Innovation Tap

By Fay Pantry, Talent Partner at Capital On Tap

At Capital on Tap we are always encouraging everyone to think creatively, problem solve and pilot new ideas. But twice a year, something a little bit special happens, something we like to call Innovation Tap (innovative name right?).

We pick 2 days of the year where, anyone in the business is invited to pitch their ideas of ways in which they can impact the direction of the business to a panel of judges (3 Senior Managers). These ideas could be anything, from how we can improve customer experience, ways to drive further growth and revenue or methods to simplify our teams’ way of working.

After all the pitches have been presented, the panel of judges select the best ideas to be piloted or prototyped. The successful ideas are selected to proceed based on their potential impact/ viability (and coolness).

What happens with all these cool ideas?

The selected ideas fall into 2 paths:

Pilot: Those that can be piloted and tested immediately without developer resources. The idea owner can begin formulating the scope, next steps and objectives for rolling out the idea straight after the judging stage. A senior manager will be assigned to help the owner get access to the resources and knowledge needed to do so, and the owner will have a one month check-in with the judging panel to follow up on the pilot’s initial results.

OR

Prototype: Ideas for development during a hackathon. The idea owner can recruit their team from within the business to help them, whether it be a business analyst, a developer or someone else from across the business (the people team have yet to be recruited – their loss if you ask me). We then hold a hackathon over the course of 2 days.

I hear you ask, why?

An excuse to have pizza and a party of course! Nooooo, we don’t need an excuse for food and a good time at Capital on Tap. We have three main goals for The Innovation Tap:

1. Knowledge sharing: Letting people from different functions, backgrounds and perspectives share their knowledge of the opportunities and risks we face as a company.

2. A greenhouse for new ideas: Providing the time and resources to let the best ideas flourish.

3. Ownership and impact: Allowing anyone with a good idea to impact the direction of the company.

Our company values matter

Our core values are exceptionally important to us and we only want to run with initiatives that embody our three company values, this one definitely does that!

  • Just Pilot: This is the whole idea behind the innovation tap, we want to try new ideas, ask questions and figure out what works best for the business.
  • Deliver It, Simple: The Innovation Tap allows people to take ownership of an idea from concept to delivery and create simple, effective, innovative ideas to drive our business forward.
  • Be a Buddy: The Innovation Tap is all about collaboration, it’s about asking for and receiving help from people from all areas of the business, it’s about working together to get stuff done.

What’s up for grabs?

Yup you heard it here first, as well as the knowledge that your idea could be making a great impact within the business, there are actual prizes up for grabs and they’re pretty damn good.

Our hackathon winner, chosen after the two day hackathon, secures themselves and their hackathon team a fancy dinner! Whilst the overall Innovation Tap winner, determined after 4-6 months of the idea being implemented, wins £3,000 towards a holiday of their choice. Considering I didn’t suggest any ideas this time around, it’s looking highly unlikely that I’ll be getting £3K for my dream holiday to South Africa anytime soon. Oh well, there’s always next year.

If you’re interested in finding out more about open job roles here at Capital on Tap and potentially becoming part of a winning hackathon team, please get in touch! https://boards.greenhouse.io/capitalontap

Check out my upcoming post to find out more about our winners and their great ideas from H1 Innovation Tap.

 

Capital on Tap Journals: Edinburgh

It was easy to understand why Capital on Tap chose the beautiful capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, for our inaugural company retreat. A mixture of different cultures, classic monuments, iconic picturesque views, we were definitely instore for a fun weekend.

Greeted by glorious weather and charming historic buildings, we arrived at the heart of the city late Friday evening. As our hotel was conveniently located in the city centre it presented itself with opportunities overflowing at every corner to discover more about the city’s past.

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First stop on our agenda consisted of evening food and drinks at the The Refinery which was perfectly situated at the iconic St Andrew Square.
Filled with traditional Scottish details overlooking the square, The Refinery appeared to be the perfect setting for the team to embrace the bustling environment. As the evening continued to the late hours, we took the opportunity to not only feast over the delicious burgers, but also enjoy the signature cocktails. While some entered a competitive game of Jenga, some continued to debate whether the World Cup was ‘coming home’, nonetheless this kickstarted what appeared to be an awesome weekend ahead.

Saturday

After being well rested after a long day of travelling and a night of laughter, we all gladly accepted a glorious buffet breakfast. Engaging in discussions about the day ahead and perhaps more importantly, whether England had any chances of bringing the world cup back home; Saturday was set out to be a fun day.

As the day began, we kicked off the morning with a company wide exercise asking team members from mixed departments to create a variety of vision boards. This consisted of teams brainstorming ideas and reflecting on new opportunities that the company could possibly venture into. While these brainstorming sessions forced each department to think outside the box, it also enabled an open channel of discussion, where we were able to generate ideas of how we can better serve our customers. This exercise also set the stage for a honest discussion, where employees were challenged to be creative and feedback ideas of how best we can evolve our current product features.

As we entered the early afternoon, we all split off into small groups, and utilised the time to explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh. While some daring team members set out on an adventure to climb the 251 metre high extinct volcano, famously known as the Arthur Seat, to capture the amazing panoramic view of Edinburgh city; others decided to use the free time to relish in the traditional scottish culture by taking a whisky tasting class.

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As we continued to explore the key landmarks, such as the Edinburgh Castle and St Andrew square in hopes of capturing the best selfie. It was that part of the afternoon where we all headed to the pub, for one thing and one thing only…FOOTBALL!. Packed with passionate England fans, we all nervously watched England vs Sweden at the edges of our seats. As the roof raised with our chants ‘It’s coming home’ it was beautiful to see that the victorious win brought such a real sense of comradery between us all.

Continuing the festivities after a well deserved win from England, we celebrated with an evening three course meal at Rabble Taphouse. As we enjoyed the delicious variety of food and the unique cocktails, still amazed by the surreal reality that England was entering the world cup finals for the first time since 1996, the celebrations continued into the ‘wee’ hours at the locals bars.

Sunday

After a day full of exploring, laughter and fun, it was time to head back home, where we nostalgically recapped highlights of the weekend on the long train journey back to London. Overall, it is safe to say that the company get away gave us all an excellent opportunity to retreat from our regular routines and revisit the companies vision for the future.

Meet the voice behind the phone

Capital on Tap has started adding new features to their telephone services: when a customer calls our Customer Service team and all of our operators are on another line, they will now be informed of their position in our new queuing system and given an approximative waiting time until their call can be answered. This feature brings a new layer of transparency and should help our customers decide whether to wait for an operator or contact us at a less busy time if their query is not urgent.

Today, we sit down with Nyasha, the voice behind the phone, who tells us all about her time at Capital on Tap so far and the process involved in creating the new queuing system.

Hi Nyasha, can you tell us a bit more about your background at Capital on Tap?

I joined the company about 18 months ago now, and I started as a member of the Operations team. I moved up to Team Leader of Operations for a while before moving on to a new role back in February when I became the Collections Vendor Manager. I am now in charge of managing outsourcing deals for the Collections team, which is a lot of responsibilities but a lot of fun.

You clearly got to interact with customers at different points of their journey with Capital on Tap; What do you think is the most important quality to have when interacting with customers on the phone?

Patience is the most important one, but also an attention to detail is mandatory: it’s no good being able to answer the phone, you must be able to very quickly understand what’s happening with each customer so that you can handle any call efficiently and properly.

You have now recorded the new queuing system for Customer Service – What was that experience like?

It was a lot of fun – I was really nervous, but it turned out to be easier than I expected it to be. I was in a booth by myself, with the Capital on Tap Head of Operations Zoe in another room alongside Sound Recordist Rob. I couldn’t see their faces nor hear them unless they pressed a button, it was quite alienating. We didn’t need to do too many takes, it only took a couple of hours or so.

We had a simple script with all the sentences I was required to read out into the microphone. Numbers were the most fun one as I had to repeat each number individually a few times so that we could break phrases down during the editing part and create whole new sentences from those clips. Seeing Rob cut things down and change sentences was really impressive, especially little things like a gasp for breath completely disappearing from a sentence.

Customers will now be able to hear your voice even if they do not end up interacting with you in person, how do you feel about being the voice behind the phone?

I had recorded the Christmas announcement last year for Capital on Tap, so some customers are already used to my voice by now. I’ve been doing phone work for close to 10 years now, and I feel that now I’m even more aware of how to use my voice after recording the soundbites: it was interesting to hear the inflections and different pitches during each take so that I could place my voice to the right level on the next takes. It was such a great experience I never imagined I would get, especially working for a Financial company. Thanks to Capital on Tap giving me this opportunity, I might even make a hobby out of audio recording!

What benefits do you think the new queuing system will have for our customers?

It will be a lot more interactive from the start of the call. People may be more likely to hold the line when they are told exactly where in the queue their call is at and what the approximative waiting time is. It will also be beneficiary for people who may not need to speak to an agent on the phone urgently, as they can decide to call back rather than hold once they know how busy our lines are at a certain time.
We can consider more features in the future as well to ensure we can save customers’ time even more, it is all very exciting and will hopefully make their experience even better!

Interested in a career at Capital on Tap? 

Join us!

Meet Nik from the Ops Team!

Today we chat to our Operations Manager Nik, who joined Capital on Tap back in 2014 and is now in charge of the team at the heart of the company. The Operations Team deal with all customers’ queries and feedback, but also work closely with all other departments within the business to ensure our processes are of the highest quality available in the industry.

Hi Nik, can you tell us how you began a career at Capital on Tap?

I was straight out of university and I was looking for an opportunity to work somewhere that is challenging, fast paced and where you learn a lot while working rather than a bureaucratic or very corporate environment. I started as an underwriter for a couple of years and then wanted to progress further – I was always keen on leading a team to gain that experience of being able to pass skills and knowledge onto other people and help them develop their own careers.

You’ve been here since almost the very beginning, what would you say is the one thing you love the most about working at Capital on Tap?

I think it’s the fact that it is up to you what you make of it: what you put in you will get out. It has an environment for people to excel at what they do, and it will reward that by creating opportunities and incredible learning and responsibilities that you may not get anywhere else.

And what would you say has been the most challenging moment in your career so far?

I would say leading the operations team. They are an incredible and hardworking team and have benefited from an outstanding support culture from previous managers such as Zoe in the past. It has been an incredibly steep learning curve to gain their respect and use it to drive them forward to create value for themselves and the company. But I gladly volunteered, even though it was combined with a lot of long hours and uncertainty in the beginning, I feel I’ve touched ground again and established my daily routine.

Talking about a daily routine, how would you describe a typical week working at Capital on Tap?

There is no such thing as a typical week! You make a plan and realise ten minutes later that it is entirely out of date because everything has changed since you last looked at it. Our IT team are working at a crazy pace, sometimes it’s overwhelming how fast they work. You can have targets and goals, but even those constantly evolve as you progress and technology pushes the boundaries of what was previously within the imagination. A typical week is knowing that everything always changes, and that’s what makes it exciting and challenging.

What advice do you wish you had been given before starting at Capital on Tap?

Trust your instincts! There is no manual to tell you how things are supposed to be done or how to build a new project. People that excel here are the people that make decisions every day on something they aren’t entirely sure about because it hasn’t been done before. Because the hierarchy here is so flat and everyone values everyone else’s opinion, stakeholders always welcome being challenged on their ideas, and that keeps things evolving on a daily basis, which is something that’s very healthy for a business to have. The big learning is to make it up as you go along and do so while being responsible and accountable for your actions. Also try and get it right more often than not, ha!

 

What makes a perfect operator in your eyes?

The perfect operator is someone who, with every customer interaction – be it on the phone, via email or online chat – understands that there is a way to fulfil a customer’s needs. There’s always a way to deliver great results. Boundaries can be pushed, processes aren’t necessarily perfect, and a great operator has to always think outside the box to resolve any issues and create the best outcome for the customer and the business.

Finally, how would you describe the social aspect of the office? Is it all work and no play?

No one does not take the time to socialise at Capital on Tap. It’s just incredible how you can talk to everyone, grab a pint with people after work, chat or play football. It really is the perfect environment to meet great people who become friends, and it’s fantastic to have a workplace that encourages social activities.

Interested in a career at Capital on Tap? 

Join us!

A week of not just work: dogs, pool and data

Imagine working in a place where everyone is friendly and equal. Where hard work and determination is perfectly balanced with fun and jubilance. Where everyday you are greeted by two lovable dogs. Where every lunch time becomes a mini pool tournament. A place where anything goes.

Welcome to Capital on Tap.

Despite the 6am wake up, the long hours (compared to school) and the jam packed London commuting, Capital on Tap made my work experience interesting and enjoyable. Spending time here has actually put me at ease as to how painful work life would be. Obviously, I wasn’t doing near the amount of work that everyone else was but I was being given a taster of some of the work, like data spreadsheets, which once you complete gives you a total feeling of satisfaction.

The first few days of me being at Capital on Tap involved me shaking hands and being introduced to all the departments and how they work, the different objectives and roles. HR are the eyes and ears of everyone and everything that happens in the company. Business Intelligence was the most complicated to get my head around as they deal with big numbers and have fancy words for those numbers. Sales was full of character and laughs as well as total commitment to getting the work done.

Soon after was Operations, which is the customer service and enquiry platform and was the easiest to understand. Despite the amount of work they have to do they somehow make it look so effortless. Next was IT. IT are the behind the scenes of Capital on Tap; without their intelligent and efficient platforms, the company wouldn’t be able to cope. Wholesales – the voices who get big deals.

Underwriting are those who determine which applicants are approved, and the department I found most interesting. And last but not least was Collections. The most self explanatory department of them all, the money collectors. Senior management also shared the future plans and revelations the company is yet to pursue.

Capital on Tap is welcoming and relaxed, but is also hard working and doesn’t give up easily. Each of the departments have their own special uniqueness that allows the company to excel. The company’s dynamic ways are what makes it so appealing and enjoyable and I am very grateful that for my work experience I had the opportunity to spend it somewhere I felt comfortable.

Thank you Capital on Tap!

Are you interested in experiencing the same?

Join us!

Meet Scott from our BI Team!

Scott Thaxton, aka Thaxo, makes up half of our Business Intelligence Team. He spends his days performing deep dive analysis and brainstorming marketing strategies.

Thaxo! We all know you love a good spreadsheet. Have you always had your head buried in data?

Actually, I studied International Business at Nottingham Trent University (shout out!). And growing up I wanted to be a professional football or cricket player. I’ve always been good with numbers though, so it makes sense that I’ve ended up here.

And how exactly did you get here?

Well, I started off at Capital on Tap in the Operations Team as my first real job out of university. After a year or so I was given a project working with Shane (Head of BI) tracking our direct marketing campaigns. That’s where I got my first taste of data analysis. When Shane looked to expand his team I immediately expressed interest and the rest is history!

So what do you spend your days doing now?

It’s something different every day, but always working with data and using excel. I also get to look at everything from a high level rather than focus on one aspect of the business, which I love!

What is one thing that people probably don’t know about you?

This might be bragging a bit, but at one point I was a semi-professional footballer. I actually played in the FA Cup in the extra preliminary round.

You kept that one quiet! I’m guessing a football is something you would want if you were stranded on a desert island then?

I would definitely need a ball to kick or throw. Along with Football Manager (great game) and probably something a bit more practical like a knife.

And the soundtrack to your life that would keep you going?

Absolutely Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now.’ Any time I need to get pumped before a match that is my go to jam.

Ok, let’s get off the island for a bit. It’s Saturday morning, what’s the first thing you do when you wake-up?

If it’s summer, I can guarantee that I would be packing my cricket bag. Otherwise, something less exciting like making a bowl of porridge.

I’m assuming then that you’ve been to see a lot of cricket matches?

Definitely. At the top of my bucket list actually is to see a cricket match in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka AND The Caribbean.

Sounds like a lot of air miles to me! Enough about you, what is one thing that you admire most about the person to the left of you?

I would have stay Hui’s (Designer) creative designs and the speed he produces them at. As someone who’s very much focused on numbers, that creative aspect is something that is so impressive to me. And that he can just whip it out – amazing!

What do you love most about coming to work?

Apart from the pool table and free beer? I feel like it’s a really fun environment where I get to work on something new every day.

Plus, we keep discovering other great people to join the company, so it feels like you’re building a business with your mates. I know a lot of people that live for the weekends, but I’ve never felt that way here.

 

Interested in a career at Capital on Tap? 

Join us!

Meet our HR Manager – Celia Madden

Celia Madden is the HR Manager at Capital on Tap and backbone of our outstanding company culture. She oversees everything related to our people and makes sure the office runs smoothly. 

Hello Celia! Tell me, what made you pursue a career in HR?

Is it bad to say that I fell into it? I started in recruitment after I graduated university as it seemed like something fun where I could meet lots of interesting people, and make some money while I was at it! It was that people side though that made me want to shift from a more sales focused role to something where I could really work at the core of a company.

What is the greatest bit of advice that anyone has ever given you? 

That you are never stuck. Just because you started doing something or working somewhere doesn’t mean that is what you have to do for the rest of your life. Look at me, ballerina turned biology student turned head hunter turned HR Manager!

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

Things always work out in the end. You have to go through things to get anywhere.

What is one word you would use to describe your team and why?

Tough. Working in a startup where things are constantly evolving and changing means there are difficult decisions to be made and conversations to be had. We take the brunt of a lot of it and it’s up to us to get on with it and get things done.

What is the one thing that you admire most about the person to the right of you (Peter Cattlin – Finance Manager)?

Peter has a pretty incredible work ethic. He is always available and gets back to you almost immediately. He also has to say no to a lot of things and to a lot of people, but is never impatient or negative about it.

What is your favourite part about working at Capital on Tap? 

The variety. One day I can be working on new commission structures and the next day doing a new office layout. Ultimately though it’s about trying to make sure that everyone enjoys working here as much as I do.

Last question. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 items would you want to have with you?

That would definitely have to be my favourite book, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, a case of Gruner Veltliner and a beach towel (I hate sitting on the sand!).

Interested in a career at Capital on Tap? 

Join us!