1 No matter how firmly entrenched your company s old habits are, it s easier than you think to achieve EvenBetter customer service
2 HyperQuality 1 NO MATTER HOW FIRMLY ENTRENCHED YOUR COMPANY S OLD HABITS ARE, IT S EASIER THAN YOU THINK TO ACHIEVE EVENBETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE HYPERQUALITY Success at a Glance Challenge A national provider of energy service wanted to revitalize a lagging internal quality system that was tasked for 10 years with enhancing customer service. Also, the company s management team wanted contact center agents to have more ownership of the quality process which, they suspected, would result in greater improvement. And the company wanted to achieve its quality goals while reducing operating costs. Solution HyperQuality developed a custom monitoring and evaluation program focused on improving the customer experience and customer satisfaction scores. HyperQuality team members were able to identify trends, locate gaps in service and question assumptions -from day to day, week to week and month to month. Calls were monitored daily by HyperQuality staff, and the evaluations and scores were entered into HyperView, HyperQuality s proprietary, Webbased reporting tool. Results A total of 5,009 evaluations of 434 agents were conducted in one month. The electric company s program with HyperQuality yielded extremely positive results, including a significant reduction in the company s QA and evaluation costs. Other results: A 600% increase in the number of evaluations A clear and immediate improvement on critical quality issues Managers and supervisors receiving accurate, actionable data almost instantly Six months into its relationship with HyperQuality, the electric company decided to extend quality scores to its agents desktops after seeing powerful data that giving agents direct access to their own scores has a clear and positive impact on call quality and customer satisfaction. Industry Electric Utility # of Agents 400 Customer Profile Types of Calls Inbound phone calls regarding new or changing service, billing issues or power problems/outages Call Volume 5 million calls per year; 40% fully resolved by an internal Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system Locations Three domestic locations; the company also contracts with an outsourced credit oriented call center with additional agents Quick, efficient customer service is the lifeblood of our business... The 600% increase in evaluations provided by Hyper- Quality gave us a solid foundation for improving our customer service by clearly identifying specific problem areas. And we liked that HyperQuality functioned more as an extension of our company than a third-party vendor. Call Center Manager 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
3 2 HyperQuality Executive Summary No matter how long a company has been around, there s always room for improvement in customer service, especially as competition heats up and customer retention and loyalty become critical to financial success. Often older companies have the greater opportunity for progress. Today s customer contact executives know that monitoring call quality and coaching agents are two of the best ways to improve a contact center, but sometimes old habits and entrenched systems inadvertently hinder the development of a robust monitoring and evaluation system. An electric utility company with a 120+ year history, three contact center locations and 460 internal agents, wanted to increase monitoring, improve analysis and ultimately improve service to its customers. When agents were evaluated more frequently by an objective, third-party team that could spot trends and make proactive suggestions for improvement, the centers experienced improved quality scores and customers reported higher levels of satisfaction. The company received powerful proof that with the right partner, it is possible to teach an old dog (and old contact centers) new tricks. Frequent call quality monitoring is one of the best and least expensive ways to improve any contact center. In the pursuit of better customer service and operating performance, contact center managers traditionally begin with performance evaluations of their center s agents. Unfortunately, while most center managers agree on the importance of call monitoring, the average contact center evaluates far too few calls an industry average of just five calls per every 1,000 calls per month, for each agent at far too high a cost. According to industry standards, agents are typically evaluated by supervisors or managers, who may sit side-by-side with agents and listen to customer calls real time, or they may listen to recorded calls. After listening to calls, the supervisor or manager will evaluate the agent and create feedback which is delivered to the agent in the form of a written scorecard, via , or directly in a face-to-face meeting. Monitoring five calls per agent per month may be average for the industry, but how effective is that rate? Using the 1,000 calls per agent per month assumption, a center would have to monitor 350 calls per agent every month to reach a 95% confidence level. There isn t a contact center on Earth that can devote the time and resources required to ensure this level of statistical reliability. However, increasing the frequency of call monitoring even by just a few calls per agent per month can have a dramatic impact on a center s quality and profitability. Even better news improvement can happen at a lower cost than previous monitoring and evaluation systems. A national provider of energy service contracted with Seattle-based HyperQuality, Inc., to conduct agent evaluations in its contact centers and improve an antiquated internal quality system that had been focused on improving customer service for 10 years, but with little or no real improvement. The results were clear: with a partner like HyperQuality, a company can experience a surefire revitalization and achieve dramatic improvement in quality, while simultaneously achieving significant cost savings. Company Background The electric company s operations include 400+ contact center agents in multiple center locations. The company also contracts with an outsourced credit-oriented contact center with additional agents. The company receives approximately 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
4 HyperQuality 3 5,000,000 calls per year, with over 40% of the calls fully resolved by an internal Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Universal agents handle the remaining customer contacts, with most of these being inbound phone calls from customers regarding new or changing service, billing issues or power problems/outages. On average, the calls run in length from 2½ to 3½ minutes. In addition to inbound phone calls, the electric company has a fully functional and integrated Website, with some customer service contacts arriving via or Web form. The company s universal agents handle written communications in addition to their traditional telephone contacts. The challenge: increase call monitoring, improve call quality and dramatically lower costs. The electric company had several goals for improving its customer contact services. First, the company recognized its lack of core analytical bench strength. Even though the company employed a large number of internal quality analysts, the existing staff was simply not experienced enough in the proper areas to provide the deep and detailed analysis and feedback that executives wanted. Another of the company s objectives was to shift its overall approach to quality. In the past, the company s quality model took the form of quality police that is, employees usually only received feedback when they were caught doing something wrong, or when they had scores that were below a certain threshold. The process for improving quality was not collaborative between agents and management; instead, it was a top-down approach where management handed down directives to improve customer service. The company wanted its contact centers and, more specifically, its agents to be more involved in evaluations. Management suspected that rather than simply waiting on the receiving end of report cards, increased agent involvement would result in more ownership of the process and greater rates of improvement. Finally, the company wanted to achieve its quality goals at a much lower cost than it had been spending. In the words of one customer service executive, the company was spending a large amount of money for a very small sample of calls, with little or no coaching or follow-up after the evaluations were complete. This executive wanted to know, Why are we paying a half-million dollars to evaluate just 3-5 calls per agent per month? HyperQuality had the answer ROI with customer service results. Existing in-house quality systems time for a jumpstart? Like many companies, at the electric company, the monitoring and evaluation of phone calls was handled by its own internal teams, using QA tools and procedures developed by supervisors. However, the system was not working. First, with internal quality analysts evaluating an average of four calls per agent, per month, evaluations were too infrequent to meet the company s goals: it would be impossible to increase that number without a massive (and expensive) increase in staff. In addition, the small number of evaluations created a statistically invalid sample size for evaluating center-wide trends. Also, scores and comments were subjective, with little opportunity for calibration from supervisor to supervisor or from week to week. Finally, the schedule challenges and day-to-day reality of a busy contact center meant that supervisors availability 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
5 4 HyperQuality and thus, evaluations were inconsistent. The electric company was experiencing what happens every day in contact centers everywhere. In most centers, quality monitoring and coaching is considered a necessary evil. It s something that is mandated by others (upper management) and takes place if at all when time allows. In most centers, there is simply not enough staff to get the job done with any regularity, let alone multiply the number of evaluations significantly. And, of course, on any given day, if call volumes increase unexpectedly (as they often do), supervisors must abandon their monitoring to the back burner so they can jump on the phones and help handle calls. Often, supervisors run out of time and find themselves rushed to complete evaluations during the last few days of the month certainly not the most accurate way to judge an agent s or a center s total quality. And certainly no way to drive change or improve performance that directly impacts the company s bottom line. Solving the problem required the perfect partner. The electric company had two main options for tackling its call monitoring and evaluation challenge. First, the company could have continued its internal monitoring system, continuing to fall short of its goals at continued great cost. The second option was to explore outsourcing their contact centers quality monitoring, evaluation and quality analysis. The most basic benefit of outsourcing call quality monitoring is simple: it gets done (and on a much larger scale). And when quality monitoring is done, businesses reap improved efficiency and performance. Setting aside the cost savings (which can be substantial), simply increasing the number of evaluations will give you a much more accurate report of any contact center s performance. A number of companies offer so-called call center monitoring, evaluation and/or improvement. In reality, most of these companies primarily provide recording solutions or surveys for agent performance. Monitoring is generally conducted randomly, with variable schedules from agent to agent, from center to center, and from month to month. When feedback is given, scores are delivered via paper reports or attachments, rather than a Web-based ASP-tool accessible from any location. Finally, these traditional call recording or monitoring companies tend to be heavily consultative in their approach. They can be expected to deliver a broad list of things to fix, but not at the agent-level. And, of course, rather than simply evaluating, the consultant s ultimate goal is to sell its own solutions. When considering outsourcing options, an objective partner is vital. This is the only way to get an accurate picture of a contact center and each and every agent s true performance. In addition, partners must be focused on quality, rather than simply on workforce management. While many workforce management solutions will deliver some level of improvement in most contact center environments, to achieve truly substantive improvement that is long-term, that builds customer loyalty and that delivers a positive ROI, clients must have a partner that focuses on quality. The choice was clear. The electric company s goal in locating the right partner for its quality initiative was to find a company with credibility and depth of experience. It also wanted a company with proven ROI. Management needed to believe that its potential partner would be able to get up to speed quickly and truly understand the company s business. According to a senior executive, Once we narrowed down the list of companies that could offer even a portion of the services we wanted, there were 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
6 HyperQuality 5 very few contenders. We immediately saw that HyperQuality was the clear leader in the field. When they saw that most companies achieve a 6-12x ROI with HyperQuality, the energy company s management was able to move quickly engaging HyperQuality. The electric company tests HyperQuality and sees results almost immediately. The electric company contracted with HyperQuality to develop a custom monitoring and evaluation program, which focused on improving the customer experience and customer satisfaction scores. HyperQuality s custom-designed solution was founded upon the proactive approach that is the hallmark of HyperQuality s full-team service. Rather than a single solution or magic bullet, the HyperQuality team stayed ahead of the curve, spotting trends that the company s managers were unable to see clearly. HyperQuality s team members were able to identify common pitfalls, locate gaps in service and question assumptions from day to day, week to week and month to month. And as always, HyperQuality functioned from day one as an extension of the electric company s business, with a dedicated account executive as a primary point of contact. Regular monthly and quarterly business reviews have helped focus the team s attention on areas of improvement, as well as provide robust feedback to supervisors and agents. The personal and proactive aspect of HyperQuality s service has proved to be one of the most beneficial to the electric company and most appreciated by company management. Over the course of the initial program, HyperQuality conducted 5,009 evaluations of 434 agents during one month. Calls were monitored daily by HyperQuality staff, and the evaluations and scores were entered into HyperView. Company supervisors were able to log-in to HyperView at any time via any Web browser, to review agent evaluations, listen to recorded calls and create and review up-to-the-minute reports on the fly. These reports went well beyond merely compiling data or verifying compliance with a laundry list of requirements. Instead, the reports included useful direction and real advice for agent behavior that could deliver measurable improvements in customer care. Supervisors logged-on to HyperView to view any of the following reports: Quality Evaluation Displays overall quality results and call category results; Periodic Report Displays overall quality scores by agent and highlights opportunities for EvenBetter performance. Stack Ranking Overview The Stack Rank Overview ranks agents into performance thresholds (score ranges) according to their overall score for the selected date range. Stack Rank Detail The Stack Ranking Detail lists all the agents ranked by their overall quality score. It s essentially a zoom-view of the Stack Ranking Overview report, minus the graphs. Team Performance Team Performance Report shows which teams have the highest average, the lowest variance from goal, and the most coaching completed. Attribute Trending Agent evaluations broken down to show strengths and weaknesses by attribute. Sub-Attribute Trending Agent evaluations broken down to show strengths and weaknesses by sub-attributes. User Frequency Report True to the title, the User Frequency Report shows frequency of the users using Hyper- View along with the crucial data of when was the last time any report was accessed with the respective date. 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
7 6 HyperQuality Agent Evaluation Summary Report It shows the weekly break up and the overall summary for the attributes. Weekly Agent Evaluation Report It shows the weekly break up and the overall summary for the agents. Comments Report Displays all comments written with selection available by attribute. Action Plan Follow Up Shows the number of evaluations for all the supervisors with a list of evaluations below threshold and the ones with the action plan inputs. Call Type Report Displays the scores for all the call types individually along with a break up of different call sections. Training Call Report The Training Call Report shows the list of the calls which were selected for training purposes (positive and negative). Inappropriate Calls Report Displays the calls marked as inappropriate along with a link to the call summary. The parameters of the company s initial program with HyperQuality allowed for evaluations and scores to be directly accessed by supervisors only, with the supervisors then passing the evaluations on to agents. The data included in the reports was more inclusive and comprehensive than anything the company s agents had seen before, and thus had a positive effect on quality scores. Six months later, the client decided to extend direct access to quality scores to its agents desktops. The company made this decision after seeing data that proved, beyond a doubt, that giving agents direct access to scores has a clear and positive impact on call quality and customer satisfaction. As a result, the energy company saw another jump in agent performance. Results right away delivered by HyperQuality. The electric company s initial program with HyperQuality yielded extremely positive results, for very minimal financial investment. And, for the first time in decades, its senior management team was impressed with the performance increases in its contact centers because the contact centers were evolving from cost-centers to revenue-generators. First, with HyperQuality, the company was able to meet its goal of increasing the number of evaluations by up to 600%. From the beginning, HyperQuality conducted an average of one call per agent every day, averaging evaluations per month. In addition, the company saw clear and immediate improvement on critical quality issues. Managers and supervisors appreciate knowing where they (and their contact centers and agents) stand almost instantly. Whereas in the past, managers received quality data at the end of the month, when it was stale and it was too late to affect change, with HyperQuality, managers have accurate, detailed and actionable data the very next day. The following tables illustrate the electric company s improvement in quality scores, overall and at individual call center locations: 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
8 HyperQuality 7 And, finally, the best result experienced by the electric company was in a clear and sustained improvement in customer satisfaction scores. For the past several years, the company has contracted with a third-party service to conduct random postcall surveys. After HyperQuality began evaluating the quality of the company s communications, the surveys showed a major improvement in customer satisfaction results and the high scores have continued. What s more, even with all this improvement, the company s quality monitoring and evaluation costs have gone down. For real success, use the power of contact center monitoring. The electric company knows that in today s competitive marketplace, customer service is often one of the only ways to differentiate. Since contact centers are the primary touch-point between a company and its customers, improving the quality of the contact center s service will improve the company s relationship with customers in the short term and for years to come. Partnering with HyperQuality is the best way to change old habits, create new standards and move any company s customer service to levels that are higher and more profitable than ever before. 2015, HyperQuality, Inc.
9 For more information, contact: HyperQuality, Inc. One Convention Place, 701 Pike Street, Suite 1560, Seattle WA Copyright 2015 HyperQuality, Inc. All rights reserved. Other trademarks are registered trademarks and the properties of their respective owners. Product specifications and features are subject to change without notice