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Customer Story - Dutch Postcode Lottery

The Dutch Postcode Lottery (in Dutch: Nationale Postcode Loterij) is the largest charity lottery in the Netherlands and very active in the field of (inbound) telemarketing. The Postcode Lottery works with various call centers to handle these calls. One of the most important KPI’s is to convert callers to participants. That’s why ensuring the calls are distributed in the most efficient way is of great importance. To do this manually is almost a day-time job for a Channel Manager. This needed to be improved!

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The challenge – continuously adjusting the call distribution

The Postcode Lottery uses different service numbers that are linked to active campaigns. By default, inbound calls are routed statically through a split distribution to the relevant call centers. Tibout Hemmes, Strategic Advisor Direct Recruitment & Retention, explains: “The split per day is set in advance based on the forecast occupation per call center. The day after, the results are assessed, and it is examined which distribution is better the next day. Real adjustments are therefore usually done afterward, but then you are already too late.”

If you want to ensure that the best performing call center receives the most calls during the day, the Channel Manager could almost spend the entire day on it. Tibout: “The manager is continuously monitoring the abandon rate and conversions of the various numbers and call centers and adjusts the distribution accordingly. This leaves little or no time for other activities.” A problem that was very much experienced in practice.

The solution - smart routing algorithm

In late August 2020, a Cruise Control pilot started for the Postcode Lottery’s Puzzle Line campaign. Cruise Control is a product of Sound of Data which dynamically distributes incoming telephone calls over the relevant call centers based on a smart routing algorithm. “In this case, two call centers reported every five minutes on their performance over the past 60 minutes. The call centers report on their abandon rate and their conversion rate. The Cruise Control algorithm then fully automatically adjusts the distribution between the two call centers based on that performance. Without human involvement”, says Tibout.

Clear KPIs were determined prior to the start. The main goal is to increase the conversion rate – i.e. the number of lottery tickets sold through the incoming telephone channel – by rewarding well-performing call centers with more phone calls.

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“Without any effort on our part, we achieved an 11% conversion increase during the Cruise Control pilot. And it also saves us a lot of time in terms of monitoring.”

Tibout Hemmes

Strategic Advisor Direct Recruitment & Retention

The difference made - 11% conversion increase

The results of the first four weeks of the project are very promising. The standard distribution between the two call centers was 50% -50%. Cruise Control has started to deviate from this based on current performance.

Tibout: “These adjustments have resulted in a conversion increase of at least 11% measured on a daily basis. Just from switching on Cruise Control. It also helped improve the management of Channel Managers to the call centers. We no longer have discussions about the cause of deviations and we no longer need to make reactive adjustments. We now have a simple, fair algorithm that continuously monitors the most important KPIs and adjusts the distribution of calls in real-time. As a result, the best performing call center receives the most calls. As an additional advantage, the Channel Manager involved no longer needs to continuously monitor performance and can focus on other tasks.

Cruise Control will be rolled out further within the Postcode Lottery and the other lotteries soon.

“Whenever Cruise Control dynamically adjusts the call distribution, it leads to more sales efficiency. I can look at those graphs all day long. The results speak for themselves. And of course, we want to realize that 11% conversion increase on as many campaigns as possible,” says an enthusiastic Tibout.

In short

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The business

The Dutch Postcode Lottery is the largest charity lottery in the Netherlands. The lottery also operates in Sweden, the UK, Germany, and Norway. It's part of the Charity Lotteries, which also includes the BankGiro Lottery and FriendsLottery. These 3 lotteries have been customers of Sound of Data for many years.

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The challenge

The continuous efficient distribution of inbound calls over the various call centers.

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How we help

Cruise Control automatically ensures the most efficient and effective distribution of calls based on the agreed KPIs.