Case Study – Interim Management
The client, a CLEC, 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 would not be needed once the issues were solved and the center and firm were operating in a stable environment.
Following a series of meetings with Taylor Reach, it was agreed that a senior Taylor Reach consultant with more than 25+ years of experience, would join the client and participate as a full member of their management team with an open end date based on the organizational needs, consultant performance and possible transition to a full-time replacement. The overall capacity and service requirements were reviewed and plotted for both centers. Forecasts for both inbound and outbound were created looking 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 doing the hiring knew what to look for in the candidates.
With the internal centers flexed up new and additional capacity was still required to keep up with the growing demand. Adding a BPO to the mix was the selected strategy and a number were interviewed and one waselected.
Outbound calls for payments and renewals for billing were trialed using an agentless automated outbound dialing. Other outbound programs were started to increase conversion from inquiries.
A new telephony platform was specified, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was developed and issued. A new platform was selected and which enabled 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 as well as the overall level of service.
In the main center, compensation was restructured to be based on an ACM (Adequacy, Competency, Mastery) model with defined career progression based on proven skills and tenure. Rotation of agents in different roles enabled more effective cross-training of skills, providing a reduction in the number of skill groups needed, while 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 now had a strategic plan that aligned with business needs and goals. Managers understood and practiced how to present and justify capacity, staff and budgetary needs to senior management.
Outbound programs for payment and 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 improved ‘speed to competency’ 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 that the line managers knew what was needed and how to achieve it.
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