Transversal and Capita improve the service for TV Licensing's
online customers

Cambridge, UK, 12 May 2008: TV Licensing, the organisation responsible for collecting UK TV licence revenues, has launched Ask TV Licensing, a new website service that aims to improve the online customer experience and deliver greater value for the UK’s 25 million licence payers. Ask TV Licensing, powered by Transversal (, allows visitors to to get immediate answers to questions which can be phrased in everyday English, as if directly asking a person.

The service allows customers who prefer to interact online to find the information they need easily without having to phone or send their questions by email. More than a quarter of a million customers have already used Ask TV Licensing since its launch in January 2008, of whom only 9 per cent have subsequently needed to email TV Licensing for further information.

Ask TV Licensing is part of a wider initiative by TV Licensing and Capita Business Services Ltd, the company responsible for administering customer service for TV Licensing, to create technology led efficiencies which deliver better value for licence payers and ultimately lead to savings which make more money available for programming.

“More and more licence payers want to interact with us online due to speed, accessibility and convenience,” commented James Milner, Head of Operations, TV Licensing. “Introducing Ask TV Licensing is a key part of our online strategy and will support our drive to deliver best value to all through services such as online payment and fast access to information. Transversal’s technology enables us to provide answers to the wide range of questions the 25 million licence payers ask, instantly and accurately.”

Ask TV Licensing is designed to provide answers to the many different types of licence holders and TV suppliers. These include householders, hotels, B&Bs, students, landlords, those with second homes and TV dealers. Typical questions being asked online include “What if I only use my TV for watching DVDs?” to “I'm a TV dealer, do I need to keep a record of TV transactions?”

Traffic to the TV Licensing website is growing rapidly, with 5 million visitors in 2007 expected to grow by 18 per cent in 2008 to 6 million. The Capita-run site aims to provide a one stop shop for queries from the UK’s 25 million licence payers as well as enabling licences to be bought online and delivered via email. Transversal’s advanced technology supports TV Licensing’s continued drive to administer the collection of the TV Licence fee for the BBC in the most cost effective way. In the first three months since deployment in January 2008, Transversal Web self-service has helped nearly 250,000 people to quickly find accurate information to their queries online.

“The success of Ask TV Licensing demonstrates the importance of empowering online customers with instant, accurate information that answers their questions,” said Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. “This not only delivers improved customer service but helps TV Licensing deliver technology-led efficiencies that ultimately lead to more money for programming.”

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Dee Roche, Head of Marketing
+44 (0)1223 723 388

Rainier PR
Chris Measures/Sam Grace
+44 (0)20 7494 6570

About Transversal
Transversal is a Cambridge-based developer of multi-channel eService solutions for customer-facing websites and contact centres that achieve high-impact wins on improved service, reduced costs and increased sales. Transversal's flagship Web Self-service Sales EngineTM solution uses the online customer service interaction to deliver targeted offers and advertising based on what customers ask about - a customer service strategy proven to produce high response rates and sales, while simultaneously improving customer service quality and efficiency. MetafaqTM reduces the volume of call and email queries to contact centres by automatically answering customers' questions online. Transversal customers will typically see immediate and dramatic email reductions, by around 60%, and improvements in email response times, from days to minutes. Intrafaq, Transversal's knowledge management solution for contact centres, delivers information to agents in a unique way from a dynamic natural language knowledgebase. Simply by typing a question, in their own words, agents can access answers to customer questions; providing fast, accurate and consistent responses. Organisations benefit from increased first call resolution and efficiency by improving the knowledge and quality of service provided by customer service and help-desk agents. Transversal's Memory Engine™ is the result of research and development by top researchers in Information Theory and Machine Learning from Caltech and Cambridge universities. Transversal co-founder, Prof. David MacKay, is a world renowned expert in Artificial Intelligence. He pioneered Bayesian Neural Networks in the late 1980s and remains at the forefront of the field.

About TV Licensing
TV Licensing informs people of the need to buy a TV Licence. It sends licence renewal notices and processes queries, applications and payments. It also maintains a database of licensed and unlicensed addresses in the UK and uses this technology to identify and visit people who may be using a TV receiver without a valid licence. There are around 25 million TV Licences in force, which include 3.9 million free over 75 TV Licences and around 40,000 licences for customers receiving a 50% blind concession.

TV Licensing is a trading name used by companies contracted by the BBC to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of administration is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd, with cash related payment schemes contracted to Revenues Management Services Ltd. The BBC is a public authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.

Published on: 12:00AM on 12th May 2008