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Our three winning client companies used speech and voice applications to solve a business problem or seize a business opportunity.

Analyzing, and Improving, Agents’ Performance

Founded in 1985, Sitel Group, which generated $1.7 billion in revenue in 2017, provides outsourced customer care services to corporations worldwide. One of the world’s largest customer care suppliers, the firm has 75,000 associates in more than 150 offices located in 25 countries. The business supports more than 400 clients in 70 countries, speaking 48 languages.

But when one of its largest customers threatened to take its business elsewhere, the outsourcer realized it needed to turn to speech analytics to improve agent performance. “With the help of our speech analytics systems, we identified problems such as lengthy authentications, and made changes that positively impacted their voice-of-the-customer experiences,” says Raghu Koyagura, regional performance director, Asia-Pacific, at Sitel Group.

Not Meeting Expectations

In the spring of 2017, a leading provider of digital television entertainment services, a firm with more than 32 million customers in the United States and Latin America, became dissatisfied. Sitel was handling the firm’s billing customer service, which includes answering queries, handling disputes, making changes to contracts, sales, and other general account maintenance tasks.

The Sitel support group in Baguio City in the Philippines performed below expected balance performance scores (BPS), which consists of voice-of-the-customer metrics, average handling time (AHT), repeats, transfers, and key performance indicators for sales. The group’s average performance was 79.51% compared to the target of 100%. In fact, Sitel was at the bottom of the customer’s ranking of its suppliers, which resulted in Sitel paying a penalty of about 6% every month. 

The client wanted Sitel to find ways to enhance its performance metrics, reduce AHT, improve customer satisfaction, and drive sales. Unhappy with Sitel’s overall performance, the client had been reducing its call volume. 

Enter Speech Analytics 

In response, the outsourcer decided to look for a speech analytics platform. Sitel talked to multiple vendors, and opted for CallMiner’s Eureka platform and Eureka Coach. “Our COO had worked with CallMiner while employed at another company, understood the system well, and was impressed with its features,” Koyagura says.

The cloud-based solution supports multiple channels: calls, chat, email, texts, social media, and surveys. The product tracks each interaction and provides reporting tools so companies can improve call center efficiency, the customer experience, performance management, sales effectiveness, and risk and compliance.

Making Significant Changes

Sitel deployed CallMiner’s Eureka solution and used its tools to build categories to analyze the behaviors (including language and acoustics, e.g., silence blocks) impacting key metrics to better understand the root causes of problems. The system identified problems in areas such as greetings, managing hold times, and inadequate staffing. “Some agents took two minutes to authenticate and others 15 seconds,” Koyagura says. 

An action plan was created. Sitel rewrote its greeting prompts, making them simpler and more consistent. Employees from vice presidents to agents were provided with dashboards that outlined agent and department performance in various ways. Sitel also created a Customer Effort Scorecard designed to tie agent behavior to voice-of-the-customer metrics, AHT, and resolution rates. The firm adjusted its incentive programs so they were in line with the scorecards. The company placed more attention on training and coaching agents on how to be more effective. 

The outsourcer ran a three-month pilot involving 250 agents. Since implementation, upsell rates increased by 37%, AHT was reduced by 9.5%, voice of the customer improved by 12%, and performance against service level agreements rose from 79% to 130%. 

The media company noticed the difference and has been sending Sitel more of its business. The adjustments brought by CallMiner increased revenue by $270,000 in six months, Koyagura says. The program is being rolled out to other agents. “With CallMiner, we’ve been able to illustrate to mangers and agents how the changes we’ve made improve the customer experience, which has led to more buy-in from everyone,” Koyagura concludes.

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