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Rosemary Turley

[July 21, 2003]

CASE STUDY: eircom And Performix Technologies Create World Class Contact Centers

BY ROSEMARY TURLEY


Eircom, an Irish telecommunications company providing voice, data and Internet services to a residential customer base of over one million subscribers, spear-heads the marketplace with sales campaigns that are making the company a world leader in its field. The key to their success was the adoption of employee performance management and the deployment of the Emvolve Performance Manager.

THE BACKGROUND
Established in 1984, eircom was a government regulated company operating in a virtual monopoly. With market deregulation in 1999, the landscape changed dramatically and overnight the company was faced with a growing number of competitors who were quickly gaining market share. eircom's challenge was to find a way to truly differentiate themselves, claw back market share and win back customers.

Today, eircom's success is unparalleled. Not only have they excelled in overcoming their challenges by successfully executing world-class sales campaigns, but they have also achieved the holy grail of increasing revenues while driving costs down.

INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES DRIVING SUCCESS
A significant contributor to eircom's success has been their fundamental belief that the front line employees operating in their Telesales and Service Center were key to differentiating the company from competition.

This belief laid the groundwork for the introduction of employee performance management -- a simple concept that involves setting clear expectations for employees, providing them with daily feedback on their performance, training them when they do poorly and rewarding them when they do well. In effect, this empowers employees to take ownership of their own performance and drive improvement.

eircom ROIThe success has been outstanding; eircom's Telesales and Service Center has exceeded all expectations, delivering results that have secured eircom's business success and market leadership. Results that impacted both the top and the bottom line; delivering a return on investment in less than six months.


MAKING IT HAPPEN
While eircom clearly understood that employee performance management was critical to their success, finding a way to execute the strategy in a simple, user friendly and automated manner was the challenge. What they found was Emvolve Performance Manager from Performix Technologies, a tried and tested solution that proved to be a real winner for their business and employees.

"Not only has Emvolve Performance Manager met our needs, but it has delivered huge benefits far beyond initial expectations of the organization," said Eoin Dunne, head of eircom's Telesales and Service Center.

For eircom, Emvolve Performance Manager delivered a consistency and clarity to performance management and information that was previously impossible to achieve. The solution integrates data from eircom's existing measurement systems (ACD, CRM, Quality and various in-house databases) to provide a complete picture of performance across the entire business.

"Emvolve Performance Manage takes the volume and quality data and puts it into a form that provides us a single and dynamic picture of performance. Every day -- all day, I know exactly how we are performing. It allows me to drill down to identify the key elements of what is going wrong and what is going right," said Dunne. "By integrating all our existing data and turning it into real performance intelligence, I am able to diagnose and manage for improved performance in a way that was not possible before."

TARGETED DEVELOPMENT
The role and focus of eircom's team leaders within their Telesales and Service Center has been transformed. Employed to coach and develop front line agents, the reality was such that team leaders actually spent 50 percent of their time carrying out administrative duties. Now that repetitive processes are automated, team leaders have time to dedicate to the value adding work of coaching agents.

"Our aim was to have team leaders spend 70-80 percent of their time coaching and listening to agents, and Emvolve Performance Manager has enabled us to achieve this -- you can imagine the impact it has made on our performance," said Dunne.

Emvolve Performance Manager has delivered results of increased productivity and revenue while simultaneously reducing costs, by bringing a clear focus and balance to the day-to-day activities of all employees. By aligning employees' targets with eircom's critical business objectives, Emvolve transformed lofty corporate goals into specific and understandable activities for employees. In addition, the solution enabled eircom to provide daily online performance results to each employee, bringing objectivity and transparency to performance.

"Thanks to Emvolve, our agents know every day, week and month exactly what their objectives and targets are, and when they have exceeded or missed them... This awareness creates motivation and drives continual improvement. Agents are able to quantify, verify and check their performance results daily, driving ownership of performance down to each individual," explained Dunne.

MOTIVATION THROUGH REWARD
Another big breakthrough was Emvolve's reward and recognition module, which eircom uses to drive their bonus calculations and payments, creating a strong and visible link for employees between what they did today and how it impacts their pockets.

"Agents know exactly how much of a bonus they will earn each quarter as the performance results they see daily in Emvolve Performance Manager drive the performance related pay scheme -- a real motivator for our people", said Dunne.

The successful execution of Employee Performance Management has taken eircom from market defense to market leadership. It has resulted in increased revenues, decreased costs and world-class sales conversion campaigns.

Rosemary Turley is vice president of global marketing for Performix Technologies. Performix specializes in the area of performance improvement. The company's powerful and practical solutions are designed to deliver exceptional results to business performance through people. Established in 1998, Performix focuses on the worldwide contact center marketplace. They combine hands-on experience of this market with innovative solutions which deliver tangible business benefits to their clients.







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