Liberty Global picks Cisco to transform customer service ops

Virgin Media parent enlists Cisco in a bid to transform its customer service experience across Europe

Liberty Global, the communications services provider (CSP) behind the Virgin Media brand, has kicked off the first stage of a major project to transform its customer service experience in an attempt to improve its customer satisfaction metrics.

The organisation currently boasts around 22 million subscribers and six home and business media brands across 12 countries in Europe. These brands were acquired over a number of years, and thus still possess multiple customer systems and ways of operating. Liberty now wants to solve this challenge by addressing the technology underpinning these systems.

By bringing in a single system to support all its customer service requirements, Liberty hopes to simplify its contact centre operations and cut costs through productivity and efficiency gains, ultimately moving to a digital-first customer service model.

“Our customers’ experience of our brands is largely formed by the interaction they have with our support services. We pride ourselves on investment in people and technology to ensure that both our customers and our employees have a great experience,” said Liberty Global’s vice-president of customer experience operations, Mel Longdon.

“With contact centre agents in 12 different countries, we felt that we had reached a point where transformation was necessary to continue delivering the superior customer experience that has become synonymous with our brand,” she said.

“Cisco was the natural choice to help us transform our customer services. We have a fantastic relationship, and Cisco has a clear understanding of our objectives, not least a great track record with previous large-scale contact centre migrations.”

Liberty is rolling out Cisco’s Unified Contact Centre Enterprise portfolio, bringing more advanced interactive voice response (IVR) features, intelligent call routing and new dialler capabilities. In theory, this should help enhance the customer experience by taking inbound callers to the right person first time, improving resolution and cutting both call handling times and abandoned calls.

“Whilst recognising significant advantages for the customer, this single platform not only allows us to reduce our cost to serve, but also enables us to seamlessly integrate to other Cisco and non-Cisco technologies,” said Liberty’s vice-president of transformation delivery, Brian Matulin.

“We pride ourselves on investment in people and technology to ensure that our customers and employees have a great experience”
Mel Longdon, Liberty Global

Around 9,000 users are already understood to be on the new platform, according to Matulin, who added that the organisation was also taking the opportunity to expand access to people who cover other front- and back-of-house activities, not just those who specifically work in its contact centres.

Its engagement with Cisco builds on an earlier project, started in March 2018, which saw Liberty take up with LivePerson, a supplier of cloud mobile and online business messaging applications. Through this partnership, Liberty customers in Austria, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK can now convert inbound calls to local customer service centres into instant messaging chats on their smartphones.

Besides taking steps to address its consumer-facing operations, Liberty Global has also been shoring up the foundations of its network in recent months.

In autumn 2017, it started to roll out Juniper Networks vMX carrier-grade virtual routers across its network footprint to improve its overall performance and achieve cost-effective network scale in support of consumer and enterprise users.

Juniper’s vMX is a full-featured, task-optimised universal edge router running as licensed software on standard x86 server hardware. Liberty is using it as a virtual route reflector to enable efficient and cost-effective control plane scaling and performance.

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