The General, a national online auto insurance provider, operates a contact center at its headquarters in Nashville, another in Phoenix, and several much smaller regional facilities in Ohio and Louisiana. Like many companies operating call centers, The General faced the constant challenge of efficiently deploying compliance training, agent development activities, and other work-related tasks to its 225 agents while continuing to provide the highest-quality service to roughly 250,000 customers. Most of those clients are motorists with a history of driving violations or accidents, who have not kept their insurance in force or have less-than-perfect credit.
For the agents, training is a constant need. Auto insurance regulations are different in every state, and they are constantly changing. Most states, for example, require drivers to carry automobile liability insurance in certain minimum amounts, though those amounts can vary by state. There are also different no-fault policies in effect from one state to another. Call center agents need to be aware of these intricacies.
On employee satisfaction surveys that The General had sent out periodically, call center agents repeatedly requested additional training.
"We had a departmental approach to finding the optimal time to deliver training," says Wade Clark, director of customer service at The General, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. "We had to break people up into small groups to get training, and then schedule the classes, find a room for the training, and make sure everyone attended."
Due to budget constraints, asking employees to stay overtime for training was not an option.
In January 2012, The General, a subsidiary of American Family Insurance, began to roll out Intradiem's Intraday Management technology across its contact centers.
Intradiem (which was known as Knowlagent until January 2013) delivers off-phone activities during agent idle time through its on-demand solutions.
"We wanted something that was automated and easy to install and use," Clark says. "We were blown away when we contacted other firms that were already using [Intradiem]. There's nothing else like it out there."
Since implementing the solution, The General has seen a 53 percent improvement in agent productivity; a 22 percent increase in new hire ramp-up training; a 20 percent enhancement in operational efficiencies; and a 9 percent boost in agent performance, including improvements in customer satisfaction, first call resolution, and average call handling time. Agents are completing twice as many training sessions per month as they had been previously.
"We were amazed that we could take time out of the CSRs' day and send them on learning breaks based on their available time without affecting our service levels," Clark says.
The company was looking to recapture about an hour of each agent's time per month for training. It got twice that.
"We don't have to pull the agents off the phone," Clark adds. "They can take the lessons more quickly. A lot less classroom time is needed."
Based on the success in its customer service department, The General recently deployed the Intradiem solution in its sales department, and plans to roll it out to other departments as well, including claims processing and billing. "Our goal for this year is to get the whole company onto Intradiem," Clark says. "It's been a great run. It's saved us a lot of time and money."
"The General used Intradiem to deliver on a few key initiatives while operating at a high-occupancy level, allowing them to make improvements without sacrificing service levels," said Matt McConnell, Intradiem’s CEO, in a statement. "It's a pleasure to work with an organization that is dedicated to making improvements to impact the customer experience and also employee satisfaction. When their agents said they wanted more training, The General listened and delivered on that request."
Since deploying Intradiem's Intraday Management technology in its two main contact centers, The General has seen:
- a net impact on operating costs of roughly 3 percent, with a return on total investment at nearly 150 percent;
- a 53 percent improvement in agent productivity;
- a 22 percent increase in new hire ramp-up training;
- a 20 percent enhancement ofoperational efficiencies; and
- a 9 percent boost in agent performance