Company D is a large telecommunications provider for wireless, wireline, business and television services. Company D services all parts of the country with some third party contractors to service areas outside of their existing footprint. Company D has two large competitors and own a strong market share within their line of business.
Company D is experiencing high customer churn rates due to the level of service they receive from the call centers. Today they service all parts of the business and with their changing product assortment and new product introductions, customers calls are increasing to inquire about the new product or seek answers to some of their questions. Customer complain that on average their wait time is in excess of 10 min and as a result they would rather switch to a local competitor that offers a guarantee response within a prescribed time, otherwise they will reimburse the customer for overages. Company D’s executives require that this issue be fixed with no significant additions to the annual budget in terms of technology or head count.
OUR FINDINGS AND RESULTS
After analyzing the call center organizational structure the following findings were noted:
- There is a layered structure for support reps to go through, that is they will go through first, second and third tier support before an issue is cleared.
- Customers complain that they are being transferred by too many individuals and its taking significant time to resolve the issue
- Customers complain that reps are not adequately trained on product knowledge leading to more time to inquire about the issue
- Wait times on average were 8 min, with 1 min being the minimum and 22 min being the maximum time recorded within a one week period. Competitors aim to respond within 5 min of the call and are often successful at achieving this.
- Call center costs are 14% higher than the national average.
Our recommendation was a combination of a process change as well as a training activity. Helping Company D associates understand the strength behind adequate training and product knowledge was vital. Call center costs were higher due to the time required to solve an issue. As a result company D over staffed the call center. There were no clear accountabilities and lack of knowledge led to excessive hand offs leading the customer to ultimately suffer. Once trained we saw a drop in customer wait time to 5.2 min, call center costs dropped by 11%. Furthermore the number of handoffs dropped by 50%, the number of required divisions dropped from 5 to 3 and overall customer response looked positive.
Once we helped develop this process, company D was able to transfer this learning to their business services and see a clear and positive change.