Presentation | 1st October 2015, 10:00 – 12:00



Phil Marston - Executive Director

Steve Dunk - Executive Director

Jade Holt - Head of Operations

John Bruce - IT, Security and Crisis Planning




Social and Community

Aspect system



New ideas

Commercial model







  • Sales acquisition – 50% - Hull

  • Upsell quad play – 50% - Hull

  • Verification – 100% - Bucharest

  • Loyalty disconnections – 60% - Hull

  • Loyalty TV disconnections – 60% - Hull

  • Loyalty cancellations – 100% - Hull

  • Loyalty chat – 100% - Bucharest

  • Sales chat – 100% - Bucharest

  • Social and community – 100% - Hull / Bucharest

  • Correspondence / complaints – 100% - Hull / Stornoway



  • Sharing the journey. Sharing the success. We win together.




  • Major technical upgrade

  • Self-service support

  • New insight department

  • True partnership commercials

  • Social and community

  • Complaint credit verification

  • Senior appointments

Our response to the Question Set


1.2 Outline your plan for TalkTalk’s Stornoway site

We plan to take over responsibility for the site in Stornoway and maintain the staffing. This will be subject to TUPE and we will require detailed knowledge of individual employees’ terms, conditions and tenure to be able to calculate the precise implications of this. We have handled TUPE transfers previously and this will be handled for us by our employment lawyers, Charles Russell Speechly Bircham who have vast experience in this field. We will supplement the Stornoway headcount with a new sister team in Hull to give us additional scalability and flexibility.

1.3 Outline your plan for TalkTalk’s Warrington site

We plan to site Social and Community ideally in Bucharest or alternatively in Hull depending on the appetite at TT for handling the work at our offshore location. We assume the staff currently engaged on the activity will have transfer rights under TUPE and this will be handled as above.

1.4 Outline how you will support the reduction of the agent headcount and achieve 90% self serve

We understand and support the initiatives designed to allow significant headcount reduction over the next three years. Built into our proposal is flexibility to scale operations up and down according to requirement. For example, chat and social are likely to increase as these channels become increasingly popular while voice naturally decreases. We are also proposing initiatives to encourage engagement with self serve at point of sale which will naturally increase customers’ use of self serve during their lifetime with TT. Since February, with strategic business changes and the removal of superfluous calls from the sales channels, we have proactively managed a decrease in headcount across TT Business, BV, New Acq and In-Life amounting to around 150 heads. This has been achieved whilst maintaining productivity and managing staff morale. This demonstrates our ability to manage a downward headcount over the duration of the contract.

1.5 Outline how you will support the first ever truly integrated quad play service experience

Our proposal will give TalkTalk a multiskilled quadplay workforce at a single site, experienced in every stage of the customer journey. Our current TalkTalk agents are trained and expert in all four of the Quadplay products; voice, broadband, TV and mobile. We have been involved in voice sales and retention non-stop since 2001. We were involved with TalkTalk in the launches of free broadband and again with TV. We have a great deal of experience in mobile with both TalkTalk and EE. In addition we engage with the customer at every point of the journey from pre-sale, sale, early-life, customer support, retention and post retention. Finally we engage with customers across a range of channels; obviously voice but also sms, email and chat.

1.6 Outline how you would support the service model shift towards digital service and self service

Our documents sets out our commitment to investing in a truly Omni-channel technical upgrade to support this. This will offer seamless integration of all channels including social/community and webchat. We envisage exponential increase in Social activity and are proposing a dedicated team headed by a recognised figure in the industry. The team will co-ordinate detailed insight from the channel to be collated and presented to inform trends and future strategy.

1.7 Demonstrate your track record in delivering quality performance across multiple skill sets

Our document covers our levels of experience. We would point to our 10 years of partnership with TalkTalk in dealing with customers both new and established. We also have a great deal of experience in loyalty, some with TalkTalk but also in the utilities field and, notably, with EE. With regards to quality, we feel that we have always balanced the incessant demand for results in-the-now with the need to deliver long-term quality. Our quality scores stand up against any other partner.



2.1 Demonstrate how you will improve customer experience and drive significant improvements in ASAT, CSAT, CR7 for Tech CR14 and CR21

Clearanswer has always invested heavily in equipping our front-line team with the best interpersonal skills. In addition to our own in house training, which places much emphasis on rapport building, we utilise NLP training methods to give our established agents greater insight into the intricacies of handing individual customers with genuine empathy. Ultimately, the customer is most satisfied if the agent they first speak to is able to resolve their issue satisfactorily and without passing them from pillar to post. Our document explains how our technical solution will allow integrated communication with customers whichever channel they choose by which to contact us. We have always been advocates of first-contact-fix – allowing all agents access to the tools to allow them to resolve the customer’s query first time as often as possible. Our systems will integrate with all such tools and will facilitate first time resolution.

2.2 Outline how you will develop agents to support the softer skills of performance / language / empathy / rapport building

We will continue to invest in training, both internal and external, to equip our agents with the best interpersonal skills.

2.3 Outline how you will develop agents to ensure they are technically astute

Currently we do not deliver and specific technical support activity. However, our TalkTalk in-life agents have demonstrated capability in this area and with the right access to tools and specific training we could certainly deliver technical support. This would be a significant step forward towards maximising first-time resolution.



3.1 Outline your management structure to support TalKTalk

We have a proud record of working shoulder to shoulder with TalkTalk as a strategic partner. Our proposed management structure is set out in our document. It is composed primarily of long-term managers proven in delivering year-on-year for TalkTalk and is supplemented with some new appointments in recognition of the need to develop in new areas of activity.

3.2 Provide short biographies of the proposed team for the account

See charts on supporting proposal documents.

3.3 Outline your approach to consumer revolution, by supporting project development and design, and landing initiatives and their benefits

One feature of our proposal is a commitment to spearheading the exchange of information and dissemination of insight. Our dedicated insight team, which is established in Bucharest, will be enhanced and will be at the disposal of TalkTalk senior managers. So, in addition to supplying regular insight around specified requirements, they will be available to supply presentations in response to ad hoc requests for insight of specific issues as and when required. Our new social and community operation will also be tasked with producing weekly insight into issues trending on social media and the lessons we can take from them. The plan is for the team to report their findings weekly to inform marketing and loyalty activity and emerging strategy.

3.4 Outline the dedicated resource to the transition if the tender was won

Once the tender is won we will establish a dedicated team at Clearanswer to ensure changes are managed seamlessly. This will be headed by Jean Davies, an executive director of the company. Jean has vast experience in transitioning change: She launched from scratch a written correspondence and complaints team at Telewest She transitioned VUE Cinemas customer service activity from a voice-based system in Ireland to a similar operation in the UK and ultimately to a self-service IVR proposition She personally managed Britannia Music’s customer service operation from the UK to Mumbai, spending 6 months in India to ensure the operation was properly embedded She managed our own move, overnight, from a hosted facility at Kingston Communications to our own premises in Essex House.

3.5 Describe the experience of persons to be assigned to the project

Jean will put together a team from within Clearanswer (and from without if required) to ensure that all activities are transitioned fluidly and without loss of service.



4.1 Outline what insight and added value you can offer to TalkTalk

As set out in our document and above, we are proposing a major dedicated insight team for the use of managers both at Clearanswer and at TalkTalk. We are also establishing a new Social and Community insight throughput to report weekly to senior managers at TalkTalk.

4.2 Outline what innovations/new ideas you can demonstrate to TalkTalk

Our document sets out some of the value-add initiative we are proposing. These include: Dedicated insight team | New social and community insight provision | Self-service support in new acquisition | Massive investment in Omni-channel technology | Complaint credit verification team | Significant new appointments | True partnership commercial model

4.3 Outline what thought leadership you can offer TalkTalk

Our commitment is to ensure the relationship becomes a true strategic partnership with ongoing exchange of information, which can help drive strategy. The fact-based insight we will derive both from the insight team and from the social and community team will be the property of both Clearanswer and TalkTalk and will be invaluable in driving informed strategic thinking.

4.4 Outline your track record in driving innovation, particularly in digital service

We have a proud record of innovating alongside TalkTalk over the past ten years. These include: Switching an outbound team into an inbound operation to support the launch of free broadband | Proposing, designing and launching the field sales verification operation | Designing the SMS based AC check, reducing costs by 95% | Integrating field agents’ tablet based sales into the FSV data capture | The design of dashboard reporting



5.1 Describe what measures exist within your organisation with respect to assurance of client confidentiality

The data for each client is stored in a separate location to the data of other clients to ensure only the people that need to access the data have those permissions. All desktops connected to the domain are locked down to stop people being able to use USB Drives to transfer data out of the call centre, this is done at a DC level and neither agents nor managers are able to remove this restriction. We have network monitoring tools to detect when a new connection to a cloud service is made on the network, this raises a ticket with IT who can further investigate why the connection was made. We also monitor network traffic by machine and tickets are automatically raised with IT when a station exceeds a set threshold. We can then investigate why this station is transferring so much data.

5.2 Outline the accountability structure that exists in your organisation for information security

The IT team are responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of the network to ensure all security measures are upheld. This includes responding to tickets that are raised automatically by the network monitoring software and performing visual checks on a morning to ensure that no agents or managers have anything connected to their machines that shouldn’t be. Any issues that are found are relayed back to John Bruce and John McGinnes who will document and take the appropriate action.

5.3 Outline your process for monitoring and preventing cyber and security attacks

We have quarterly external penetration scans performed on our network to check for weaknesses. We recently passed our latest scan so are confident our external network will withstand a cyber attack. In addition to the scans we have an ASV perform we have monitoring software built into the firewall that blocks, logs, and alerts IT to any possible attempt by somebody to enter the network maliciously.

5.4 Outline your propose escalation process in the event of a breach of security event

A member of the IT team will escalate to John Bruce and John McGinnes to log and investigate. Any confirmed breaches will then be reported directly to the company directors who will liaise directly with the client.

5.5 Confirm your acceptance that we can audit your compliance with IT/Data security measures

We are happy to allow external auditors access.

5.6 Do you have current ISO 27001 certification?

Yes. We have only recently had this certification renewed and a copy can be provided.

5.7 Outline your proposal for disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is a fundamental part of the ISO27001 accreditation. As part of this we have a DR team which is made up of people from Facilities, HR, IT and Operations who have a quarterly review to ensure that the processes within the plan are current and relevant based on the latest internal and external environment and current challenges/priorities. The DR plan is currently split into three different elements that can be invoked either in a combined or isolated manner The main TalkTalk campaigns are performed in Hull but we also have two further sites in Leeds and Bucharest. By utilising a cloud based IP Contact centre we have the ability to easily manage the deployment of telephony and systems across an infinite number of physical locations. Dependant on the disaster we would firstly make a decision on whether it would be possible to handle calls on a different floor within Essex House, Hull, this may be appropriate if there was a physical issue within a wing (flood, electrical issue etc.…), we currently have a DR wing (180 seats) full equipped with PCs and headsets that we can immediately switch on. If we have a disaster that means we can’t operate within the building we would look to re-route calls to Bucharest or Leeds. From a physical call handling perspective we have an Inbound team doing TalkTalk Field Sales verification work in Bucharest that could handle overflowed calls immediately, also we would have a pool of other staff that could handle calls as needed. Leeds is physically one hour away from Hull, in the Leeds centre we have physical connectivity back to Hull to allow utilisation of resources as needed. As the call centre solution is cloud based (Aspect Zipwire) we can handle the calls across any site or location while still maintaining the functionality and processes. We have an arrangement with a local coach company to transfer staff across to Leeds at short notice; in addition the train station is in close proximity to both offices so this is also an option. The Leeds site is equipped with around 100 seats that can be utilised immediately. The third option is to utilise homeworkers. We have a register of eligible homeworkers that we maintain as we take on new employees, this is dictated by the availability and expected speed of broadband at the employees’ homes. In addition we have a small amount of locked down laptops that are secure and configured to connect to the cloud contact centre. In essence the laptop just needs connecting to the agents home network and they would have all the functionality that they have in the office. A requirement related to ISO27001 is to regularly review and test the DR process. We review on a quarterly basis and do a live test on all 3 elements of the DR plan twice a year.

5.8 Please provide details of your internal standards and controls with regard to data protection, access, security, retention and recovery

Data is stored separately for each client to ensure only the people that need to see the data can see the data. Agents and managers have locked down security policies to stop them getting information out of the network on USB drives or via the Internet. All databases we use are password protected and the physical servers the data is stored on are in a server room with limited, time sensitive, key card access, always on CCTV, and environment monitoring sensors. The data we keep is only held for as long as needed by the campaign, as soon as the data is no longer needed for either dialling or reporting it is removed from the databases and any other copies are destroyed. All servers that hold critical data are backed up each night where a differential backup is performed. This allows us to restore an image of the server to a redundant server within a few hours resulting in a minimal of downtime and 0% data loss.



6.1 Outline your commercial approach to support the shift in the commercial model to drive first contact reduction, first time fix and provide a better customer experience

We have set out in our document the logic of our simple, aligned commercial proposal. This is a radical change reflecting true partnership and sharing both the journey and the success. For each activity we are proposing a simple, standard hourly rate. Payable as now only in respect of front line agents, this is a base price designed to break even on the cost of proving a full, properly managed and compliant team on behalf of TalkTalk. The radical part of the proposal is the removal of commissions or accelerators based on short-term measures, to be replaced with quarterly bonuses based on the true measures of TalkTalk’s success. We have proposed share price, new customer and churn numbers and ARPU since these are defined, clear and of strategic importance, but this is by no means a definitive list.

6.2 Outline your approach to support the shift to a 12% transfer rate

We support minimising transfer rates. One of the main drivers of customer dissatisfaction is the inability of their first point of contact to take ownership of, and resolve, their query. We have always canvassed for all agents in the business to have access to the widest range of tools to enable them to address the customer’s issue without the need to transfer. Following this RFP we will have more touch points with the customer than we do currently. One of our internal measures on which agents will be incentivised will be their transfer rate. Our proposed commercial model will rely on increasing levels of customer satisfaction and this will not be achievable without addressing the transfer rates.

6.3 Outline your commercial approach to support the shift to repeat contacts, transfers, escalations and move away from voice contacts to digital contacts

As above. We are committed to these aims as part of the bigger picture. Ultimately, the true measures of business success including those we have outlined above, will not be achieved unless these contributory factors are addressed.


Web chat


Social and community



Aspect system

Omni channel











Ext surveys


New ideas

Credit verification

Self serve support


The commercial model



6.1   Inbound new acquisition > HULL


Based on 50% of all traffic

  • 105 FTE
  • 12,274 hours per month
  • £19.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £21.85 equates to
    • £10.43 per call handled
    • £20.05 per sale




Based on 50% of all traffic

Based on weblines being 33% of traffic

  • 35 FTE
  • 2,035 hours per month
  • £18.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £20.85 equates to
    • £5.00 per call handled
    • £9.61 per sale





Based on 50% of all traffic

  • 70 FTE
  • 8,230 hours per month
  • £19.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £21.85 equates to
    • £9.65 per call handled
    • £37.13 per upsell



6.3   Field sales verification > Bucharest


Based on 100% of all traffic

  • Per-talk-minute pricing
  • No risk to TT, we are responsible for scheduling
  • 30p per talk minute
  • Target talk time of 40 minutes per hour
  • OTE £12.00 per agent hour



6.4   Loyalty disconnections


Based on 60% of all traffic

  • 94 FTE
  • 10,932 hours per month
  • £19.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £21.85 equates to
    • £6.50 per call handled



6.5   Loyalty TV disconnections > HULL


Based on 60% of all traffic

  • 102 FTE
  • 11,887 hours per month
  • £19.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £21.85 equates to
    • £6.71 per call handled



6.6   Loyalty cancellations > HULL


Based on 100% of all traffic

  • 24 FTE
  • 2,792 hours per month
  • £19.85 base rate
  • £0-£5 bonus per hour paid quarterly based on TT KPIs
  • OTE £21.85 equates to
    • £5.03 per call handled



6.7   Live chat > Bucharest


100% of Sales live chat 

  • 20 FTE handling
  • 4x concurrent chats

100% of Loyalty live chat

  • 18 FTE handling
  • 4x concurrent chats
  • Flat rate price of 95p per completed chat



6.8   Social and community > HULL or BUCHAREST


100% of activity

  • Initial 11 FTE based in either Hull or Bucharest but expected to grow quickly
  • Flat £10 per hour in Bucharest
    • Equates to £1.47 per per post handled on stated volume / AHT
  • Flat £18.85 per hour in Bucharest
    • Equates to £2.76 per per post handled on stated volume / AHT



6.9   Correspondence and complaints > Stornoway & Hull

  • Retain existing operation in Stornoway
  • Take over existing lease and TUPE existing staff
  • Agree current costs plus 10% for management
  • Establish sister operation in Hull to give scalability and options post-2017
  • Future pricing to be agreed but to follow the ‘break-even-plus-quarterly-bonus’ model





What we’ll deliver...

  • Flexibility

  • Intelligence

  • Quality

  • Proactive

  • Transparency

  • Communication

  • Innovation


TT + Clearanswer logos_2.jpg

Sharing the journey. Sharing the success.

We win together.