A company providing a novel and cost effective alternative to call centres is on course to achieve ambitious growth targets thanks to financial support from Clydesdale Bank in Croydon.
Sensée, based in Chiswick, West London, employs staff that work entirely from home, handling customer enquiries by phone and email for clients in the retail, travel and finance sector.
Founded in 2005 by CEO Steve Mosser, Sensée currently turns over £2.5 million a year and is aiming to double in size by the end of 2011, making it a perfect fit for Clydesdale Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative.
“Having agents working from home rather than in call centres brings huge cost savings and productivity of home working staff is typically 20-30% greater than that of their call centre counterparts,” said Steve.
“The greater productivity comes from home workers’ ability to adapt to the variable call volumes. At a call centre you have staff come in for their eight-hour shift and they are there whatever the volume of calls. At times they may have no calls to take, at other times you can have calls queuing as all the operators on shift are busy.”
Steve added that with home based agents there was the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in call volumes making it a much more efficient and cost-effective operation.
“The quality of staff is also more attractive,” he continued. “The average age of call centre staff is 24. Home working tends to attract a more mature workforce and the average age of our agents is 40, with all the experience and reliability that brings.”
With rapid growth very much on Steve’s agenda, having the right financial package in place was crucial.
“Our business model works well in America but really hasn’t caught on over here yet,” he said. “We are really at the forefront in the UK and to maintain that advantage we have quite an aggressive growth strategy.”
Unconvinced that his former bank could support that growth, Steve set about finding a new one and settled on Clydesdale Bank after meeting with a team from its Croydon Financial Solutions Centre (FSC).
“We spoke to a few banks and Clydesdale put together a really neat package for us,” he said. “They were also clearly a lot more interactive and offered a personal service.
“Customer service is very important to us as we are in that field ourselves and we have found Clydesdale offers great customer service.”
Simon Gallie, Managing Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Croydon FSC, said he was delighted Sensée had taken advantage of the Investing for Growth programme which offers benefits such as loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms and is designed to help businesses take advantage of quality growth opportunities by providing investment finance, increasing cash flow and easing debt commitments.
“Sensée is exactly the sort of business Investing for Growth is designed to support,” said Simon. “Steve has a clear idea of how and where to grow the company and a sound business plan to back that up.
“At Clydesdale Bank our Business and Credit Partners have autonomy to make lending decisions. This is key when it comes to supporting growing businesses as we can help them take full advantage of business opportunities as and when they arise.
“We would be delighted to talk to any business looking to grow and seeking the right bank to help them achieve their goals.”
For more information on Sensée, visit www.sensee.co.uk.
Clydesdale Bank’s Croydon FSC can be found at 15 Landsdowne Road, Croydon, CR0, 2BX, telephone 020 8774 4820.