Barratt achieves 400 appointments per week with centralised customer service and sales from Ventrica
Barratt Developments Plc (barrattdevelopments.co.uk) is the nation’s largest housebuilder, creating great new places to live throughout Britain. Its vision is to lead the future of housebuilding by putting customers at the heart of everything it does. Building the highest quality homes recognised by its HBF 5 star customer rating, Barratt is the only major housebuilder to have achieved this for the sixth consecutive year.
The company builds both private and affordable housing and in its last financial year delivered 14,838 new homes. Providing a broad product offering with prices for its private homes outside of London ranging from c. £70,000 to more than £1m, the group’s three core brands includes Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Barratt London. In total the Group directly employs around 5,750 people and has committed to recruiting 1,100 new apprentices, graduates and trainees over a three year period.
Challenge – Wanted to enhance customer service and maximise footfall to developments
Head of Sales at Barratt, Ed McCoy explains, “We’d worked with an outsourced contact centre for around 6-7 years but we felt we needed more services and timely reporting that would help us to enhance our overall customer satisfaction levels. We therefore decided that we needed a partner that could meet these additional demands and had more sophisticated capabilities including the expertise and resources to manage multi-channels of customer contact on our behalf, so we could ultimately increase the footfall across all our developments.”
The Solution – An in-depth tender process led us to Ventrica – “the right fit for our business”
To find the right partner Barratt undertook a long, in-depth tender process that involved reviewing a number of potential outsourcers. Ventrica was shortlisted to the final two and according to Ed was finally selected because “they were the right fit for our business and impressed us the most. We held a familiarisation day at our offices and of all the candidates it was Ventrica who stood out – they asked the most questions and they really did their homework. They were the most engaged of all the outsourcers that we looked at and produced the most detailed and comprehensive proposal. The quality of people was also paramount because when you’re purchasing a property it’s often one of the most significant purchases you’ll make during a lifetime and you need a lot of hand-holding. Ventrica already had experience in our sector and we could see that the quality of their account management was excellent.
Ventrica’s flexibility was also key, because unlike the ‘take it or leave it’ approach of other outsourcers, they were prepared to create an operations model that was tailored to our needs and would be able to deliver a sophisticated, centralised sales and service strategy, using multiple channels.”
Results – Centralised omni-channel customer service & sales hub that generates 400 appointments weekly and boasts impressive C-SAT scores
Ventrica now manages all enquiries on behalf of Barratt for all of its key brands including Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Barratt London, 7 days a week. Not only does Ventrica handle all inbound calls, they also provide assistance via other channels including webchat and in the near future will also manage contact via social media.
“an extension of our sales team”
As well as responding to enquiries, “Ventrica is” says Ed “an extension of our sales team, as they proactively follow up any new or current opportunities. For instance someone may have asked for a brochure or requested some information via the website and then is followed up with a phone call.”
“As part of its sales efforts, Ventrica is responsible for creating 400 appointments for viewings every week and for every conversation they have with a prospective buyer, they have achieved very good conversion rates for confirmed viewings.”
According to Ed, the on-going robust management information (MI) that Ventrica provides to Barratt is used to continually transform overall service and sales conversions. He comments, “The MI helps us to drive insight and this goes back into driving the overall quality of service.”
“Fantastic” C-SAT scores
Barratt has also witnessed extremely strong C-SAT ratings whilst working with Ventrica who are responsible for moderation. “We’ve seen fantastic quality scores.” says Ed.
Consistent and proactive nurturing of sales on behalf of 600 advisors
One of the advantages of having a centralised sales hub is that Ventrica can provide a proactive way of nurturing and following up potential sales on behalf of Barratt’s 600 advisors across the country. Ed says, “Our whole sales process is more streamlined, consistent, easier to manage and we can deliver more timely responses to customers. Apart from optimising our overall customer satisfaction levels, our main objective is to increase footfall to our developments and Ventrica provides a pivotal role in making this happen.”
In addition, the Ventrica team also fields calls from third party suppliers such as valuers, lawyers and landlords.
Support for multi-channel and lower costs
Although voice calls represent a large part of customer contact, Ventrica is also communicating with Barratt’s customers via other mediums such as web chat. “At the moment we are just starting to dip our toe in the water, but so far we’ve been impressed with how Ventrica has managed web chat to engage with our on-line visitors which in turn has helped improved conversions and the number of appointments. We also appreciate that we can reduce our costs too, as Ventrica’s advisors are able to manage multiple live chat conversations at once – something that’s not possible on the phone.”
In the future, with Ventrica’s experience in social media management within the property sector, Barratt also plans to consider how truly omni-channel communication can help to boost its service and sales operation still further.
Investment in people pays off
“What we like about Ventrica is that they have the right people with the right skills. Although Ventrica has its own clear quality framework in place that is proactively managed, when we do listen in on calls they are all very good indeed. Ventrica invests significantly in their people and this is reflected in how they are able to guide our customers from the beginning to the end of what can be a tricky journey.
Ventrica’s staff also have the ability to adapt according to which of our brands they are working for. So for instance, for our Barratt London brand we are selling anything from £500,000 to £15million so our clients are often very discerning and demanding. Ventrica’s team has the flexibility to provide a niche service dependent on who they are communicating with.”
“Ventrica helps us to support our philosophy of putting customers at the heart of everything we do.”
• 400 appointments generated per week
• Centralised sales & customer service hub for nationwide enquiries/opportunities
• 10% conversion rate of enquiries leading to viewings
• “Fantastic” C-SAT scores
• Robust MI reporting
• Centralised and consistent sales follow-ups on behalf of 600 sales advisors
• Reduce costs of customer contact with introduction of new, more efficient channels e.g. web chat
• Outbound follow up sales calls to web visitors
• High levels of Quality Assurance results in continued improvements in service
• Support for omni-channel contact inc. social media
• Customised operations model developed specifically for Barratt
• Supports Barratt’s philosophy of “putting customers at the heart of everything we do”
• Expert knowledge of the property sector
• Multi-channel contact handling 7 days a week
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