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case studies

RCN Direct

“Lighthouse Consultants……. I had a gut feeling that they really wanted this assignment and believed they could make a difference…..and who would believe we, the RCN, would achieve so much on this project”

 Kevin Hasler RCN Direct Director

Business Situation:

RCN Direct is the main call centre for all 380,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), providing advice and guidance on a wide range of issues.  It was struggling to meet its own performance criteria in handling membership inquiries, and needed to change the way in which it operated.

Call waiting for 70% of calls was longer than a minute, with some calls at peak times taking 30 minutes to be answered.

In addition the RCN parent organisation as a whole wanted to move to a “one number” strategy which would have resulted in a doubling of call volume numbers.  There was no investment available to resource this.

Business Solution:

Lighthouse Consultants used a team-based problem solving approach to process map all non-call related processes, including offline payments, call write ups and inter-departmental referrals.

Areas for improvement were identified and an action plan developed, including Quick Wins, Tactical Changes and Strategic Choices. Overall 50+ recommendations were made, including a productivity bar to measure non-value adding time.

 This diagnostic and action plan development was conducted by a 3 person consultancy team over 20 days, with further support in implementing the action plan available as required.


Once the quick wins were implemented and tactical choices started RCN Direct were able to:

  • Double call capacity
  • Answered all calls within 30 seconds
  • Avoid any expenditure on additional staff or telecoms equipment
  • Staggeringly improve both external and internal customer satisfaction scores

The strategic choices offered including moving to a fully decentralised or fully centralised case management model for long-term further improvement.

RCN Direct has been able to offer more value adding services to both its membership and internal departments, supporting improvements across the whole of the Royal College of Nursing.

In addition, Lighthouse Consultants was invited to value stream map, and apply Six Sigma process optimisation strategies to the whole case management process across the Royal College of Nursing.  This case management process is intended to start with a call to RCN Direct, and then is managed locally out of 18 regional offices across the whole of the UK.  The process also includes a formal legal department, for cases requiring such advice, and provides very detailed and increasingly complex support for members.

Lighthouse Consultants is very proud to have spent the last three years working with the RCN, as this reflects the level of confidence the organisation has in us, and the quality of outcome we have provided.

Categories: case studies, consultancy, cultural transformation, improve customer service, increase capacity, lean, private sector, reduce costs

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