AAA Northeast Provides Faster Service with Calabrio

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AAA Northeast serves drivers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, providing roadside assistance, insurance, financial services, travel assistance, discounts, and other benefits.

When a motorist calls in for roadside assistance, it’s typically an emergency, though the severity can range from a dead battery in the driveway to a car stalling in an unsafe area during extreme weather conditions. How well the company responds to those situations is a major determining factor in customer satisfaction and whether customers renew their annual memberships. So excellent customer service is a priority.

Ensuring the quality of those interactions falls on a team of eight analysts and one manager charged with evaluating more than 800 agents.

“We’re heavily involved with the research and process improvement for the member experience,” says Helen Cox, who served as AAA Northeast’s quality assurance manager until the end of 2021.

AAA Northeast turned to Calabrio to help with that late in the summer of 2020.

Calabrio Speech Analytics was able to identify call types based on the location from which the member was calling.

With that information, in February 2021, AAA Northeast created a new evaluation form consisting of the different call types. In March, the quality assurance team communicated this new form and the different call types that it would be evaluating to all frontline agents.

“In April, we started evaluating these different call types,” Cox says. “The speech analytics within the platform gave us the ability to target those types of calls with ease. As you can imagine, when you start to focus on specific call types, you’ll learn a lot.”

Calabrio Speech Analytics uncovered inconsistencies in interactions with members who were calling for help when stuck on the highway.

The quality assurance team quickly learned that there was an opportunity to improve customer interactions with roadside assistance calls from highways, Cox recalls. In response, AAA Northeast created a cross-functional group made up of leads, supervisors, managers, training teams, and the quality team focused on four main areas: member satisfaction, safety concerns, locations, and efficiency. “Together, we really started to dig deep into what our highway interactions are all about,” she says.

Using Calabrio Desktop Analytics, AAA was able to track the resources agents were using when speaking to highway callers. It found that agents weren’t using a GPS locator tool as often as they should, relying instead on asking callers irrelevant questions in attempts to pinpoint their exact locations. Once it identified the root cause behind agents’ underuse of the GPS tool, (mainly a lack of training), contact center leaders partnered with the training team to re-launch the GPS tool kit to instruct agents on how to use the locator and how to enter the coordinates into the system. Within three months, average handling time for calls dropped by 14 seconds.

Though that might seem like a very small amount of time, each second saved is equal to one full-time employee, according to Natoya James, who took over as quality assurance manager at AAA Northeast at the start of this year. Additionally, the average handling time for highway calls fell from 7 minutes and 50 seconds to 7 minutes and 24 seconds.

AAA Northeast also saw a 30 percent decrease in agents receiving the lowest customer evaluation scores.

Now AAA Northeast is looking to expand its use of Calabrio Analytics, looking deeper into all calls to determine how to better train agents and to deliver even faster service. 

The Payoff

Since implementing Calabrio Analytics, AAA Northeast has seen the following results:

  • average handling time decreased 14 seconds per call (each second saved equals one full-time employee);
  • average handling time for highway calls dropped from 7 minutes and 50 seconds to 7 minutes and 24 seconds; and
  • agents receiving the lowest evaluation decreased by 30 percent.

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