Bacs Academy gets off to flying start

Bacs Academy gets off to flying start New Direct Debit training packages launched to encourage call centre best practice following Bacs rebrand.

With an estimated 10 billion calls into UK contact centres every year, training staff to deal with common queries is vital. However, making information easy to digest and simple to recall can be challenging. To help overcome these issues Bacs, the industry body behind Direct Debit, has launched Bacs Academy - a brand new and highly innovative training platform.

Created as part of a wider review of Bacs branding and the evolution of its website, the Academy features a range of engaging exercises and practical tools. Designed to encourage best Direct Debit practice in UK and offshore call centres, each training module can be used to train employees to deal with customer questions about Direct Debit quickly and efficiently. To start with, the Academy comprises three core elements designed and developed by our e-learning partners Unicorn Training:

  1. The Great Balloon Race - a free, fun quiz that can be used to test staff about Direct Debit. Participants have to pilot a virtual hot air balloon from London to Sydney answering a series of increasingly difficult, Direct Debit-related questions en route. Get the answers correct and trainees can continue their onward journey, stopping at destinations including Venice, Dubai and Hong Kong. Log on to: www.bacs.co.uk/BACS/Banks/Bacs+Academy to give it a go!
  2. Direct Debit Essentials - an online course covering everything you and your customer-facing staff will ever need to know about Direct Debit. This module enables payment Originators to get the most value out of the Direct Debit scheme and gives employees a solid base upon which to build their knowledge of the product.
  3. An e-learning course dedicated to Paperless Direct Debit. For almost ten years, it has been standard practice for organisations to offer consumers and businesses the option of setting up Direct Debits over the telephone or online. Many organisations and consumers find this a quick, safe and convenient way of setting up an instruction. This course spells out what is involved in setting up Paperless Direct Debit instructions and what Originators are responsible for in terms of customer liaison, including giving advance notice of payment collection dates.

Commenting on the launch of Bacs Academy, Michael Chambers, managing director of Bacs said:

"Bacs Academy training tools offer an entertaining way to learn about Direct Debit. However there is also a very serious side to this work. In recent years, the number of websites offering comparative advice to consumers on the best deals available for essential services like gas, electricity and insurance has really taken off. This, combined with increasing public expectations about service standards, has pushed customer retention to the top of the business agenda. For organisations operating contact centres, telephone calls with a customer service representative are often the only direct link consumers will have with their company. This means queries dealt with inaccurately and unsatisfactory customer service levels need to be avoided at all costs."

Continuing, he said:

"Direct Debit is the most popular method for making regular bill payments in Great Britain and equipping call centre staff with information about this key financial tool is essential. By utilising our dedicated Direct Debit training packages, we believe call centre managers can build the confidence of customer-facing staff. This can quickly minimise the chance of Direct Debit errors at the point of set up, prevent any associated cash flow issues and dramatically improve customer service levels."

In support of the launch of its Academy, Bacs has created an animated Payments Professor. The Professor will guide users around the Academy website, answer frequently asked questions and promote the training programmes. His role will evolve as Bacs Academy expands and as new training options go live. For more information go to: www.bacs.co.uk

The Bacs rebrand, which launched in early May, included the development of a brand new logo. The original logo, first introduced in the 1970s, has been replaced with a new symbol that better reflects the modern brand values of the company. Roll out of the new brand includes changes to the Bacs website plus phased amendments to company literature. Sub-brands and derivative logos for other Bacs products and solutions have also been redesigned to fit in with the new corporate style.

New Bacs logo:

Old BACS logo:

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