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Improving customer correspondence process through automation

In 2020 BBC TV Licensing (TVL) introduced a new scheme where anyone aged 75 or over, who does not receive Pension Credit, needed to buy a licence if one is required. TVL were faced with the prospect of having to communicate with over 4 million new customers, as well as requiring an effective way of processing the applicants’ data, payments and where applicable, proof of benefit.

TVL first partnered with CIC as they needed to improve efficiencies and make cost savings. They agreed to move their mailroom services and the printing of correspondence and cheques.

A full digital mailroom service was established offering mail sortation, scanning, form indexation, cheque processing, response services to customer queries, return of cherished items and goneaway processing. Additionally, they changed the way their correspondence was produced and how their cheques were printed.
15,000 mail items are received and processed per day, converted into searchable digital files and routed directly into the correct workflow for the client. Hard copies of documents are archived, to be easily accessed for audit and customer service purposes. Retention and secure destruction is carefully managed.

Payments are processed securely with over 800 cheques received on a daily basis. Through automation we capture all data including unique customer ID number, account holder name and address, bank and building society information. Once verified, files are then transferred back to TVL at scheduled intervals throughout the day.

TVL’s correspondence is now handled within Capita’s automated centralised production facility using hybrid mail, where 1,300 correspondence packs are produced per day and sent out via the customer’s preferred communication channel. We also securely print 900 cheques per day using agreed templates.

With the introduction of a licence fee for the over 75s, TVL were faced with a new challenge. Not only did they need to engage with over 4 million new customers, ensuring that the needs of vulnerable older people were taken into consideration when preparing the customer communications, but they also had to implement new ways of payment.

CIC worked closely with TVL to design new application forms which would enable the correct data to be captured and allow the customer to either pay in one go, set up a payment plan or if eligible (via proof of benefits) apply for a free licence.
By enhancing their current scanning solution, we are able to both scan and optically read the data contained in these new forms. The data is then verified and if necessary, with further input by the CIC team, is validated to confirm the applicant’s details. Once confirmed, data files are sent into new processing queues in TVL’s back office system.

The impact of contacting over 4 million new customers saw an extra 12,000 mail items a day, going up to 27,000 at its peak, in addition to their BAU work.

To facilitate this increased workload, CIC set up a specific dedicated team of operators to manage the over 75s campaign, responsible for processing all correspondence and payments.

Higher output, lower outgoings - Streamlined automated operations improve productivity whilst driving down costs


Improved tracking – Reporting of correspondence and payments coming into the business, along with digital copies provided of the actual letters, provide a high level of confidence for audit purposes

Faster processing of business-critical documents – Important documents are handled quickly and securely, providing an increased efficiency, agility and speed of response to customer


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