Royal Mail delivers new service ‘Ask Sarah’ (UK)

The Royal Mail is delivering enhanced online customer service through ‘Ask Sarah’, a new intelligent web self-service system.

Powered by Transversal, Ask Sarah enables the Royal Mail’s 4.5 million monthly web visitors to receive immediate answers to their questions online, reducing the need to email or call Royal Mail.

Fully launched at the beginning of June 2008, Ask Sarah has already reduced overall email queries by 50 per cent and by 96 per cent in some areas, improving service to customers.

The number of routine calls to the contact centre have also been significantly reduced, freeing up staff to spend time answering more complex queries and increasing job satisfaction.

The Royal Mail has seen a dramatic increase in usage on its web site – rising from 3.5 million to 4.5 million monthly visitors between 2007 and 2008.

This has been driven by the increasing number of services, such as online postage, parcel tracking, redirections and redelivery now available via the site, as part of the organisation’s drive to enhance the services it provides.

With such a broad range of customers, spanning the whole population, Royal Mail needed a system that was easy to use, regardless of the visitor’s technical ability. Following extensive research, Royal Mail chose Transversal to help deliver self-service through the approachable and engaging image of ‘Sarah’, providing an immediately recognisable and reassuring figure for customers on both the business and consumer parts of the site.

Ask Sarah is integrated closely with Royal Mail’s services available via its web site. For example, daily analysis found that customers were asking Sarah questions about the delivery status of parcels.

Ask Sarah now recognises parcel tracking reference numbers and links automatically to Royal Mail’s parcel tracking system, showing customers current delivery status.

The Royal Mail is delivering enhanced online customer service through ‘Ask Sarah’, a new intelligent web self-service system.

Powered by Transversal, Ask Sarah enables the Royal Mail’s 4.5 million monthly web visitors to receive immediate answers to their questions online, reducing the need to email or call Royal Mail.

Fully launched at the beginning of June 2008, Ask Sarah has already reduced overall email queries by 50 per cent and by 96 per cent in some areas, improving service to customers.

The number of routine calls to the contact centre have also been significantly reduced, freeing up staff to spend time answering more complex queries and increasing job satisfaction.

The Royal Mail has seen a dramatic increase in usage on its web site – rising from 3.5 million to 4.5 million monthly visitors between 2007 and 2008.

This has been driven by the increasing number of services, such as online postage, parcel tracking, redirections and redelivery now available via the site, as part of the organisation’s drive to enhance the services it provides.

With such a broad range of customers, spanning the whole population, Royal Mail needed a system that was easy to use, regardless of the visitor’s technical ability. Following extensive research, Royal Mail chose Transversal to help deliver self-service through the approachable and engaging image of ‘Sarah’, providing an immediately recognisable and reassuring figure for customers on both the business and consumer parts of the site.

Ask Sarah is integrated closely with Royal Mail’s services available via its web site. For example, daily analysis found that customers were asking Sarah questions about the delivery status of parcels.

Ask Sarah now recognises parcel tracking reference numbers and links automatically to Royal Mail’s parcel tracking system, showing customers current delivery status.

“As more and more of our customers interact with us online, we needed a self-service system that provided the levels of support they needed in a professional yet friendly form that avoided the hard sell,” said Stephen Mitchell, digital operations manager, Royal Mail. “By working with Transversal we’ve been able to introduce Ask Sarah, providing an easy to use, approachable way for getting immediate answers to questions whatever your technical ability. The benefits for our customers have been impressive. We’ve seen customer satisfaction rise and inbound enquiries drop dramatically since introducing Sarah and believe this trend will only continue moving forward.”

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