• January 3, 2011
  • By Koa Beck, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

Learning What to Teach

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Customer loyalty obviously matters in the contact center industry—but even contact centers themselves need to show a little loyalty.

Telvista, a North American provider of customer care solutions to midsize and Fortune 1000 clients, knows this all too well. The company is a long-standing user of workforce optimization technology from Verint Witness Actionable Systems and various subsidiaries—and late last year tried to get even more out of its investment with that vendor.

In October 2009, Telvista implemented Verint’s Impact 360 Quality Monitoring (QM) at seven of its facilities across the United States and

Impact 360 combines QM with encryption management, supporting the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards with its own compliance focus. This capability helps protect sensitive customer and cardholder data in recordings, in transit, and in archives, securing that data from unauthorized access.

Impact 360’s other capabilities include performance management, e-learning, and custom reporting capabilities, enabling agents and supervisors to listen to calls to improve performance.

“We used Verint to record 100 percent of clients’ calls,” says Ayn Owens, director of business and marketing at Telvista. “[Verint] has a quality team that is dedicated to that particular program.... They were trying to assess what different problems or issues were coming up during those calls.”

The process turned up four main problems: proper tool usage, basic knowledge of Internet protocols, issues with wireless connections, and email configuration. “We were able to then add to our knowledge base what those four issues were,” Owens says, “[and] how to address them.”

Newer agents needed assistance in troubleshooting steps, checking and managing a customer’s voice, and providing appropriate closure codes in the ticket system. These agents also struggled with understanding and managing connectivity problems and email setup.

One issue in particular, Owens says, was common to newer agents: “Customers would [be] connected to their network with full signal,” she says, “but could not surf the Net. ”That meant the agent couldn’t reach out with a solution via email, for example."

Uncovering these weak points allowed Telvista to educate its agents, supplying structured troubleshooting guides to address simple problems, such as sending or receiving email, navigating network software, and correctly identifying Internet connectivity issues. E-learning improved employee skills and awareness of corporate products and programs through an agent desktop application available for use between calls.

The Verint software also helped Telvista create video clips that it could post to the company’s intranet for agents and supervisors to use.

“Verint is a lot more proficient in education,” Owens explains. “[This] allowed us to really be a lot more consistent and professional and stepped up the level of how we were educating.”

Telvista also took advantage of Verint’s post-call surveys, coupling those results with observations made on the actual call. Agents then brought these findings to weekly meetings with supervisors to discuss in depth how to provide a more well-rounded understanding of the customer’s experience.

In addition to QM, Telvista used Verint as an analytics tool, searching keywords on recorded calls to encourage ongoing efficiency in service.

“Depending on which program an agent is assigned to, they have key metrics that are very important,” Owens explains. “The supervisor has to understand each of their metrics and focus on individual direct reports, additional coaching, [and] service-level metrics specific to that account.”

In just a six-month period, Telvista’s first-call resolution improved by 4 percent. What’s more, the clients to which Telvista provides services saw an increase in their quality scores that ranged from 10 percent to 25 percent.

Who says loyalty doesn’t generate tangible benefits?

Editorial Assistant Koa Beck can be reached at kbeck@destinationCRM.com.

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