With the increasingly competitive auto insurance landscape, providers that offer the lowest rates and deliver quality customer service will prevail. Frontline agents need to be ready for any type of interaction – and need to be able to proactively keep customers from leaving for the next best offer. A great way to ensure agents are always updated on the latest promotions, policies, and product offerings is with individualized coaching and training.
The General, a national auto insurance provider with multiple contact centers and more than 250,000 customers, wanted to improve the efficiency with which it responded to unexpected business events. Occupancy rates were high (85 to 90 percent), and there was little time to pull agents off the floor for training and coaching.
When agents were off the phones and in classroom training, significant additional headcount was required to cover their shifts, which was expensive. Manually scheduling and rescheduling cancelled training time was cumbersome, and bringing at-home agents in to train was both costly and time consuming.
The company needed a better way to deploy critical information such as compliance training, development activities, and other work-related tasks to agents while still providing the highest level of customer service. This meant finding more time to create and deliver training to agents to improve their performance, while at the same time improving overall efficiency in the centers.
The General turned to Intradiem, a provider of intraday management solutions for the contact center, to help improve operational efficiencies, increase the amount of training agents received, and enhance overall agent engagement and satisfaction.
The General knew agents wanted and needed more individualized coaching and training; it was a frequent request made through employee satisfaction surveys. But it also wanted a way to certify that agents had completed regulatory training.
To improve training efficiencies, Intradiem intraday task management finds and aggregates slivers of available time and dynamically delivers training sessions directly to the agent desktop. As a result, The General’s workforce managers and trainers no longer schedule classroom training sessions. Instead, Intradiem delivers short sessions to agents’ desktops during natural downtimes in call volume, which fits in seamlessly with The General’s high occupancy environment.
If call volume unexpectedly spikes, agents are returned to answering phones so that service levels are not negatively impacted.
The General tailors and prioritizes training to specific agent and business needs. Additionally, trainers now use time previously spent on the logistics of classroom training to develop new content and administer materials to agents through Intradiem’s intraday management solution.
In addition to training and coaching, The General also uses Intradiem for agents to complete other important tasks such as outbound calls or follow-up documentation.
Since implementing Intradiem, agents at The General have completed an average of eight courses each month compared to the three or four courses per month they were previously able to complete in the classroom. Typical training sessions that used to take 45 minutes or more to complete can now be completed in 20 to 25 minutes, making agents more productive overall and improving transparency into the completion of training.
At-home agent training has greatly increased and is now at the same level as in-office agents.
Within the first 12 months of using Intradiem, unproductive downtime, new hire ramp-up and shrinkage were all dramatically reduced and operational efficiencies improved by 20 percent. The first year return on total investment was 104 percent, with the benefits distributed across the following categories:
- Agent productivity gains – 53 percent
- New hire ramp-up gains – 22 percent
- Operational efficiency gains – 20 percent
- CSR (News - Alert) performance gains – 9 percent
Today, trainers at The General have more time to complete critical activities such as follow-up work and coaching. This additional coaching has resulted in dramatic improvements to agent performance as agents now receive the training and updates they want and need to provide an outstanding customer experience.
Additionally, as agents have increased their knowledge and skills, they are more confident in their jobs and more satisfied overall. And as agent engagement and productivity has improved, so has customer service and satisfaction.
Matt McConnell is CEO at Intradiem (www.intradiem.com).
Edited by Adam Brandt