Amey’s digital customer communication channels improves service for the UK’s Armed Forces and their families during the COVID-19 crisis

11 June 2020
Image of a man at his desk talking on a mobile phone.

The way we communicate with each other has changed dramatically over the last few years. More and more of us are choosing to use alternatives to the usual telephone call and moving to text, emails and social media messaging to contact others. Since the COVID-19 crisis, communication has become even more important as we look for new and more innovative ways to engage with each other. 

At Amey, we recognise that it’s not always possible to make a telephone call to our customer service centre so, in 2017, we introduced a range of new digital communication channels that provided the opportunity for customers to choose how they contact us. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen customer uptake of our digital channels increase from 10% to over 50% and we’re delighted that Service personnel and their families are able to benefit from this service. 

With an already solid foundation built by our specialist Digital Agents, we’ve been able to make the seamless transition, from telephony being the prominent channel, to our digital serviceAdditionallywith digital making up over half of the overall channel share, it is improving the ability of our key, frontline customer service teams to work more effectively, safely and securely from home, whilst continuing to support our customers and keep Defence working. 

Each department within our customer service centre has access to social media messaging services on Facebook and Twitter as well as SMS text messages. Webchat is also integrated into our website so customers navigating our Defence website will see a chat icon appear and any enquiry will be directed to the relevant team.  

However by far our most popular digital service is our online Housing job logging portalThese simple and effective systems benefit our customers by offering a convenient way to report issues and chat with us while having a clear record of the conversation. Ialso allows us to monitor issues and trends to support improvement. 

Running multiple digital channels means our teams can be more flexible to our customer’s needs and manage workload and priorities more effectively. Response times across our digital channels are within the hour and there have been no drops in service with the increase in take-up. In fact, service is running as good, if not better than before, with customer satisfaction in Housing reaching an all-time high of +61.84 NPS (87% satisfied) and the lowest complaint rate since contract commencement – all achieved with just an 8% reduction in customers contacting our customer service centre. 

Stuart Jones, Amey’s Customer Service Director, Defence, said: Our customer service team has been working hard during the Covid-19 crisis to meet customer demand for stress-free digital contact, and I’m delighted to see that customer satisfaction has increased during this period.  

Customers seem to really like using our online systems for logging jobs and using our messaging platforms to chat with our agents, so we’ll continue to do more to further develop these channels for our customers. 

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