Case Study – Interim Management
The client, a phone, and internet company was experiencing rapid growth. The organization supported multiple brands and price points, in two Contact Centers. Their customer service and technical support organization could not keep up with the volume and changing nature of their business. Basic tools and procedures were missing. Staff and management were competent to operate the centers but lacked the skills and knowledge to design and train for a new operating model in a fast changing environment. The client believed that someone with a high level of skill and knowledge was needed to redesign the operation but was not needed as ongoing management once the issues were solved and the center and firm were operating in a stable environment.
Following a series of meeting with Taylor Reach, it was agreed that a TRG senior consultant with 25+ years of experience would join the client and participate as a full member of their management with an open termination date based on the organizational needs, consultant performance and possible transition to a full-time replacement. The overall capacity and requirements were reviewed and plotted for both centers. Forecasts for both inbound and outbound were created out eighteen months. With the forecast approved, a staffing, recruiting and training plan was developed and begun. Hiring for skills and language against a set criteria meant that supervisors knew what to look for in the candidates.
New and additional capacity was needed to keep up with the growing demand. Outsourcers for a part of the business were interviewed and selected.
Outbound calls for credit card follow-up and renewals for billing were trialed using an automated outbound IVR. Other outbound programs were started to increase signups from inquiries.
A new telephony platform was specified, RFP developed and issued, and secured to enable better center management and supervision. It was one system for all the centers. Supervisors could now see agent performance regardless of center; which agents were on and in what queues and the overall level of service.
In the main center, compensation was restructured to be based on a standard and known progression of proven skills and tenure. Rotation of agents in different roles enabled more cross training of skills, providing a reduction in the number of skill groups and then providing better service to the callers.
Managers and supervisors were trained in both project and Contact Center management.
The results were significant. Over the interim tenure, center volumes and service level performance were brought under control. A new forecasting process was implemented. Customer satisfaction and employee engagement were improved. The center had a strategic plan that aligned with business needs and goals. Managers understood and practiced how to present and justify capacity, staff and budget needs to senior management.
Outbound programs for credit card renewals reduced the days outstanding to less than 35 within two months. Other outbound campaigns generated positive results increasing the number of subscribers each month.
Staff turnover was reduced by better hiring and training. The training program reduced the time needed to get new staff up to speed in a technical environment. This reduced the number of tickets outstanding and increased customer satisfaction.
Management learned the importance of prompt and accurate communication, both with staff and senior management on a daily basis. Improved reporting increased the confidence senior staff had the line managers knew what was needed and how to achieve it.
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