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The 2013 Implementation Awards

By The Editors of Speech Technology - Posted Aug 12, 2013
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Not surprisingly, a key goal our four Implementation winners share is increasing operational efficiency. For three of our winners, that meant capturing customer interactions and achieving tangible results through agent scoring and coaching. For the fourth, it meant updating an outdated dictation system to improve internal work flow, increase accuracy, and eliminate an onerous document backlog. For all, their efforts meant increased revenue and a boost in productivity, benefits that all have found were well worth their investments.

Customer: Home Depot
Vendor: NICE Systems
Products: NICE Quality Management, NICE Interaction Recording, and NICE Interaction Analytics

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,257 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico. It has more than 300,000 associates, and four contact center sites supporting its e-commerce activity, with more than 900 agents handling up to 6.5 million e-commerce-related voice interactions annually.

The e-commerce department wanted to gain insight into its customer interactions to improve sales effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. The primary responsibility of the e-commerce contact center is to generate revenue. A secondary role is to resolve customer service issues related to online purchasing. The company wanted to improve business processes, policies, and systems, and boost agent performance. Home Depot also wanted to help agents increase sales conversion rates, average order value (AOV), and revenue per contact (RPC), while still maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. It wanted to reduce average handle time (AHT), eliminate wasted time and multiple handoffs, and better use resources without diminishing satisfaction or sales effectiveness.

Although Home Depot collected voice of the customer information, it needed more detail to drive changes. The leadership team could view high-level information, but not the drivers contributing to the results. Increased visibility into the voice of the customer business intelligence and being able to hold employees accountable to this data was needed.

Home Depot chose NICE Systems to capture its customer interactions, perform in-depth root-cause analysis for stakeholders, and translate that into actionable results. During the implementation, which began in the third quarter of 2012, it was critical for Home Depot to use NICE solutions in a way that could convert its contact centers from "service recovery centers" to "revenue generation centers." The company used conversion rate, AOV, and RPC metrics to enhance agent performance as well as improve processes, policies, and systems.

It revised its interaction evaluation forms, developed with NICE Quality Management, to include a section that determines sales effectiveness. This section was used on sales call categories (product availability, place order, item specifications) to determine if the agent used probing questions to understand the scope of the customer's project, made appropriate product recommendations, and offered to place the order for the customer, especially on returns. When opportunities for improvement were identified, the quality analyst provided the agent with immediate feedback via coaching packages. Supervisors and managers were copied on the packages to provide the agent with additional input. Quality analysts also conducted targeted coaching sessions for agents.

By implementing the solution, Home Depot increased its close rate by 31.8 percent, its AOV by 12.1 percent, and its RPC by 40.4 percent. This translated into a revenue gain of $10.8 million in just four months.

To measure customer satisfaction, the company used Net Promoter Score, one-call resolution, and resolution satisfaction. Home Depot was able to identify improvement initiatives by creating quality plans for targeted call monitoring instead of the random selection method it had previously used.

Home Depot looked at AHT to determine ways to reduce it, eliminate waste, and better use resources without affecting service. AHT reduction was critical as two new contact centers were brought online. AHT had to be significantly reduced to meet staffing requirements for the 2012 holiday season without exceeding budget targets. To reduce AHT, the company developed initiatives using information generated by NICE Interaction Analytics.

With NICE Interaction Recording, the company recorded its customer interactions, then built categories in NICE Interaction Analytics according to various metrics to measure sales effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency.

"NICE's extensive understanding of our business allows them to prepare relevant, valuable sessions that meet our company's specific business objectives," says Greg Harris, quality assurance manager at Home Depot. "As we have implemented new features, they have provided key instruction and feedback to ensure the solution would provide measurable business improvements throughout the organization."

The results

  • Close rate increased 31.8 percent
  • Revenue per contact surged 40.4 percent
  • Realized $10.8 million of additional revenue in 4 months
  • Decreased average handle time by 27 percent
  • Improved Net Promoter Score by 15 points

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