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July 08, 2008

ACCENT Improves Contact Center Performance with IEX

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

ACCENT Marketing Services, which operates a busy contact center with over 250 agents for a telecommunications client in Kingston, Jamaica, has replaced inefficient and inaccurate manual scheduling processes with IEX (News - Alert) TotalView and WebStation Plus. The solution has created an immediate boost in service level, adherence, and forecast accuracy for ACCENT.
The IEX solution was chosen because the price was very competitive and because there were no hidden add-ons or complicated sales channel concerns, according to James Hurst, director of workforce management at ACCENT.
Before implementing the solution, ACCENT Marketing Services’ contact center performance was affected by several inefficient manual processes. Hurst said that it took many hours to prepare schedules each week, and they had regular issues with the delivery of appropriate updates to agents about schedule changes.
Due to all these problems, ACCENT was not able to deliver consistent service levels to its clients. Hurst said that because there were limited drivers for their agents to follow their schedules, it was hard to have any understanding of call volume and forecast until after the day was over. Also, ACCENT was not able to ensure their agents provided accurate accounting of their logon time, and thus they were missing opportunities to invoice the client for time they were paying out to agents.
ACCENT experienced tremendous gains in agent adherence through automated schedule tracking and enforcement, thanks to TotalView and WebStation Plus. Under the old scheduling policies, initial readings from TotalView reflected a sub-70 percent adherence. Following the deployment, the figure has improved to 90 percent and growing today. The company is now able to easily validate when agents are late, go offline without notice, or miss or are late to lunches and breaks. This information is used to coach agents about adherence and conformance, said Hurst.
He explained that prior to using IEX soutions, their managers could spend four to six hours per pay cycle just reviewing their agents' time to ensure that they were there, properly denoting their time, and being paid for what they worked. The situation has changed now as their agents can see all their call stats and performance measurements online, and see immediately when schedule changes are made in WebStation Plus.
“Vacation planning in particular is easy now, when before it was done entirely by hand and was prone to errors,” he added. IEX solution has improved forecast accuracy by more than 10 percentage points, enabling ACCENT to address changes in interval patterns as they happen when they are out of plan, and are easily able to exclude a day from future forecasts, if needed. Hurst noted that their improved service levels, improved ASA, and improved knowledge on coaching opportunities with agents are definite wins.
For more, check out the Performance Management channel on TMCnet.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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