Hertfordshire County Council – SaverCard

SUMMARY

As part of making the travel process quicker, slicker and more transparent for the local community, when it came to its scheme for senior school children, Novacroft was asked to design an online solution for the Hertfordshire’s County Council’s (HCC) SaverCard, which would streamline processes and deliver an improved customer experience.

Novacroft’s solution for HCC’s SaverCard discount travel scheme for 11 – 18 year olds has reduced application turnaround time from 20 days to 5 days, and now sees 84% of all applications being made online, exceeding the council’s 75% target.

Bringing smart technology to the SaverCard in 2016 will give Herts a greater understanding of customer behaviour, meaning they can plan effectively and deliver a better service to their community.

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I’m delighted with the way Novacroft’s teams have performed throughout this project. Novacroft has shown great professionalism, communication and fantastic project management. The timescales for this project were extremely tight and the teams have pulled everything out to make sure we went live on time.

– Matthew Lale, Passenger Transport Manager, HCC

THE CHALLENGE

Streamlining the SaverCard application process from a previous predominantly manual system, providing a value for money service and making the customer journey easier were at the heart of Hertfordshire County Council’s mission to take their discount travel scheme online.  

From the outset, our client was clear that the community has a service expectation, and that the project must be delivered in just three months, to enable Hertfordshire parents to seamlessly, safely and swiftly apply for an academic travelcard for their child well in advance of term beginning.

The new application solution had to integrate with the outsourced contact centre software, financial systems and payment processes, and all needed to be completed to meet the start of the academic year.

THE SOLUTION

Novacroft worked in close collaboration with HCC to design a simple, easy-to-use online application system that provides parents with the ability to submit their child’s details, including photo, make payment online, review application progress, renew and replace SaverCards. Verification checks are made to ensure that the applicant is a Herts resident, that they attend a valid school, and, if supplied, that they have a valid passport number.

Working with the external suppliers of the financial back office, call centre and payment gateway, Novacroft integrated its InNovator data management system with all of these key functions within the timescales.  InNovator software in Novacroft’s in-house card production bureau offers a formal photo approval and application checking process, which will then either progress the application to card printing, or generate an email to the parent with a call to action to rectify any application issues.

The online SaverCard scheme was launched in August 2015 and was an immediate success.  In August alone, 2,000 applications were received online. Since go-live, online application turnaround time has been reduced from 20 days to 5 days.

Within two hours of go-live it was clear to see demand was huge.

– Matthew Lale, Passenger Transport Manager, HCC

We understand that when parents want to purchase academic travelcards for their children, the pressure is on for them to get them quickly and safely.  Our solution has given parents the means to do this, and to have complete visibility of the whole process.’

– Duncan Collingwood, SaverCard Account Manager, Novacroft

THE ADVANTAGES FOR PASSENGERS

Taking the SaverCard online has achieved an all-round more efficient and improved service for parents who applying for cards for their children, with many advantages:

  • Application turnaround reduced from 20 days to an average of 5 days, enabling young people to benefit from discount travel sooner
  • Ability to track application status, replace and renew SaverCards via a web account
  • Secure online application, something key when submitting a child’s personal details
  • A saving of £5 for parents when applying for the SaverCard online (the online cost is just £15, compared to the £20 cost for the more labour-intensive cost of processing a paper application)
  • Ease of completing the entire application process from home.

THE BENEFITS FOR HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

Moving from a paper-based administrative process, the SaverCard team in Hertfordshire has benefitted from a number of cost-saving and customer-centric enhancements since taking the scheme online, including:

  • A reduction in customer complaints, due to the transparency of the web account, speed of application turnaround, and the associated cost savings
  • A reduction in in-house manual application intervention, meaning less data capture errors and a huge time saving
  • A transport team in Hertfordshire with more time to focus on other issues
  • A simple production process whereby the Herts team can see live KPI reports via InNovator
  • Less risk when handling financials – no more cash or cheque payments to deal with

A key metric of success for us was to see a reduction in the number of SaverCard customer complaints.  And they have dropped dramatically.

– Matthew Lale, Passenger Transport Manager, HCC

THE FUTURE

Novacroft and Hertfordshire County Council have a shared future vision for a move to smart SaverCards, which will deliver bus companies more accurate revenue apportionment, speedier bus boarding times, reduced emissions and faster routes, alongside better journey data for the council’s transport team, leading to better planning, and an overall enhanced customer experience.

Thank you to the team at Novacroft for supporting us with this project. We look forward to working with you on the next chapter.

– Matthew Lale, Passenger Transport Manager, HCC