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As a leading merchant banking group, this organisation was one of the first in the UK to build a significant customer base in premium finance for general insurance products.

To build and maintain their competitive edge, the bank invested in a strategic transformation of their contact centre.

The programme realised a step change improvement in contact centre capacity, performance and customer engagement.

SQS was brought on board to act as a bridge between the business and technology teams. In this capacity SQS ensured the business requirements were fit for purpose, and were accurately implemented in the solution.

The engagement of SQS as a quality partner:

  • transformed the capability of the solution delivery team,
  • accelerated delivery,
  • assured contact centre operation goals,
  • and ultimately assured customer outcomes.


Rapid addition of new and expanding product lines placed existing customer support processes and systems under pressure. The leadership team demanded much better visibility and insights into customer engagement levels and contact centre productivity.

The bank made a strategic decision to upgrade their frontline contact centre solution to a Cisco Interactive Voice Response (IVR) product; this was the bedrock of expanded call handling capacity. An integration roadmap brought the wider business application landscape into play and unlocked the potential for a seamless customer experience across all channels.

The challenge for the bank was to ensure they had the right capability in place to land the solution and realise the desired business outcomes. As with many organisations, the bank had to address the dislocation of technology teams from the business.

The bank’s testing and quality model would have to realise an unprecedented level of effectiveness to protect customers from previous issues, such as dropped calls and inefficient call routing.

The bank needed a partner with a track record of successfully steering clients through exactly these sorts of challenges.


Rapid Onboarding

SQS came to the bank equipped with deep sector knowledge, combined with expertise in the key technology platform – Cisco IVR.

SQS consultants very quickly captured the unique elements of the bank workflows by embedding with contact centre and business operations teams. By conducting on-site research and analysis of historical project and production issues, SQS built a risk map of the business processes and architecture landscape.


The disconnect between business and technology teams was addressed at a number of levels.

  1. The bank’s business teams, in-house BAs and technology teams, were brought together by SQS in joint requirements workshop sessions. This gave the business more of a role and a stake in requirements quality;
  2. The business teams benefited from iterative “show and tell” sessions, run by SQS, that brought requirements and design features to life.

Defect and issue management

During the build and test phases, SQS took ownership of defect and issue management.

Important features of this service included:

  • Agreement amongst the delivery partners on SLAs for issue investigation and resolution;
  • An effective process for triage, allocation, escalation and tracking of defects through to resolution;
  • A common understanding between the business and Cisco engineers of the nature of integration defects, root causes and business impact.
  • The impact on delivery progress was significant, manifesting as:
  • Rapid turnaround of fixes to integration issues (IVR solution and business applications);
  • Better stakeholder decision making on issue prioritisation, escalation and closure.


SQS rapidly translated the bank’s business user and customer workflows, specialist knowledge and expectations into User Acceptance Tests.

By taking on the heavy lifting of test preparation, execution, results analysis, reporting and re-testing of defect fixes, SQS freed the business and operational teams to focus on day-today commitments.

Sustained value

Well-structured, documented and repeatable test packs empowered the business to engage more deeply in future projects. The culture shifted, with testing now seen as an essential mechanism to fully realise the value of technology and business change.


The solution provided the bank with a broader and more powerful set of capabilities to measure, control and tailor customer experience.

The partnership with SQS was an enabler and accelerator of value from change activity. By providing the business a low impact route to deeper project involvement, the bank was able to achieve a well specified solution, accurately implemented, within the committed timescales.

Value unlocked

The delivery provided immediate value to the business:

Call handling capacity and efficiency were substantially improved (the first evidence of this emerged from SQS testing metrics);

  • Greater ability to identify priority customers and tailor their experience;
  • Greater levels of process automation (through IVR integration with bank applications);
  • More efficient deployment of contact centre staff, to deal with peak and lean call volume periods.

“The SQS team optimised delivery under very tight constraints. Great flexibility“ CCT Solution Architect

“Focus and pragmatic prioritization by the SQS team“ Senior Business Analyst

“Great expertise from the SQS team – worked well with the business users. Level of support for UAT was excellent“ Contact Centre Business Champion

Find out more

Read about how SQS is helping financial services organisations improve their customer experience here.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you by:

Sending us an email: info@sqs.com.

Filling in our contact form here.

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