Ecotricity leads the charge to improved CX and telephone payment security with New Voice Media and PCI Pal Agent Assist.
Launched in 1996, as the first business to champion the green energy revolution, Ecotricity is now the UK’s leading green energy provider to homes and businesses: supplying wind, hydro, biomass and solar power and electric charging points around the country.
As part of its mission to significantly reduce carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels, Ecotricity also installs charging stations for electric vehicles in British service stations and other public spaces.
PCI DSS compliance
To serve its growing customer base, Ecotricity has a multi-site contact centre in Stroud, UK, with 450 contact centre agents working across the business. Around 75 of those operatives deal with customer payments, both over the phone and processing online form-based payments.
Around 26,000 transactions are processed by the company every year. Three quarters of these payments are made through the customer-facing app, 5% through a secure web-based form and 10% using the company’s automated payment line.
Personalised Customer Experience
Ecotricity prides itself on providing a more personalised customer experience, where customers can speak to contact centre employees, rather than relying on multi-scaled IVRs. However, Ecotricity also wanted to ensure that it had the most robust processes for securely handling customers’ payment card details.
Ecotricity was eager to improve and maintain its Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance, as well as enhancing the overall customer experience when payments were being taken over the phone.
The company wanted to replace its phone-based payments system to make it more robust from a security point of view, while also enabling native integration with Salesforce, to ensure that the organisation could view customer activity while they were on the call with customer service agents. It set about identifying a partner that could implement a PCI-compliant solution, with minimal disruption to the company’s existing processes.
Value added by Vonage
After a request for proposal process, New Voice Media, a Vonage company, was chosen as Ecotricity’s implementation partner. After a five-month consultation period, it was clear that the company could handle both the PCI compliance and Salesforce integration demands. From selection to platform roll-out, it took just a month for Ecotricity’s new phone payments system, integrating PCI Pal’s Agent Assist, to be up and running.
Fully integrated with New Voice Media, PCI Pal’s Agent Assist solution allows secure payments to be taken over the phone by employing dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) masking technology to ensure that sounds from touch tone keypads cannot be heard or recorded. Customers are able to make payments for their electricity supply over the phone, knowing their details will remain secure.
This allows customers to carry on talking to Ecotricity’s contact centre staff while they’re entering their payment card details, so that if they get stuck, they can ask for help, rather than being channelled into an IVR system and having to waste time calling back.
Sensitive information is concealed from contact centre agents throughout the conversation. At no point does the agent have access to the customer’s payment details, nor is the information stored: descoping the contact centre environment from the access control requirements of PCI DSS.
Enhanced Customer Service
Ecotricity has seen vast customer experience improvements, with shorter call times, and relevant information being provided to customers faster.
Personal interaction is vital for Ecotricity and it prides itself on avoiding the impersonal nature of multi-scaled IVRs. With PCI Pal’s solution, agents can continue to talk to customers over the phone, while the payment process is completed, while guaranteeing safe processing of sensitive cardholder data. Because there is no break in the conversation, the customer is reassured that their query is being handled effectively.
Seamless Salesforce integration
Because PCI Pal Agent Assist seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, contact centre staff don’t have to trawl through personal data records to find the information that corresponds with the called. The information that they need is presented on screen, so calls can be handled as efficiently as possible.
Commenting on the upgraded system, John Woodward, Head of Service Support at Ecotricity says, “We’ve fundamentally changed the way we’re handling our customer interactions. We have a new way of taking calls which is integrated with our Salesforce system and connects payments, billed interactions and customer contact in one place. It’s much more user-friendly and is formatted in a logical way that suits the way our customers want to provide information to us. It’s a far better experience for our customers.”
“From a reporting point of view the new systems increase our insight on payment information and customer behaviour, helping to improve our self-service options.
Of course, the other major advantage is that we’re fully PCI Compliant having utilised PCI Pal’s technology; I am confident that compliance is achieved, and all payments are securely handled without any data entering our network.
We know that transactions are taking place safely, calls are shorter and more efficient all round, and as a business, we haven’t lost the personal touch with our customers.”