisted self-service where pure self-service is not possible
  • Improvements in the back office thus reducing process failure and removing inefficiency
  • Customer intelligence to help shape future service delivery
  • Cost savings of around 6Million GBP per annum against the previous Contact Centre contractual arrangement.

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