Case study: RCDA implements contact center process improvement plan, increasing BPO sales and retention and enhancing the customer experience for a Fortune 500 satellite service provider

Summary

  • Voice of the customer (VOC) reporting concluded that the client, a Fortune 500 satellite service provider, needed to address key areas of opportunity to positively impact its customer experience, sales, retention and bottom-line results.
  • The client hired an outside consultancy to create a comprehensive process improvement plan to address the VOC report findings.
  • In the second half of 2014, the client faced the large challenge of implementing the process improvement plan within its BPO vendor partner contact centers. They brought in Robert C. Davis and Associates (RCDA) to implement the plan across four BPOs and dozens of sites responsible for the direct sales channel to its customers. The timeline was aggressive.
  • A major goal was to drive the BPOs to meet or exceed their contractual performance commitments.
  • RCDA collaborated with with the client to incorporate a comprehensive set of best practices and create a training and coaching program to support the plan rollout.
  • RCDA delivered the resulting model by embedding its resources (RCDA Sales Champions) within the BPO sites and provided ongoing feedback and adjustments to continually improve processes.
  • The implementation was highly successful, and the client is considering having RCDA deliver the model to additional lines of business within its organization.

Overall Client Requirements

  • Successful implementation and completion by the first quarter of 2016
  • A training and coaching process at each BPO site to support implementation
  • Collaboration on incorporating best practices and developing training and coaching support materials
  • BPO compliance with the changes as standard operating procedure, subject to frequent client assessments

Process Improvement and Sustainability

The model was designed to increase sales, improve retention and focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience at all of the contracted BPOs. Again, the goal was to have the BPOs meet or exceed the performance expectations outlined in their contracts with the client. New processes included daily schedule protocol and conducting and reacting to quarterly site assessments. RCDA collaborated with the client to drive best practice adoption and sustainability within every BPO, increasing sales consistently and promoting an exceptional customer experience.

Creating and supporting new roles

Creating and supporting new roles within the sites to realize the client’s vision was one of the keys to successful implementation. RCDA collaborated with the client on developing the requirements for the roles and created a six-week training program. RCDA’s expertise in this area was paramount achieving all of this in a way that aligned easily with operations to limit disruption and maximize improvements.

Contractual Process Metrics

RCDA and the client measured the success of the initiative with these key contractual process metrics:

  • Continuous Improvement Management System (CIMS)
  • Operational process confirmations
  • Agent training, coaching and development
  • Front-line leadership/operations development
  • Executive level commitment
  • Quarterly assessments of key contractual requirements

Execution

Strong processes, planning and development, and commitment – The rollout was successful due to careful planning by RCDA around every detail for the embedding of the Sales Champions. The tactics included demonstration/modeling and skill transfer, clear and consistent communication, adherence to an agreed-upon plan and detailed timeline, and daily reporting and measurement by all parties. By committing to frequent calibrations, common goals and defined roles, the client and the BPOs continue to see positive results.

Training and coaching – The training plan ensured each new role came with the training and coaching activities needed to sustain the results. This included a combination of classroom training and on-the-floor training and coaching that empowered everyone on the team to meet the client’s goals. Key components of training and coaching were:

  • Comprehensive training and coaching for each role (including the demonstration/modeling and skill transfer).
  • Support materials that the BPOs could reference after RCDA Sales Champions left the site.
  • Coaching skills – This was the foundation for transferring the skills that agents needed to be successful. RCDA has strong expertise in this area. By allowing supervisors and operations management to focus effectively on agent development through training and coaching with RCDA’s support, the client saw agents improve immediately.
  • Daily execution – This included team huddles (focused on communicating performance goals and providing effective skill transfer before every shift), planned side-by-sides, monthly performance reviews and deliberate floor coverage by leadership. Monitoring and coaching became the norm on the floor, and the team prioritized administrative tasks according to activities that produce sales results. They allotted time for supervisor development to ensure that agents would not only receive the right quantity of training and coaching but also the quality needed to drive desired results and reduce attrition due to poor performance.

Sustainable Results – By embedding RCDA at the partner sites, the client had assurance that the agreed-upon process changes would be implemented across the board and that the BPOs had the proper training and coaching to ensure sustainable improvement in VOC numbers and sales and retention results.

Reporting and Compliance

As noted, the contracts with the BPOs required them to adhere to specific process requirements that needed to be woven into the operational environment. By implementing the rollout with the proper roles, processes and reporting structure, RCDA ensured that the model would become the standard operating procedure at each site. It also ensured that everyone would apply a consistent approach during every interaction. The reporting covered weekly process confirmations, ongoing assessments, and the training and coaching activities.

How RCDA Makes It Work

A process is just a process with out a solid execution plan. Through demonstration and inspection, RCDA delivered the model as prescribed.

The first step was to create a daily and weekly plan for each level of leadership. This blueprint ensured that floor coverage, agent development and leadership development was mapped out with each member of the team having specific roles and responsibilities by interval. Once the site executed the model with excellence, the focus shifted to enhancing coaching and development skills.

Step one focused on supervising the site. Step two focused on developing leaders into master coaches dedicated to developing their direct reports. Mid-level managers received coaching in a tri-level format, with the RCDA Sales Champion observing front-line managers as they interacted with agents. These sessions ranged from side-by-side coaching sessions and monthly performance reviews to quick-hit coaching and the delivery of an effective pre-shift huddle. The collaborative team observed and ultimately certified the mid-level managers in the coaching model and skills transfer process. Additionally, the team observed front-line managers coaching agents, and the Sales Champion and mid-level manager coached and developed them until certified. All of this occurred as RCDA ensured the blueprint in step one was executed flawlessly.

The final step in creating sustainability was to inspect what was inspected and provide additional coaching and feedback. This included ensuring that daily and weekly plans were executed, the coaching model was delivered, skill transfer was effective and, most importantly, leadership could identify and coach to the behaviors impacting KPIs.

The results of taking the chaos out of what can be a chaotic environment were improved employee morale, improvement in the VOC scores and close rates that exceeded the client’s expectations.

Results Summary

  • Improved implementation – By utilizing the RCDA resources, the client and BPOs achieved the results they expected and much more. The embedded RCDA Sales Champions ensured that every aspect of the rollout was highly effective and embraced at the BPO sites.
  • Enterprise training – 50 leadership and 180 coaching roles were trained across the BPO sites. Fourteen locations fully implemented the initiative to the client’s requirements. Thousands of agents were trained and coached to improve sales and VOC results.
  • Operational efficiency – The implementation created an environment that effectively produced hourly results and focused on continuous improvement. Instead of chasing numbers, operations could predict and manage the numbers.
  • Reduced attrition – By creating an environment of constant coaching and development for agents and supervisors, agent attrition numbers improved.
  • Improved culture – With an effective sustainability model, the client and BPOs have greater transparency within operations and the ability to respond quickly to changing circumstances at the operational level.
  • Improved sales – Sales and retention increased significantly at BPO sites.
  • Improved VOC – The rollout has produced great improvements in VOC results.

Bottom line – The implemented model continues to generate millions of dollars in added revenue for the client and the BPOs.