The 2009 CRM Service Awards: Service Elite -- LifeLock: Scaling for Security

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Security and service are hallmarks of any good contact center—but especially at LifeLock, a security service best known for a chief executive officer who puts his Social Security Number (457-55-5462, if you’re curious) on billboards to indicate the identity-theft protection available to LifeLock’s customers—all 1.4 million of them.

Since LifeLock’s founding in 2005, the threat of identity theft has driven growth at a rate of between 80 percent and 100 percent each year. The service includes 24/7 agent availability, and when LifeLock’s contact center volume jumped 400 percent in the latter half of 2007, the 250-agent center was faced with reaching capacity within seven months. A contact center system was required that could scale as needed.

LifeLock discovered the emerging field of on-demand contact center applications, and Santa Clara, Calif.–based LiveOps was the immediate standout. After two weeks’ integration in mid-2007, LifeLock began seeing benefits right away, according to a published case study at the time. One LifeLock executive was quoted as saying that “LiveOps enables us to roll out new training and materials very quickly and gives us detailed visibility into campaigns and agent performance—regardless of where the agents are located.”

That’s fine for operations, but LiveOps’ effectiveness is just as much a factor in the contact center itself, where the results live and breathe. One very useful aspect of LiveOps’ scalability, according to Tammy Valdez, LifeLock’s vice president of member services, is its remote-agent outsourcing service, which provides trained agents as remote workers, able to step in when call volume jumps. “Early on there were remote agents, but they were a real challenge to manage,” Valdez recalls. “I prefer a bricks-and-mortar contact center where you can create a culture. That said, the remote agents have been super.” LifeLock regularly uses 85 such agents when the lines heat up.

Training and consistency ceased to be a concern. “Part of the appeal of LiveOps was that we could ensure consistency on every call, because the interactions could be scripted,” Valdez says. “We saw results immediately. Agent scalability started showing results in about two months, when marketing hit its stride.” That stride included some high-visibility campaigns, talk-show mentions, and a Super Bowl spot, which all caused jumps in call activity. “Most of the calls [the remote agents] take are enrollment calls; we take most of the service calls in-house,” Valdez says. “It allows us scalability we never would have had, and saves a lot of fixed costs in favor of variable [ones].”

Call volume since mid-2007 has jumped 374 percent, but Valdez says LiveOps has enabled LifeLock to handle the growth seamlessly, including spikes of 146 percent and peaks of up to 262 percent over average call volume.

Cost is always a factor in contact centers, but LifeLock actually saved 40 percent in costs compared to its previous system, with a simultaneous reduction in training and retention costs. Best of all, Valdez says, the scalability provided by LiveOps removed the need for a second physical contact center.

Business intelligence benefits also accrued. “The idea was to take calls via [Internet Protocol], which is better than [hundreds of] numbers with no tracking,” Valdez says. “With the LiveOps solution we could not only juggle far more calls, but track them and use them to refine our business.”

Most fitting? Secure customer data transactions—a concept close to LifeLock’s heart. “We could leverage security, because customers enter data to a secure [interactive voice response system] instead of telling an agent. Naturally we wanted the most secure system possible. [LiveOps] has helped the company manage through this period of rapid growth—and continue to focus on protecting our customers’ identities.”  —Marshall Lager

• Successfully managed call-volume growth of 374 percent
• Handled peaks of up to 262 percent above the new average volume
• Kept on-site and remote agents on-message
• Saved 40 percent in infrastructure costs
• Avoided having to build a second brick-and-mortar contact center

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For the rest of the April 2009 issue of CRM magazine, please click here.

The other three recipients of the 2009 CRM Service Elite Award are:

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