For a business to be successful, it must be able to create a satisfied customer base, which also means being able to provide high levels of engagement. The definition and implementation of engagement campaigns vary by business, by project, and by end customer – but the one common thread between them all is the simple formula: CS = $.
Understanding that the key to success lies with the customer, the prudent executive will take care to develop partnerships with outsourcing firms with quality standards and practices that match, or even exceed, his or her own. Developing these trusted relationships with teleservices and BPO firms is the only way to ensure consistent customer interaction on an ongoing basis.
To foster those relationships, TMC (News - Alert) and CUSTOMER magazine have, for the past 21 years, named MVP Quality Awards winners. The objective has been to provide a starting point for businesses seeking to increase the value, quality, and consistency of their customer engagement. What we’ve noticed is that because the customer has evolved, customer engagement has also had to evolve, and the businesses that have embraced new means of interacting with customers are often able to achieve their objectives more efficiently. Corporate philosophy and commitment, along with agent dedication, remains paramount, but they must be supported by appropriate technology to put customers and agents on the same level. The best outsourcers are able to adapt to changing environments in an effort to deliver exceptional results.
With that understanding, we are proud to present the 22nd edition of our MVP Quality Awards. We congratulate this year’s winners and hope you will use this list – and our quantitative annual Teleservices Rankings in the April issue – as a starting point in your quest to deliver the best in customer engagement. Here are some key excerpts from the award applications.
Agero closes the loop on every transaction, and delivered an industry first by developing an IVR closed loop process. After our agent speaks with a customer and obtains all the pertinent information needed to complete a transaction, the live portion of our call is completed. Approximately seven minutes after speaking to a customer, we place an automated call to the customer, through an IVR, to provide additional information about the status of his or her transaction. It is an expectation setting call. We make one last outbound call to the customer, approximately five minutes after the transaction was completed, to ensure that we delivered on our promise. This call ensures that service was delivered in a timely and effective manner. In the unlikely event that it was not, we can preempt a call from the customer and address and solve the problem immediately. This proactive approach puts the customer’s mind at ease by providing the confidence that we will hold their hand through the entire process and ensure that it does not breakdown at their expense.
When clients choose a teleservices partner, they want a trusted company that will invest each and every call with the same quality and care they do – a company that will reflect the integrity of the business and brand. With more than three decades of telemarketing experience, InfoCision consistently outperforms competitors in total program ROI as a result of our inbound and outbound contact center technologies and effective selling and data capture strategies utilizing our proprietary business intelligence tools. In most cases our documented return on investment has been 15 to 30 percent higher than some of the largest call center companies in the world. We employ global skills-based targeted call routing. This allows us to ensure calls are routed to the most experienced and knowledgeable communicators for a particular product, service, or program. Our centralized command center allows us operate all of our 33 call centers as one large virtual enterprise. Skills-based targeted routing allows us to look company-wide for the best producing communicators to maximize client ROI. This also provides a redundant disaster recovery framework in which calls can be instantly routed to another location in the event of a catastrophic failure.
Quality is measured using a 32-point metric that focuses on first impression, agent product/account knowledge, system navigation skills, revenue and retention, and professional presentation and soft skills. These metrics measure the overall customer service experience of each contact and promote customer appreciation, courtesy, respect, empathy, and happy to assist energy. Agents must maintain a 9.0 QA average to remain eligible for a substantial bi-weekly bonus, promoting a rejuvenated incentive every two weeks. Agents not meeting the minimum standard are supported with documented coaching and up-training, progress reviews, and appropriate corrective action as needed to ensure all team members are guided, supported, and assigned appropriately.
Humans tend to be self-interested and tend to act and/or exert more energy and commitment when there is benefit. The best improvement we have made to our quality objectives is to tie compensation to quality scores. When there is money, status, and job promotion at stake, staff will act accordingly. As a company, only when we put our money where our mouth was have we been able to more significantly move the quality needle. By structuring personnel evaluations and incentives around quality scores and achievement of objectives, have we been able to make leaps in the quality of our output. It would be convenient to say that we have a staff that is impassioned about quality and eats, breathes, and sleeps quality. And it is true, we are cultivating those values within our staff. But only when we made the direct connection between compensation and quality have we experienced a true revolution in the importance and achievement of quality-focused objectives in our operations.
EGS (Expert Global Solutions)
IT investments are central to our long-term strategy. Each of our objectives for growth and supporting seamless customer service require different levels of spending. EGS has focused on achieving flexibility to meet the needs of its various customer segments. The higher costs of this approach to IT management are offset by the benefits of innovation and our ability to respond to customers’ needs. EGS uses its investments in technology to provide consistent service across all customer segments. EGS’s continued success is matched to our spending levels related to improvements in the IT strategy not industry benchmarks.
At the core of our quality methodology is our innovative and proprietary application, KnoahsARK. It is a modular, web-based application that enables us to track quality metrics for multiple clients and multiple criteria across multiple channels of customer interaction. Because we record every transaction, we are able to do things like review transactions that were associated with poor CSAT surveys to quickly identify problem areas with specific agents or groups of agents and provide specific and near real-time feedback that leads to re-training plans that make a difference. The QA component improves agent performance and the customer experience by calibrating evaluators, creating a collaborative QA environment by allowing agents to add feedback or appeal evaluations, and assigning corrective actions, including training courses, define quality plans, and associate criteria scores to specific metrics and key performance indicators. This is what Knoah’s 360° Feedback process is all about: measuring, analyzing, improving, and re-evaluation.
The perception of teleservices has historically been negative, with telemarketers drawing ire for particular outbound sales practices. Teleservices has evolved as a viable means for customer service and sales, and Argo Marketing has helped shape this by being a true third party, contracted domestic customer engagement center. We have established and cultivated a reputation within the industry for providing quality customer care and exceeding KPI standards based on our experience and expertise. This has played a role in shaping common opinions and redefining teleservices within our industries.
We believe culture can make or break a company, and a great culture never happens by accident. By aligning all employees with our five core values, the Tigerpaw culture gets stronger and stronger, with free-flowing information, collaboration, accountability, and a spirit of excellence. These core values are so important to us that every employee carries a card, much like a business card, with the five core values and their descriptions. We believe core values need to be promoted – and lived – from the top down.
The Connection focuses on great client partnerships by creating an internal culture that is passionate about emulating client values and brand. Our goal is to effectively act as another arm of your company, providing you contact center solutions that suit your brand and your own company’s mission. The Connection is dedicated to long-term relationships with employees and client partnerships. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve our contact center solutions so that our relationships with clients and employees continue to grow over time.
Edited by Maurice Nagle