Friends Provident has signed up Graham Technology to implement customer-interaction software that will form a key part of a programme to improve customer service standards across the group.
The pensions and insurance firm plans to roll out Graham Technology’s ciboodle product across its entire customer facing operation, including the contact centre, sales teams, independent financial advisers and partners.
Under the deal, Graham Technology will work with Friends Provident to deliver centralised customer service processes to all of the firm’s customer groups, across all channels – contact centre and self-service – and in all of its geographies. The project will support 2,000 concurrent internal users and unlimited external users.
Richard Crouch, director of customer services at Friends, said the firm’s “Six-star Customer Service” programme was the driver for the latest deal. He said the programme was designed "to ensure that Friends Provident sets the standard for customer service in our industry.”
The first phase of the partnership will see Graham working with Friends' IT staff to deliver a contact centre desktop application.
In May, Friends announced plans to rationalise its contact centre systems with new Genesys telephony and desktop software.
The company said then it would replace its existing two operating systems with the Genesys software over a period of five months, migrating its contact centre in Exeter, Salisbury, Dorking, Preston and Manchester to a single system to enable more efficient call routing and handling.
The insurance company has given itself until the end of 2008 to achieve its vision of introducing a multi-channel system that is driven by each individual customer or intermediary's preferred method of contact.”
Last month Friends and Resolution agreed a merger that will create a combined company worth £8.6bn. Cost savings arising through IT consolidation are key to the merger. Under the plan, there will initially be limited integration of service platforms to minimise disruption, but all new business will transition to Friends Provident's platforms over time.