With nearly 10 million customers, Virgin Media is one of the UK’s leading entertainment and communications businesses and the largest Virgin Company in the world.
Virgin Media was formed through the March 2006 merger of the UK’s two largest cable companies—NTL and Telewest—and the acquisition of Virgin Mobile in July 2006. In June 2013, Virgin Media became part of Liberty Global plc.
Virgin Media was the first company in the United Kingdom to offer a “quadruple play” of fixed-line telephony, TV, broadband and mobile services from a single provider.
Only recently have a few of its competitors looked to offer all four products.
Since the company’s formation and subsequent rebranding, Virgin Media knew that success would require transformation and operational excellence across all areas of the business to become the leader in the UK broadband market.
Concurrently, Virgin Media also wanted to be responsive to their customers’ needs, be more innovative, and be known by its customers as easy to do business with, while managing costs, delivering high-quality products and providing a better customer experience.
To address these goals, Virgin Media collaborated with Accenture in 1999, when Accenture helped design, build and deploy Telewest’s digital television platform.
Since then, Accenture has continued to play a number of key roles in both consulting and outsourcing to streamline operations, help deliver improvements in service, launch new product offerings and help reduce operating costs.
In 2006, Virgin Media entered into a five-year business process outsourcing agreement with Accenture, having chosen Accenture for its breadth of outsourcing capabilities, strong track record in delivering complex and challenging programs, ability to lead change management efforts, commitment to collaboration and continual improvement, and perhaps most importantly, willingness to be flexible around adjusting services to address Virgin Media’s changing business needs.
Today, Accenture is one of Virgin Media’s strategic outsourcing partners, conceptualizing, mobilizing and running business process outsourcing (BPO) engagements from the Accenture Delivery Centers in Bengaluru and Manila. From these locations, Accenture is providing services in order management, customer care and collections across Virgin Media’s cable and mobile businesses. Additionally, Accenture’s Virgin Media IT Excellence Center in Pune delivers application outsourcing (AO) testing services and mobile application development and maintenance.
Throughout this journey to high performance, Virgin Media has turned to Accenture for continuous improvement in customer-facing activities, including customer care. Accenture is uniquely suited to help Virgin Media transform its customer-facing activities: In addition to having deep expertise in Communications overall and the UK telecommunications industry, Accenture has a strong track record of transformational success.
Accenture continuously invests and builds next-generation, best-in-class tools and technologies to support its business process outsourcing services. The services are underpinned by a highly experienced workforce of more than 60,000 outsourcing professionals, supported by a disciplined approach to execution and delivery.
From the outset, Virgin Media and Accenture strategized to re-create the Virgin Media brand and culture offshore. Virgin Media contributed its best thinking around UK customer service, expertise in running in-house centers, and experience working with offshore vendors. Accenture coupled this with its operational expertise running customer care centers, deep industry expertise, and deep knowledge of the Indian and Philippines markets. Together, the two organizations built an offshore Virgin Media culture that consistently receives accolades from client sponsors.
Virgin Media seeks to provide exceptional customer service in concert with a cost-effective operating model while operating in a very competitive market with complex products. Over the years, Accenture has brought their Transformation expertise, deep Industry skills, market leading analytics capabilities, Innovation, and Operational Excellence experience into strategic initiatives that have resulted in success across a variety of areas.
Highlights of this customer care journey include the following initiatives:
Decreased customer churn
Case management, knowledge management
Credits and discounts
First-time call resolution
Executives today embrace outsourcing as a mainstream management strategy for achieving performance improvements and productivity gains. Far from a one-shot quick fix or financial trick, outsourcing plays a pivotal role in optimizing business processes, expanding capabilities and building the competitive strength of an enterprise to achieve high performance.
By shaping an outsourcing arrangement with Accenture that is based on flexibility, close collaboration, a thorough understanding of the service areas transitioned and a commitment to continuous improvement, the outsourcing program is consistently demonstrating strong performance and value for Virgin Media.
The program has transformed their customer care operations reduced costs, integrated operations, and raised the quality and consistency of customer-facing service delivery. Equally important, the arrangement has allowed Virgin Media to hone its core competencies and focus on its customers.
Over the last six years, the Virgin Media and Accenture journey has gained momentum. An important milestone in this journey was a first-of-its-kind initiative for both organizations where Virgin Media made the strategic investment to co-brand the Accenture Delivery Center in Manila.
The result is a flagship Virgin Media outsourcing center that helps to provide insight on UK culture to the Accenture team, and foster an even greater sense of belonging to the Virgin Media brand within the team than from initial efforts.
Overall, Accenture has helped Virgin Media to deliver tangible results in line with the company’s customer-centric culture. In so doing, the outsourcing collaboration has helped transform the way Virgin Media does business and is helping to drive its vision for the future in pioneering the next generation of Internet access, leading the TV revolution and redefining mobile.