Reassured has achieved strong business growth over the past 12 months, cementing their position as the UK’s largest FCA regulated life insurance broker.

There is no doubt that the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been and continue to be extremely challenging for the contact centre industry and the wider economy. Therefore, when we were informed of a business doubling their number of UK call centre branches within the pandemic, we wanted to share their story…

Since the first lockdown was enforced, Reassured has welcomed over 300 new employees and opened 5 new contact centres, in Chester, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol and most recently in Cardiff. All new staff have had to be onboarded into the business remotely, which has meant changing our HR, compliance and sales training processes.

But what have the main challenges been and how have Reassured overcome them?

Sales Director at Reassured, Dean Harris:

“We have tried to embrace and enjoy the challenges of switching from office based to home working, concentrating our efforts on engagement through such mediums as Zoom competitions, quizzes; even getting the whole family involved as they have been huge supports to our staff at this time.

Our management teams have had to adapt to a new way of communicating with their frontline agents, learning the positive and negative impact their words can have.

What we have established is that messages that work face to face in buzzy contact centres don’t necessarily have the same desired effect through online communication. Through research and feedback from our teams, we’ve tried to identify the best possible team experience without that face-to-face contact. Often, we have had to adapt our approach depending on the individual to ensure everyone feels fully supported whilst working from home.

 “We have also had to become much more flexible as a business with regards to our working hours, appreciating just how hard it can be to juggle work and home-schooling, whilst being parents/brothers/sisters/carers/spouses.

 “At the end of the day, as a people business, we want to make sure our staff enjoy the best possible working environment and in turn they can ensure the best possible outcomes for our customers.”

 When the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first lockdown was enforced, Reassured purchased hundreds of laptops and transitioned their entire workforce to remote working within 14 days. They developed a home-based telephone system and rolled out 100s of softphones so that frontline sales teams could continue protecting families from their homes. They also had strong of support from their VoIP supplier Telappliant.

Group Systems Manager at Reassured, Trevor Tsang explained:

“All of our business is currently done over the phone, so it is absolutely essential to have a system we can depend on to provide high-quality and reliable calls. Thankfully, Telappliant has delivered on all its promises.

“Apart from its reliability, I love the flexibility VoIPOffice provides. It is very easy to set up new IVRs, add people to the system, shift colleagues in and out of groups and manage all the other day-to-day activities. We also have a lot of software that the system has easily integrated with.”

Instead of furloughing any staff, Reassured set up homeworking models for every employee, which involved retraining an entire department and giving them temporary jobs during the lockdown period.

A new flexible working policy was introduced for frontline agents to help them overcome the challenges of homeworking. 22% of Reassured’s workforce didn’t even have dedicated homeworking spaces, making do with ironing boards and window ledges. The IT department worked round the clock ensuring that technical issues were dealt with efficiently and there was minimal disruption to Reassured’s market-leading service.

Life insurance is one of the few industries who have actually experienced a spike in sales as more people look to secure financial protection for their loved ones, whatever the future holds. However, this period has bought many challenges for our sector.

What Reassured’s recent story does suggest is that our call centre sector is very resilient and adaptable – where there is a will, there is a way.

 

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.