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Keeping on Top of Regulatory Compliance with Legacy Recording Systems

Record keeping is a critical part of the compliance agenda for any financial services firm. Across banking, investment, trading and insurance, whether you operate in business or consumer markets.  All companies are under ever closer scrutiny and face the huge burden of having to demonstrate immutable records of all their dealings including what they have to store, how they store it and how accessible that data must be.

To say that the web of different laws and statutory regulations that financial services providers must navigate is complex is to put it mildly.

Whether you are selling or advising on insurance products, investment vehicles, loans or credit cards, bodies like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) demand a clearly auditable trail of evidence for every transaction and recommendation to ensure you have stuck by the rules and they must be produced at short notice (Dodd Frank specifies within 72 hours).

On top of that, with the recent introduction of the GDPR, you also have to guarantee all record keeping meets stringent data protection and privacy rules.

All of this puts compliance officers under enormous strain. Their job hasn’t been made any easier by the number of channels through which companies do business has multiplied rapidly in recent years. Maintaining up-to-date, centrally managed, ordered and transparent records across branch offices, multiple call centres and numerous different branded websites presents huge logistical challenges.

When there is little integration between channels and only manual processes to fall back on, the compliance burden can become close to unmanageable.

Call recording compliance

In recent times, a lot of attention has been paid in the industry to the so-called MiFID II EU directive which requires anyone involved in financial instruments and commodity derivatives trading, from independent advisers to multinational investment banks, to record and keep all telephone conversations relating to the market. But in truth, compliance officers have long faced dilemmas over call recording.

For example, call recording platforms were traditionally installed on premise at each individual call centre, with no integration with systems elsewhere. If a company had different contact centres for distinct sales and service departments in different locations, these would all record conversations with customers and clients on completely separate systems.

Throw into the mix that some of these banks and contact centres could be on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th generation systems most of which have reached end-of-life, the challenge to manage this data becomes even more complex.

If the Compliance Officer comes knocking perhaps investigating an alleged incident of miss-selling, this would cause your compliance team a huge headache. Trying to create a call audit trail to trace who said what and when would become a time consuming, laborious task - hardly in the spirit of transparency regulatory authorities now expect.

Call Recording infrastructure challenges:

  • Systems becoming end-of-life voice (software & OS) but the data still needs to be accessed
  • Legacy systems from multiple vendors causing technical challenges when a recording needs to be quickly pinpointed
  • Bulk extracts need to be performed from legacy and live voice systems
  • A growing infrastructure equates to growing costs
  • New channels are evolving that need to be recorded and captured and managing those interactions has become more complex
  • Core data needs to be kept in its original format to ensure the integrity is not diminished
  • Even though some systems may still be supported they don’t have the up to date technology required to use the data to meet changing regulatory and business needs
  • There is a lack of global view of live and legacy voice data
  • Organisations need to access voice data through open APIs
  • Requests from compliance teams who want to be able to self-serve are increasing but it’s impossible to grant access with separate silos of data

You might well ask, if my company still runs legacy call recording applications on premises in various locations, what options are there for improving archive management and auditing other than upgrading to a new, centralised system?

It goes without saying, the unification of both live and legacy call recordings is essential in achieving compliance and operational efficiency and, despite the disparate technology that has proliferated, help is available through the use of sophisticated federating software providing uniformity of control and access across the estate or enterprise.

Full visibility with Wordwatch

The pull of a technology portal that services the world of investment banking and financial institutions is enticing. Nestling in the Gartner Magic Quadrant ‘Enterprise Information Archiving’ (EIA) and Enterprise Information Management (EIM) technology space, Wordwatch is just that portal.

Wordwatch brings together this mixed bag of call recording platforms and siloed data that these organisations produce. The federation process provides:

  • Access to data from any system – regardless of manufacturer be it live or legacy
  • Uniformity of data extracted from the disparate call recording platforms
  • Full control over access to the data
  • Compliance-hold
  • Deletion criteria and total audit activity i.e. the ‘Gold Standard’

Already used by some of the world’s largest banks, Wordwatch is attracting attention because of its ability to manage any call content, whatever the format or original recording system.  This is attesting to be a substantial aid to productivity while contributing directly to regulatory compliance – the siloed data is now a thing of the past and no longer the bane of the Chief Compliance Officers life.

If you are looking for a way to streamline your call recording processes, reduce TCOs for your recording solutions and improve compliance, get in touch with Business Systems UK and book a Wordwatch demo today.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/12/11/compliance-legacy-recording-systems/

Publish Date: December 11, 2019 5:00 AM


Top 4 Financial Services Customer Experience Trends in 2019

In order to stay one step ahead, financial services organisations are shifting their focus to the customer experience (CX). Although operational efficiency and profitability are still top of the list, rising customer expectations and pressure from the competition has meant CX and everything that goes with it, needs to be heavily considered from a strategic perspective.

The meaning of customer experience can be defined in many ways. We think Gartner’s explanation hits the nail on the head.

According to Gartner, the customer experience refers to the customers perceptions and related feelings caused by a one off as a well as a cumulative effect of interactions with the supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.

Defining and measuring your customer experience can be quite an enormous task. Not to mention in today’s instantaneous and fast-paced digital world, it can sometimes be a struggle for financial companies to adapt.

With this at the forefront, let’s look at the top 4 financial customer experience trends to consider in 2019 and beyond.

1. Self-Service Options

According to Gartner, 85% of customer interactions will be automated by 2020 (1). That’s a large percentage. For financial services this means many customers relying on digital tools to manage transactions or create accounts as an example. Most customers, particularly millennial’s, like having the option of self-serving. Although the traditional method of phone is still truly alive and well, the option of not having to call a number which routes you through a maze of customer agent reps makes a compelling customer experience case.

Propelled by the need to self-serve, financial services companies will continue to work on their digital service channels in the coming years. Some examples of this (and which we are already seeing happening) include websites using live agent chat features to help customers, and bank ATM’s allowing for more self-sufficiency, so customers need to interact less with a branch employee.

Revolut for example, is pioneering the way in self-service. The app allows you to open an account in minutes, directly from your phone. With built-in budgeting, users can see exactly where their money is going each month with the ability to set up monthly budgets for activities like food shopping or eating out.

2. Multichannel and Omnichannel CX

According to Citrix, more than half of the worlds working population will be digital natives by 2020* (2). This means most financial institutions have taken a multi-channel service approach to make it easier for customers to engage with them wherever and whenever they want e.g. mobile app, online, over the phone etc. What’s also become important is needing to provide an omnichannel service experience, where the difference means a streamlined and personalised consistency for all customer touch points.

According to experts, an omnichannel approach seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they are shopping online from a PC, mobile, telephone, or in store. An omnichannel experience means there is integration between distribution, promotion and communication channels on the back end* (3).

Let’s take the example of a customer who would like to apply for a credit card*(4). Having seen this credit card advertised online, the customer begins their online application from their smartphone. With auto-fill, google makes sure most of the fields in the application are automatically filled. When completing the last part of the application (providing contact details), the customer changes their mind and moves on browsing the web.

At this stage, the system has enough information to save a temporary profile for the customer, should they change their mind at a later stage. A few days later, the customer visits the banks branch to apply for the same credit card. The advisor starts by asking for the customers number. Once given, the system matches this number with the temporary profile. This means the customers application is pretty much complete; all that’s needed to finish the application is a few signatures from both parties! Delivery time for the card to arrive is 3 business days and the customer is given an order number to track its delivery.

An omnichannel approach means a smooth, personalised and smart way of being there throughout your customers journey. If the customer did not finish their application in a week or so, the banking platform would also send an automatic notification to the relevant advisor, who would then approach the customer by phone, online or via a messaging app. What we are seeing here is smart marketing at it’s very best, thanks to an omnichannel approach.

3. Personalised Customer Experiences

Delivering a personalised customer experience, particularly in the financial services sector where the competition is rife and ever changing, is extremely important. If the customer experience is driven by personalisation, this is what will truly set financial organisations apart from their competition. For example, research from Epsilon reveals 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalised experiences* (5).

To embrace personalisation, banks can use technology to help turn their customer data into actionable insight. Banks have a huge amount of valuable transactional customer data at their fingertips. This data provides golden insight on customer spend and can be used to deliver personalised up selling and cross selling communications.

Technology such as predictive behaviour routing can also assist, identifying the preferred paths of communication with the customer. Let’s explain - predicative behavioural routing is based on customer categorisation such as ‘awake customers’ or ‘sleepy customers.  Your awake customers have brought from you multiple times. You have a good relationship with them, and they can therefore be routed to customer service reps who are successful at up selling and building rapport. Your sleepy customers need more convincing. They perhaps need a special deal concocted by the marketing and sales team to get them on board again.

Cross selling and up selling based on customer data can work wonders. For example, if a customer has booked a holiday, the bank can start marketing options for travel insurance based on the customers demographics such as age, family details etc. This type of marketing can build a trusted rapport between the financial organisation and the customer; always being there for the customer and suggesting their needs before they themselves even know it!

4. Employee Training and Empowerment

Although the digital and technological means of revolutionising the customer experience is vitally important, so too is bettering the human aspect of it. People buy from people. Usually, from people they trust. So, there’s a real and meaningful need to keep humans involved (and better yet, train them up) in the customer experience journey.

In 2019 and beyond, financial organisations need to focus on their employees just as much as their customers. This includes training their employees to encourage customer feedback, identify potential issues and take on new skills with interactions such as social media and live chat. Employees will have to be motivated to do this, and for financial organisations to obtain this, they should be investing in training and development as well as offering flexibility for their employee’s work-life balance.

It’s a wrap

It’s time to shift the approach to an increasingly consumer led, and data driven marketplace for financial organisations. The top 4 trends in this article reflect this. Efficient CX is a necessary must if financial organisations want to build loyal customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/11/22/top-4-financial-services-customer-experience-trends-in-2019/

Publish Date: November 22, 2019 5:00 AM


How To Find A Way Out Of The Call Recording Jungle

Many financial companies have created voice/call recording mayhem for themselves by surrounding themselves with multiple voice recording solutions, but there is a way out of the software jungle explains Richard Mill from Business Systems

Voice recording is a critical core compliance for financial services companies and should be straightforward – yet many companies have muddied the waters by acquiring different voice recording systems over time in different regions. These are often outmoded and incompatible, which is creating a real dilemma in terms of management, regulatory compliance,costs and operational efficiencies.

The ability to retrieve voice recordings quickly and efficiently is essential if there is an audit, a compliance request or a customer dispute for example. In spite of the implications, many financial services companies have made it difficult for themselves by allowing departments to use multiple voice recording software solutions, resulting indisparate data silos across the organisation. In addition, they have often failed to consider scalability, storage and the huge impact a disruption in service could have on their business short and long term.

Today unification of both live and achieved call recordings is essential in achieving compliance and operational efficiency, and despite the disparate technology that has proliferated, help is at hand through the use of sophisticated federating software providing uniformity of control and access across the estate/enterprise.

The rest of this article can be found exclusively on the Finance Digest website. Check out the rest of the article - How to find a way out of the Call Recording Jungle‘. 

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/09/18/find-way-call-recording-jungle/

Publish Date: September 18, 2019 5:00 AM


Are you missing out on valuable insights from your voice data?

Voice will always be a powerful data set for organisations. Voice conveys context, emotion and sentiment providing you with actionable intelligence. Voice is powerful. However, IT leaders could be missing a trick when it comes to this, as not all organisations are recording every interaction and for some the majority of voice data, is not easily accessible.

Collecting voice data is half the battle. Tapping into insights which voice data can provide you with is a whole other beast. According to a *recent survey, a staggering 92 per cent of organisations are capturing voice data but are doing little to make use of it.

Here’s a crash course into how you can start enhancing the use of voice data in your organisation.

Consolidating your data

Often, call recording data does not all reside in one place. This is extremely common when it comes to large organisations with multiple offices (including global ones) and multiple voice recorders from multiple manufacturers. Over the years, it’s common for an organisations voice infrastructure to become complicated. Sometimes, it becomes a mix of on premise and cloud systems. Some of these on premise systems might be old and no longer supported by the manufacturer in terms of maintenance, software updates and bug fixes. This is what is termed as a ‘legacy call recording system’. The hotchpotch of different systems and different ages means data becomes siloed, hard to access and just plain awkward.

So how can you make sure all your existing voice data is being collected properly? Firstly, consider investing in vendors who have an open API methodology. An open API will give you the flexibility to interact with your data however you see fit.

For example, we helped one large bank automate the process of extracting data from multiple call recording systems into a separate system for the purpose of analytical reporting. This was done all whilst keeping the data in its original file structure and format. This meant the Bank had the ability to feed their valuable voice data into an application of their choice and were not restricted to one provider which would have limited their capabilities in future; they were able to utilize their existing applications and the API was seen as more of a ‘enabler’ of their existing infrastructure.

So to conclude point one, remember: Using a vendor who has an open API approach means the possibilities are endless for what you can do with your existing data. True data management is more about just storing the data. It’s now about being able to easily access and truly analyse the data for those golden nuggets of information that will drive and transform change in the organisation.

Tapping into the insight

Let’s go back to our original point – collecting voice data is half the battle. Tapping into the insights which voice data can provide you with is a whole other story. Analysing data and drawing conclusions from it to better your processes, operational efficiency and overall business management is now imperative to most organisations if they want to stay one step ahead.

One way you can do this is to mine through large volumes of inbound recorded communications across multiple channels. If you’re still doing this manually, by listening to samples of calls it’s almost impossible. And painful. And lastly, it’s not truly reflective of what is happening across all interactions.

By using Interaction Analytics however, calls are analysed using phonetics, transcription or a combination of both -based analytics. Much like what Google does for the internet, speech and Interaction Analytics can do for voice data. A neural phonetic Interaction Analytics solution can combine speech recognition (transcribing communications into text) and phonetic indexing (looking for defined sounds and matching them to target words or phrases in a phonetic index file) into a single powerful engine. This engine allows you to pick up on targeted business insight. Let’s not forget that these solutions can also be agnostic (can be used across any voice or recording platform)  designed to enable analysis across any interaction be that voice or text-based.

Although getting the voice into these systems can often be the most challenging part – the good news is that we have solved this issue many times for many customers.

As technology develops, sentiment analysis, once a tricky data set to analyse, is now also picked up with these solutions. Sentiment analysis means picking up on acoustic indicators such as pitch, tone, jitter, cross-talk (interruption), laughter and language spoken. Speech and Interaction Analytics technology provides context behind the interactions, acting as a powerful tool to unlock valuable voice data in any organisation.

Let’s not forget that Speech and Interaction Analytics can also uncover valuable insight when it comes to compliance in an organisation. Many financial organisations today have implemented this technology to help with the never-ending challenge of compliance offering features such as:

  • Preventing issues from escalating by providing the necessary means to search proactively through recordings for ‘high risk’ keywords and phrases
  • Using Boolean operators (e.g. and, or and not) users can include multiple search terms in a single query. This means compliance teams can easily check if compulsory statements are being read for example
  • Supporting compliance by quickly finding and retrieving calls requested by regulatory bodies
  • Demonstrating a proactive approach to managing risk
  • Enabling compliance officers to look for suspicious transactions that they didn’t know were there to begin with

Voice Data is the way forward

Organisations that make the most out of their voice data are the ones who will remain one step ahead. By unlocking the insight behind these communications, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and compliance adherence can also be unlocked. Tapping into the potential of voice data can be limitless. Due to the multiplication of communication channels we now have, voice can sometimes be forgotten about. But let’s not forget that as a society dependent on communication, voice is the fundamental principle behind all of these.

*Survey conducted by Sapio Research for Red Box, asking 588 IT Directors or C-level executives responsible for IT across UK, US and Singapore.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/08/28/are-you-missing-out-on-valuable-insights-from-your-voice-data/

Publish Date: August 28, 2019 5:00 AM


Everything You Need to Know About Call Data Legacy Migration

Legacy migration consists of moving your recording data from one place to another in order to be able to access it beyond what the system allows.

Under what circumstances will a company need to look at legacy migration?

Many organisations will have call recordings spanning decades and accessibility isn’t that simple.  So under what circumstances would an organisation need to consider call data migration?

  1. Call recording systems reaching end-of-life: Manufacturers announce a product is now end-of-life and therefore no longer supported.   A timely example is Windows 2008 which will no longer be supported from January 2020.
  2. Undergoing a voice recording refresh project: This is likely to occur when new regulations come into effect requiring longer retention periods or if an organisation is no longer satisfied with its current infrastructure
  3. Normalising a legacy environment: Having all recording data in one place
  4. Reducing end of life support cost: Support for legacy systems is significantly higher than for live systems as the risks associated also increase. Reducing or eliminating legacy infrastructures can significantly reduce support costs.
  5. Improving ability to manage legacy data: Finding recordings located in multiple systems can be extremely time-consuming. Moving all data into one location will not only save time and reduce operational costs when searching for a specific recording, it will also provide more comprehensive business intelligence.
  6. IT driver: Allow compliance to self-service when they need to find specific calls. Saving time and resources.

In all scenarios, call data stored in old systems will be at risk unless it’s migrated into a solution that safeguards its integrity as well as makes it easily accessible for the entirety of its retention period.

With Regulations now requiring banks, insurance companies, financial advisers and many others to record every call, keeping up-to-date archives stretching back for extended periods of time, financial services organisations have never been under more pressure to protect and keep tight control of their data.

When should organisations start approaching legacy migration?

Operating systems and manufacturers will generally give customers a year’s notice before retiring a system as it can be a lengthy process to migrate from one solution to another or put systems in place to protect data.

Organisations should aim to start this process in a timely fashion, as not only do they need to get the right solution, but they also need to ensure it is compatible with their current recording infrastructure.

Moreover, it’s important the migration takes place before the system reaches end-of-life as having an operating system that is no longer supported on the network can pose serious security risks.

What is involved when looking into migrating legacy data?

Migrating data takes time. It’s not as easy as deploying a solution and clicking a button. There are a number of important steps that require consideration:

  1.       Understanding your environment:
  •  Planning meeting to identify which systems need to be upgraded
  • Where are the systems located
  • What types of interactions are we looking at (voice back-office)
  • Is encryption a concern (encryption makes it more challenging – we might need to use RPA)
  1.       Going through the buying process
  • Getting everyone that needs to be involved to review and agree on the solution
  1.       Signing the contract
  •  Procurement takes time.
  1.       Putting together a project plan for implementing
  • Liaising with the solutions provider and internal team on how best to implement the solution
  1.       Be mindful of unexpected events
  2.       Test, Tailor, Test again, Tailor
  3.       Sign off and deployment

Business System’s Customer Case Study - Tier One Bank

A Tier One Bank with a large live and legacy multivendor recording estate, which included both NICE and Red Box systems, was in need of a solution that would allow them to manage, replay and administer calls as well as ensuring they were able to retain calls for as long as regulations required and access that data as and when needed.

Moreover, they wanted to be able to use analytics to run searches against the calls in order to gain useful business insight. However, most applications were unable to read the call data as the systems were incompatible.

Having a large legacy estate also meant that they were paying large support costs to the manufacturer in order to maintain their systems, making this extremely expensive in the long run.

Drivers for change:

  • Normalising their legacy environment and move all call data into one place
  • De-risking the legacy environment by eliminating end of life hardware and software
  • Reducing end of life support costs
  • Improving ability to manage legacy data
  • Allow compliance to self-service, reducing time and IT resources

The solution: Wordwatch

Wordwatch is a vendor agnostic solution designed to extract call data from any recording systems (regardless of location, age or vendor) so it can be used in other applications – for example, analytics engines and trade reconstruction tools.

Its key benefits are:

  • Reduce total cost of ownership: Migrate database into one portal and keep audio in original format and location, so that you can eliminate the need for costly legacy system support contracts.
  • Meet compliance needs: Easily find, access and export call recordings by having a single view of multiple systems and allow your teams to self-serve across recordings.
  • Future proof investment: Ability to easily connect to new capture engines ensuring that no matter what solutions and applications are implemented in the future, they can easily be integrated.
  • Free yourself from vendor hold: Access all of your data in one place and deploy the right applications for your business regardless of vendor eg. Redbox, NICE or Verint.
  • Turn your data into insight: Data has the power to transform your business. However, it’s often inaccessible due to the lack of compatibility between solutions and third-party. applications.
  • Manage your recording: Access data from multiple systems in a single view by recorder, site, user, time and all available metadata incorporating live, legacy or mobile.

Wordwatch maintains the integrity of original recordings and ensures full visibility through integrated management and rapid data retrieval. It works by sitting on top of your existing recording infrastructure and safely extracting call data from multiple sources at once, streamlining retrieval and replay. As an agnostic, multi-vendor solution, it is compatible with all the major recording systems, legacy and live, cloud and on-premise, mobile and landline.

Wordwatch maintains the original format and file structure of all of your call metadata when it ports existing files into the new platform, guaranteeing it remains accessible and avoids the risk of corruption during transfer.

At the same time, the sophisticated search facilities can retrieve recordings for playback or extract specific information from any source in rapid time, solving the problem of having all your recordings stored in separate silos.

All data is presented in a single, easy-to-use portal, achieving complete visibility across your call systems via a central interface.

Overall, Wordwatch enables improved call data management across large and complex estates whilst also reducing costs. The safe transfer of all recordings and metadata into a unified portal means support for legacy systems is no longer needed, while your investments are protected should you wish to add new capture systems in the future

Accessing data with Wordwatch:

  • Wordwatch has open APIS allowing developers to mould the system to fit within their needs
  • Functionality to bulk extract calls - compliance needs access to a set of calls - they can get it done quickly and in one place. (moving from weeks to seconds)
  • Access to data in a non-proprietary format (access in mp3)
  • Analytics can access information from where the data is stored
  • Wordwatch separates itself because it keeps the voice recording data in its original format (other options affect the integrity of the voice recording)

To find out more about Wordwatch and our other market-leading solutions, please get in touch with the Business Systems UK team today.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/07/22/everything-need-know-call-data-legacy-migration/

Publish Date: July 22, 2019 5:00 AM


Workforce Management V Workflow Management in the Back Office – What’s the difference?

Having the right workflow and workforce management capabilities in place can significantly improve your business performance and productivity in the back office, especially when combined together.

Workforce management takes care of your people (or robots) and aims to improve productivity and performance from the human perspective by placing the correctly skilled people in the right place at the right time.

Workflow consists of orchestrated and repeatable patterns of business activity, whereas workforce management is an institutional process that maximises resource performance and competency for an organisation.

Explained simply, workflow manages your processes and projects, it improves productivity from the perspective of the work itself by defining tasks, splitting them into manageable chunks, and allocating them to individuals and teams.

  • Workforce - deals with your people
  • Workflow - deals with your work and processes

When the two capabilities are implemented harmoniously, the effect can be truly transformative for a business.

Understanding Workforce management

Workforce management is about managing the people in the context of the work they’ll be doing. It deals with; the who as well as the how.

Back Office WFM systems provide operational intelligence on:

  • The work that needs to be completed,
  • Where is needs to be done,
  • Who is best placed to do it and,
  • Which systems they’ll need to use

In this way, a workforce management system can be used to identify where there are major resource or skill shortages, surpluses or system bottlenecks, and consequently plan, schedule and forecast the right agents to fulfill business needs.

It is a great way of spotting areas of the organisation that need re-engineering and building a business case for getting it done.

Understanding Workflow Management

Workflow management is interested in gathering information about service demand and the processes used in the delivery of that service, in order to automate the process flow where possible, and track cases through sequential or parallel activities.

Today, a workflow is a joint effort between Operations and the IT department. Developed in-house, it involves a great deal of business analysis followed by a development stage, (changing core business systems), and then implementing a test phase which will involve technical and end-user acceptance criteria.

Differences between workflow and workforce management software

Part of the difference between workforce management and workflow solutions is the level of detail and the way the two systems look at handling workload.

Workforce management understands people and processes and is often looking at higher-level tasks and the bigger picture. Workflow systems, on the other hand, tend to provide information based on activities at a granular level, such as the number of new cases per process being started, and can often report on the completion of each activity by individuals. However, in isolation, they often lack the visibility of resourcing these tasks.

OPX Workflow and Workforce Management

It is clear that both workflow and workforce management solutions are important in a back-office environment where work volumes are high with numerous complex processes involved.

OPX is a Workforce Optimisation solution that incorporates both workflow and workforce management to seamlessly manage resources and processes together, regardless of their worldwide location, in a holistic fashion.

Providing a wide range of capabilities, OPX supports your entire back-office operation, including:

  • Real-time Planning of Work
  • Real-time Resource Planning
  • Performance Management
  • Utilisation Analysis
  • Capacity Planning
  • Complaints Capture
  • Conduct Risk Management
  • Real-time KPI Management
  • Skills and Competency Analysis
  • Process Reporting

By changing the way in which people process service demand, OPX is able to change culture and behaviour, allowing organisations to:

  • Increase productivity
  • Increase utilisation
  • Drive down costs
  • Manage resources regardless of location

Highly modular and quick to implement, OPX supports back-office end-to-end processes: from the digital capture of incoming work and smart work allocation to human and robotic orchestration and the automated output of digital customer communications.

If you are looking to improve your back-office and be awesome, get in touch!

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/06/17/workflow-management-versus-workforce-management-back-office/

Publish Date: June 17, 2019 5:00 AM


Coping with challenges around accessing and managing call recording data

With the introduction of MiFID II back in January last year and with regulations set to increase and become more burdensome, Financial organisations are faced with constant challenges around managing and accessing their call recording data.

Organisations need to be able to demonstrate immutable records of all their dealings and be able to retrieve these communications with precision and speed in the event of an audit or investigation.

It’s not just one or two issues that need to be managed – there’s a whole raft of challenges that at first glance can seem overwhelming.  Faced with infrastructure complexity and records spanning decades, accessibility isn’t that simple and easy.

Obstacles getting in the way

So why isn’t it that simple and easy?  What obstacles are getting in the way of organisations being able to easily access data in the event of an audit or investigation?

  • They have systems which are end-of-life (software and OS), but they still need to access the data.
  • They have legacy systems from multiple vendors which are causing technical challenges when recordings need to be pinpointed quickly.
  • They are unable to perform bulk extracts from their legacy and live voice systems.
  • They have no global view of their live and legacy voice data.
  • They need open access to all their voice data through APIs.
  • They have systems that are supported but don’t allow them to use their data to meet changing regulatory and business needs.
  • They need to keep their core data in its original format to ensure the integrity is not diminished.
  • As channels are evolving such as email, SMS, Skype, etc. capturing and managing data has become more complex.
  • They are waiting for a telephony upgrade and therefore cannot upgrade their system to give them the access or functionality they require.
  • They have a growing infrastructure which means growing costs.
  • They need their compliance teams to be able to self-serve but their data is in separate silos and there isn’t a holistic view.

So how does an organisation deal with these challenges and issues?   What if issues arise over mis-selling or compliance - will they be able to defend their position?  If they can’t access their calls quickly, the greater the chance of redress – it’s a huge reputational risk.

So what’s the answer?

So what’s the answer if organisations have multiple systems from multiple vendors, some being end-of-life/legacy, some live, some on-premise and some in the cloud. To add to this complex estate, the recorders could reside in different locations and even different countries/continents.

Some organisations are choosing to use the vendor’s own extraction tools kits, which is fine if all their systems are from one vendor or if they don’t anticipate introducing multiple capture engines later down the line.

But if you are faced with the scenario of multiple systems, multiple vendors, live & legacy data then you need to find a smarter way of working.  You don’t want to spend weeks on end sifting through monotonous call recordings to extract the relevant interactions.

So in comes Wordwatch!

The practical panacea for managing all of this is a central, vendor-neutral portal.  Wordwatch is a unique portal that draws recording data from multiple call recording systems from multiple vendors (such as Redbox, NICE and Verint) whether they are live, legacy, cloud-based or on-premise.  The data is presented in a single portal which allows the user to manage, replay, store, extract and report on.

Certainly, as both the communications volumes and regulatory burden continues to grow and become more onerous, it will take a forward-looking approach to stay in control.

So if your organisation needs to keep on top of regulatory compliance and is faced with a complex recording infrastructure and records spanning decades, then talk to our team about how Wordwatch can help.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/05/21/coping-challenges-around-accessing-managing-call-recording-data/

Publish Date: May 21, 2019 5:00 AM


Workforce Management: Gamification

Humanise the workplace series - Part 4

Ask any contact centre manager and they will agree that keeping their agents continually motivated, (in particular those with a longer tenure) throughout the year can be a challenge. These days, agents are dealing with surges in call volumes, changing technologies, increasingly complex customer cases across multiple channel touchpoints and last but not least, the aspiration to be appreciated and acknowledged in the work environment for all of their hard work.

As a result, agents can lose morale if they feel there is no overall incentive to stay. Ensuring your staff are engaged is vital to the success of any contact centre. Happier staff means happier customers. So where do you start? And how can Gamification help?

Gamification

Gamification is gaining traction in business environments as organisations are beginning to realise the value it can bring. Even companies such as Yahoo, LinkedIn and Amazon have incorporated gamification as part of their business strategy.

In an environment such as the contact centre, gamification is in its element, with its ability to incorporate the fun and competitive nature into the workplace whilst also pushing agents to perform to the best of their ability, in line with your own business goals such as customer service and quality.

How exactly does Gamification work?

With Teleopti’s gamification module (the first vendor worldwide to introduce a game like environment in a workforce management solution), contact centre agents are positioned as players of a game. The system with which the game is based on, rewards performance (by awarding gold, silver and bronze medals) - based on pre-determined parameters and metrics. As well as this, the contact centre manager/supervisor is able to upload their own key metrics in alignment with business goals and set games for different periods e.g. ongoing, monthly, weekly or daily!

Tip: Games are permission-based so it is possible to enter agents from different teams, sites or skills if required e.g. a game can be set up just for new starters or for those who need to improve quality scores.

These medals can be traded in for prizes e.g. being first in line for the next shift or holiday bid or perhaps an iPad. As a result, agents are encouraged to reach specific targets and improve their performance, ultimately reducing absenteeism and agent turnover.

With the gamification module, reports and statistics are compiled on a daily basis, allowing agents to keep on track of their ‘game progress’ monitoring if they have earnt a medal or won a prize on their agent portal.

Tip: With gamification, metrics such as number of handled calls, adherence and pre-set targets can all be measured and used. However, for certain metrics, targets and exceptions must be put in place to ensure agents won’t just rush through calls resulting in lower customer satisfaction for example.

Benefits of Teleopti Workforce Management Gamification

  • Positive reinforcement (agents perform to the best of their ability – in a manner that’s interesting and that holds their attention)
  • Upload you own KPI’s in line with your business needs
  • Agents can follow gamification leaderboards which creates healthy competition
  • Encourage loyalty
  • Reduce absenteeism and agent turnover
  • Improve culture
  • Gain performance insights
  • Increase your return on investment
  • Re-invigorate staff with longer tenure

Interested in finding out more? Check out our Workforce Management solutions >

About Teleopti & Business Systems
As top global providers of Workforce Management solutions, Business Systems (UK) Ltd and Teleopti work together to provide across the board services in Workforce Management for operational consultancy, technical implementations and training, culminating in improved customer satisfaction, employee engagement and maximised ROI.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/05/15/workforce-management-gamification/

Publish Date: May 15, 2019 5:00 AM


How to Mitigate Conduct Risk with Back Office Workforce Optimisation Technology

Ethical conduct has become a high priority in financial services. Following a series of high profile scandals ranging from the mis-selling of PPI to the 2008 global banking crisis.  Authorities the world over have demanded greater transparency and greater accountability in the industry to curb the worst excesses.

In Europe, recently introduced regulations like MiFID II and GDPR have created obligations on banks, insurance companies, accountancy firms, financial advisers and others to beef up their internal reporting and monitoring mechanisms so they can demonstrate compliance with statutory standards. More generally, bodies like the UK’s FCA have pursued policies of reducing conduct risk, demanding that organisations under their remit proactively pursue better, fairer outcomes for customers.

In practice, this has put the onus on how service providers monitor and manage behaviours across their own organisations. The first challenge of the conduct risk agenda is that businesses must have complete visibility on quality assurance (QA) and service level metrics, for both front and back office, and must be able to streamline and coordinate oversight to ensure compliance.

Faced with these shifting operational priorities, it is no surprise that companies are turning to technology to provide a solution. What some businesses may not realise is that back office workforce optimisation platforms like OPX - designed to integrate and automate back and front office operations to boost efficiency - are also perfect for achieving 360 degree visibility on service, quality and governance, therefore providing the foundations for conduct risk compliance.

The challenges of conduct risk compliance

The FCA‘s conduct risk agenda is driven by a desire to make financial markets and services work in the best interests of the customer. It places an expectation on companies to move away from a profits-over-ethics culture and to commit themselves to full compliance with the spirit of regulations, rather than just adopting a tick-box, by-the-letter approach.

To this end, the FCA sets out five questions which it expects businesses to be able to answer formerly with evidence in order to demonstrate compliance:

  1. What proactive steps does the organisation take to identify conduct risks in its business?
  2. How does the firm encourage people in front, middle, back office, control and support functions to feel responsible for managing conduct?
  3. What support does the firm put in place to help its people improve the conduct of their business or function?
  4. How does the firm’s board and executive committee get oversight of conduct in the organisation? And how do people bring it in to their discussions?
  5. Has the organisation looked at where there are any business activities it is engaged in that undermine its work to improve conduct?

For many financial services providers, addressing these five areas requires both cultural and operational change. In 2016, Ernst & Young undertook a study of attitudes to conduct risk across the sector in order to gauge where firms felt they needed to change and what they saw as the main challenges. Two of these key areas were monitoring and changing culture, and product design and governance.

On the issue of monitoring and changing culture, the study found sticking points included the ability to articulate and evidence current behaviours, aligning change activities so they were consistent and effective, and putting infrastructures in place that would allow senior leaders to effectively monitor activity throughout an organisation and therefore be able to take full responsibility.

On product design and governance, the report highlighted that many providers did not have effective risk profiling protocols in place, that there was widespread failure to monitor who bought which products and therefore trace performance ‘in the wild’, that complaint procedures were not supplying information that could be used to identify product failings and that there was little or no disclosure about product performance.

Across both of these areas, there is a general theme of deficiencies in data, monitoring and reporting. Firms struggle to take proactive steps to identify risks in behaviour or products because there is no joined-up approach to monitoring quality assurance (QA) and service level metrics, nor are their protocols in place to channel relevant data up the chain of command. Product performance is not monitored after point of sale, customer feedback is not used effectively, there is no coordinated oversight across front and back office, control and support.

All in all, these findings from EY underline how having effective data and intelligence procedures in place represents a significant barrier to firms being able to answer any of the FCA’s five questions positively.

How back office workforce optimisation can help

Workforce optimisation (WFO) software takes a data-led approach to streamlining operations and achieving greater efficiency. Long used in front end operations like contact centres, WFO platforms link sophisticated real-time monitoring capabilities to functions like work allocation and robotic process automation (RPA).

The result is that agent availability increases and decreases with the ebb and flow of demand, the right people get the right tasks at the right time and basic repetitive tasks become automated, freeing up human resources for more complicated, valuable work.

The purpose of OPX is to extend these capabilities to the back office, allowing all operations to enjoy the benefits of greater efficiency and integration. A modular, highly flexible solution, the way OPX controls and monitors workflows through all parts of an organisation also means it integrates data streams from many disparate points, bringing critical information together into a single shared dashboard. This in turn makes it an ideal solution to help financial services organisations overcome those barriers to mitigating conduct risk.

Breaking it down into specific capabilities, the OPX Conduct Risk module can:

  • Manage QA metrics from across an organisation in areas ranging from call quality and resolution SLAs to complaints and data protection.
  • Process data from more than 60 performance categories and present them on a dashboard under simple-to-grasp headings:
    • Customer claims are settled in a fair, timely and efficient manner
    • Customer complaints are resolved in line with Conduct Risk principles
    • Customer’s personal information is secure
    • Quality is of an acceptable standard.
  • Provide equally intuitive access and visibility to data on key risks, e.g. assurance, training and competence, change management.
  • Present performance data in visual form for current and historical reporting.

Overall, the OPX Conduct Risk module provides clear, actionable intelligence on all areas related to service quality. Given the FCA’s stated aim to drive a regulatory agenda that promotes positive outcomes for customers and the financial markets through cultural compliance, OPX provides an invaluable tool. The first task in bringing behaviour and performance into line with established standards, and then keeping them at those levels, is insight into what is happening across an organisation.

OPX draws data from multiple touchpoints to provide a rich real-time illustration of behaviour and performance that provides the foundations for compliance.

To find out more about OPX, then talk to our team. We’re independent technology consultants so we’re passionate about providing the right technology for your organisation to improve your customer service and operations.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/04/05/mitigate-conduct-risk-back-office-workforce-optimisation-technology/

Publish Date: April 5, 2019 5:00 AM


When was the last time you revisited your back-office operations?

From the beginning of time, organisations around the world have been dealing with the important challenge of driving growth whilst keeping costs down and customers happy.

However, we live in a time where customer’s expectations and demands continue to exponentially grow whilst customer loyalty disappears. Not only do organisations need to work hard to get new customers, they need to work even harder to retain existing ones.

Expectations around how service is delivered are changing. Increasingly, the old-style agent is not where customers expect to find answers to queries and solutions to problems, preferring instead self-help, peer-led and automated options. In the digital age, there are important questions for businesses to ask themselves about the nature of service provision, and where responsibility for it should lie within their organisation.

In order to achieve these objectives, organisations need to look at their people, processes and technology and, although businesses have been working hard to improve their contact centres, most efforts have been directed to the front end, with little being done to address back-office challenges.

When was the last time you revisited your back-office operations?

If you’re like most companies, you’ve probably been managing your back-office in the same way for many years. The problem however is that, with added communications channels and customer expectations, the volume of work in the back-office continues to increase.

Business process management (BPM) solutions have been used in back offices for years as they provide a framework and tools for automating the back-office (as well as many other types of activities). However, BPM solutions concentrate on automating workflow – the movement of work from one activity to the next – not on optimising staff performance, productivity and quality – leaving three major back-office staff-related challenges unresolved:

  1. Capture, monitor and track all back-office work and employee performance (not just the work arriving and completed)
  2. Ability to accurately forecast and schedule resources with the right skill sets to handle each work activity
  3. Measure and enhance the quality and consistency of outputs to gain a competitive advantage through an improved customer experience

Human behaviour bottlenecks for back-office efficiency

Despite the press hype that robots will make large numbers of staff redundant, the reality is that robots and people need to continue to work side by side for the foreseeable future as some business processes simply require human intervention.

However, human behaviour is not always reliable nor in line with what is important for the organisation.

  • Picking and choosing work

Generally, people prefer to pick and choose the type of work they want to do. For example, when you offer lists of work items, your employees will spend a good portion of their time searching and selecting the work item they would like to work on. Though this might occasionally be ok, it’s easy for employees to become unclear about what work should be handled first and concentrate more on tasks they enjoy doing, regardless of importance or priority.

  • Operate in stealth mode

Detailed employee performance metrics are often not available in BPM and workflow systems, making it difficult to understand the real handle time of a work item. For examples, employees might be given a set handle time of 10 minutes per task, even if some tasks only required a couple of minutes, like processing a change of address.

  • Peer-to-peer performance

People naturally perform differently. While some employees have a natural strong work ethic, others are more inclined to work below their capacity. If work is not balanced in a fair way across the workforce, resentment and employee dissatisfaction are likely to occur, resulting in top-performers reducing their output to match that of their less motivated colleagues.

  • Overworked staff

With operating cost in mind, the back-office workforce is mostly understaffed, which results in backlogs of work that cause stress and dissatisfaction which, more often than not, result in employee absenteeism and disengagement.

What is Back-office optimisation?

Back office optimisation is the process of streamlining and automating workforce tasks that occur in a contact centre, and aligning back-office functions with front office workflows in order to improve customer experience (CX) across the customer lifecycle.

An optimised back office is key to providing a consistent, seamless end-to-end customer journey. Typically, the back office departments—accounting, IT and human resources—are independently operating departments with disconnected tasks that can easily affect the overall customer experience which can lead to frustrated, disenchanted customers and employees.

OPX – Workforce Optimisation Solution

From managing cultural change to aligning strategic priorities to integrating data streams from multiple sources, getting the front and back office workforce to work seamlessly together presents numerous challenges. But, thanks to the increasing sophistication of analytics, automation and workflow optimisation technology, organisations are able to integrate the two for higher customer satisfaction.

OPX is one platform which combines all of these capabilities.

OPX provides everything your normal WFO suite would provide - advanced analytics and reporting, smart work allocation and case management, robotic process automation and more. The key difference is that it can apply these tools across the board to multiple systems at once, not just in the contact centre. As a platform agnostic solution, it is not only simple and affordable to deploy, it is compatible with any existing IT platforms and highly scalable.

In terms of core capabilities, OPX can:

  • Orchestrate and automate workloads
  • Manage inbound demand channels
  • Automatically allocate resources, regardless of location
  • Adapt scheduling in real time according to need
  • Blend operations across the back office and front office
  • Blend deployment of human and robotic agents
  • Provide continuous in-depth reporting and data to provide end-to-end operational insight via its Management Information (MI) tool

Back-Office Optimisation Benefits

  • Reduce operational costs by driving out workflow inefficiencies
  • Gain operational insight to increase productivity and utilisation at individual, team or complete book level
  • Improve compliance for tasks that must be accomplished within regulated time frames, which also reduces fines
  • Meet service goals and reducing backlogs
  • Achieve work/life balance for employees

Final thoughts

Adopting a mindset for digital transformation

In order to stay in the game, organisations need to be able to evolve and deliver on customer expectations. Responsibility for delivering great customer experience is no longer isolated to one department but requires everyone to work together to deliver an efficient, hassle-free service that keeps the customer happy.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/02/28/last-time-revisited-back-office-operations/

Publish Date: February 28, 2019 5:00 AM


How to Interrogate Call Data Across Multiple Systems

Financial services organisations have never been under more pressure to maintain tight control over their data.  Regulations now require banks, insurance companies, financial advisers and many others to record every call, keeping up-to-date archives stretching back for extended periods. Driven by the agenda pressing for greater transparency in financial sectors, organisations must be able to retrieve and access information from individual calls on demand in order to remain compliant.

For large companies running multiple operations, perhaps in several different locations, the demands on managing call data create a huge logistical challenge. The call volumes involved are often huge and reside in multiple systems, making it difficult, time consuming and costly to find and retrieve data.

When legacy systems are involved that weren’t designed to be integrated with other platforms, access can become extremely difficult to manage.

The answer lies in having a platform-agnostic solution which can sit on top of multiple systems and interrogate data simultaneously. Wordwatch can save organisations significant amounts of time and money by processing call capture data from numerous sources, both live and legacy, drawing it all together into a single interface.

Here is a closer look at why a centralised call data management system like Wordwatch is becoming a must-have for financial services providers and banks.

The regulatory landscape

In Europe, the introduction of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) has made it compulsory for investment firms to record, store and make available on demand data from all communications relating to “services, activities and transactions” carried out by the company.

This applies to electronic communications (so email, instant messaging, video calls etc) as well as to telephone records. It also applies to whatever system the communication was made on, whether it be a cloud-based, on-premise, mobile, live or legacy solution.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has interpreted these rules as applying specifically to banks, stock brokers, investment managers and derivatives traders, although as a matter of best practice it is encouraging the adoption of these principles by all financial services firms.

More broadly, as part of its ongoing efforts to better regulate the culture of the industry, the FCA is taking a more proactive role in holding individuals in senior leadership positions accountable for compliance breaches. That in itself has created a renewed interest in operational visibility at the highest levels. Organisations are increasingly leaning on call management and retrieval platforms to protect themselves, which include technologies such as speech and text analytics used to ‘red flag’ risky behaviours.

The legacy challenge

In most cases, large organisations with multiple contact centres looking to improve handling and visibility of call data first need to upgrade and integrate their call recording infrastructure. It is common for organisations to run a large number of different systems across different branches of their operations - some older, on-premise legacy systems andsome more recent cloud-based solutions.

This presents a number of challenges for unifying call data management, including:

  • Compatibility of the different platforms.
  • Dealing with multiple vendors when seeking a solution for integrating them all.
  • Dealing with multiple support contracts when trying to put the solution in place.
  • Training staff to carry out analytics across multiple platforms.

The other issue is that, with the requirement to keep call data for extended periods of time, old recordings still matter. There is no longer the option just to wipe the slate clean, implement a new up-to-date recording solution across the board and disregard what was saved on the previous system. Even if you do go for the expensive option of a full system upgrade, old audio files must be ported over, with their integrity and accessibility preserved.

Companies are therefore stuck between something of a rock and a hard place. If they leave all of their call data in their original platforms, legacy systems included, efficient recovery and interrogation becomes difficult. If they try to transfer all recordings over into a new system, they risk making some of the numerous different file types they have stored inaccessible.

Managing call data with Wordwatch

Wordwatch offers a third way, one which maintains the integrity of original recordings and ensures full visibility through integrated management and rapid data retrieval. It works by sitting on top of your existing recording infrastructure and safely extracting call data from multiple sources at once, streamlining retrieval and replay. As an agnostic, multi-vendor solution, it is compatible with all the major recording systems, legacy and live, cloud and on-premise, mobile and landline.

Unlike most new recording systems, Wordwatch maintains the original format and file structure of all of your call metadata when it ports existing files into the new platform, guaranteeing it remains accessible and avoiding the risk of corruption in transfer.

At the same time, the sophisticated search facilities can retrieve recordings for playback or extract specific information from any source in rapid time, solving the problem of having all your recordings stored in separate silos.

All data is presented in a single, easy-to-use portal, achieving complete visibility across your call systems via a central interface.

From a compliance point of view, Wordwatch ticks all the boxes required by MiFID II and FCA regulations. If a request comes in from a regulatory authority to interrogate a particular conversation or transaction from a specific time, Wordwatch allows companies to search metadata of recordings across multiple platforms to find the ones they need quickly and efficiently. The solution also assists with long-term storage, while improved visibility helps with accountability, training and continuous improvement.

Overall, Wordwatch enables improved call data management across large and complex estates whilst also reducing costs. The safe transfer of all recordings and metadata into a unified portal means support for legacy systems is no longer needed, while your investments are protected should you wish to add new capture systems in the future.

To find out more about Wordwatch and our other market-leading solutions, please get in touch with the Business Systems UK team today.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/02/28/interrogate-call-data-across-multiple-systems/

Publish Date: February 28, 2019 5:00 AM


Workforce Management: Shift Trader

Humanise the workplace series - Part 3

Agents will always be the most vital resource for your contact centre. As a contact centre manager it’s your job to boost employee satisfaction and retention, lower sickness and absenteeism rates and enhance customer service. The end result being improved profitability, a happier workforce and happier customers.

Finding the right Workforce Management solution can help you achieve these goals.

Shift Trader

Boosting employee satisfaction can be done in a number of different ways. In order to recruit and retain the best, contact centre managers need to provide options and flexibility for employees to feel wanted and effectively manage their work-life balance.

The contact centre mantra is simple – a happy and appreciated employee = enhanced customer service and profitability.

One of the ways to boost employee engagement and satisfaction is with Teleopti’s shift trader module.

In a nutshell, Shift Trader (part of the lifestyle module designed to boost employee’s work-life balance) is a fully automated module, allowing agents to view their colleagues’ schedules to trade shifts for one or more days.


How exactly does Shift Trader work?

The request is sent to the agent’s colleague for approval or denial with subsequent, instant notification and schedule updates. Business rules set up previously by the planning team ensure agents can swap as few or as many shifts as they please - without affecting service levels!

With the shift trade board, agents can post their shifts available for trade andset the criteria for what they want in return e.g. time range. An agent who meets this criteria will see this available shift and can complete the trade by selecting it from the shift trade board.

With all shift trades, whether agent to agent or via the shift trade board, the schedules are updated in real time in the agent portal, team leader portal and planning team view. Agents are also able to see the history of their requested shift swaps.

N.B Don’t forget – shift trader can also work on a semi-automated process, whereby the trades agreed which do not break business rules and are accepted by the system or shift trading can still be sent to team leaders/planners for their final approval if this is your preference.

Benefits of Teleopti WFM Shift Trader

  • Considerable reduction in administration – automated request handling
  • Employee Empowerment – instant shift trading notifications with an element of flexibility
  • No impact on service levels or agent working hours – follows configurable business rules based on skills and available shift trades

Interested in finding out more? Speak to our team today!

About Teleopti & Business Systems
As top global providers of Workforce Management, Business Systems (UK) Ltd and Teleopti work together to provide across the board services in Workforce Management for operational consultancy, technical implementations and training, culminating in improved customer satisfaction, employee engagement and maximised ROI.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2019/02/05/4677/

Publish Date: February 5, 2019 5:00 AM


One of the biggest contact centre challenges and how to fix it

Original article (guest blog) taken from our partner’s website - Teleopti

Disclaimer – the solution is not an easy fix and might even go against your instincts!

We see it time and time again, Contact Centre Managers are constantly fighting the battle between meeting their service level agreements by having the right number of staff at the right time with the right skills, whilst also striving to retain their staff.

Employee retention has been one of the biggest Contact Centre challenges for a long time, and yet, Contact Centre annual attrition rates rarely fall below 50%.

We know what you are thinking – 50% seems high!

What we’re referring to here is your ‘gross’ attrition at ‘skill’ level. Very often certain types of attrition are excluded for reporting purposes and some are in fact encouraged, but in resource planning, you need to include everyone who leaves an advisor position.

For example; An advisor leaves Banking to move to Loans? That’s a ‘leaver’ as you’ll need to replace a Banking advisor, even though at a department level that shows as 0% attrition.
Had to fire a Sales advisor? That’s also a ‘leaver’ as you’ll need to replace them too. An advisor gets promoted to team leader? Yep – they need to be backfilled – they’re a ‘leaver’ too.

The best way to calculate this is to add up the number of people at each skill level you had to replace last year and divide it by the total number of people with the skill. For example; I hired 30 new service and 20 new sales advisors last year (50). I have 50 service advisors and 40 sales advisors (90) = 50 / 90 = 56%. That’s your long-term resource planning figure.

However, for the purpose of this article it’s the ‘involuntary’ attrition rates and the voluntary out of department attrition we would ideally like to minimise.

A high attrition rate isn’t just bad for the employee, it’s also a huge problem for the business:

  1. It’s expensive. You have to hire people and train them all the while absorbing those costs
  2. It leaves you understaffed and often unable to meet your customer’s demands
  3. It reduces the overall experience level of your staff leading to reduced quality
  4. Hiring a lot of people effectively reduces the quality and quantity of talent available to you (you’ve probably already hired, trained and maybe lost all the good local employees!)

There are normally a number of factors closely related that can cause a Contact Centre to hemorrhage staff – corporate culture, often sitting at the centre of it all.

So, what can Contact Centres do in order to improve employee retention?

Pay your staff a decent wage:

This might seem like an obvious one and yet no one wants to hear it as it increases your costs. However, in the long term it may save money if you offset it with the cost of hiring new staff; the cost of training them and the cost of having to employ a larger offline training team; the lost staff hours required for ‘buddying’, the cost of customers having to call back and the cost of ‘brand damage’ etc.

And for your employees it’s not just about the money, a decent salary will make employees feel valued.

Make your employees feel valued:

Making sure employees feel valued can be tough. Start by regularly communicating and investing in your people. Do it well, genuinely and honestly. It is here that good contact centre managers shine over bad ones – good managers can communicate their message sincerely and are heard and believed.

Employee loyalty is often commensurate with how valued they feel. Ask yourself – How are you investing in your people? New technology? Office environment? Training? Rewards?

Using tools like Gamification can help promote cohesion and a fun work environment that stimulates and motivates employees. Gamification plays into our innate desire for reward, feedback, status, competition, altruism, and achievement. Gartner recently called it “a powerful tool to engage employees, customers, and the public to change behaviours, develop skills, and drive innovation”.

You can find more information on how to implement Gamification in the contact centre here.

Meet your service levels:

Nothing makes a Contact Centre tougher to work in than consistently failing your service levels and picking up call after call of angry customers. It’s normal for agents to burn out under these conditions.

Workforce management (WFM) solutions can help you schedule and forecast the right number of staff, with the right skill sets to meet your service level agreements and create a more pleasant and positive work environment for your employees. Most contact centres today will already have a workforce management solution implemented. It’s a case of better understanding your solutions and learning how to optimise it in order to achieve the results you are aiming for.

WFM consultants can not only help you implement better planning and scheduling, they can also support you by coming up with a clear strategy and learn new ways workforce management technology can be utilised in your contact centre.

Some of the above will cost money. Some of it requires skill. None of it is easy. But, if successful, it builds a wholesome centre that delivers quality – which ultimately is more enjoyable and better for the customer as well as your agents!

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2018/12/21/one-biggest-contact-centre-challenges-fix/

Publish Date: December 21, 2018 5:00 AM


Workforce Management: Vacation Planner

Humanise the workplace series - Part 2

Today’s contact centre is centred on profitability much as it is around customer service. But finding a solution that supports these goals as well as keeping your agents happy can be a major challenge for many Contact Centre Managers, Team Leaders and Resource Planners!

We understand that finding the right Workforce Management Solution which balances these 3 key areas is a must.

Vacation Planner

Improving employee engagement and ensuring your agents are content with their work-life balance can take the shape of many forms. One of them is with Teleopti’s Vacation Planner (part of the lifestyle module designed to help agents with their work-life balance). Vacation planner is designed to handle holiday requests as well as any ad-hoc requests for other types of absence you wish for employees to be able to request, such as TOIL (Time Off In Lieu).

The requests can either be manually handled or left to the system to handle, based on pre-set allowances or service level targets (freeing up valuable resources and saving time).

With vacation planner agents are able to:

  • receive instant feedback on requests, letting them know whether their time off has been approved, denied or waitlisted
  • view their remaining allowances for different absence types (e.g annual leave) in their agent portal
  • see what the probability is of getting an absence request approved (defined by pre-set allowances or current staffing situations)

Benefits of Teleopti WFM Vacation Planner

Reduction in administration – eliminate paper-based holiday/time off requests

Save time and money – free up valuable resources with automated request handling bringing a reduction in administration

Improve employee engagement – eliminate friction between resource planning groups and agents by allowing both parties to gain mutual benefits with the module

Interested in finding out more? Speak to our team today!

About Teleopti & Business Systems
As top global providers of Workforce Management, Business Systems (UK) Ltd and Teleopti work together to provide across the board services in Workforce Management for operational consultancy, technical implementations and training, culminating in improved customer satisfaction, employee engagement and maximised ROI.

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2018/11/29/workforce-management-vacation-planner/

Publish Date: November 29, 2018 5:00 AM


An Insider’s Guide to Robotic Process Automation – Achieving Automation Excellence

Series 5 – Achieving automation excellence

Welcome to Part 5 of the Business Systems blog series - ‘An Insider’s Guide to Robotic Process Automation’

In this series:

  • Robotic Process Automation Excellence
  • Robotic Process Automation roles
  • Robotic Process Automation Training

 

Automation excellence

In order to fully embrace automation in your organisation, consider setting up an Automation Workforce Team. An Automation workforce team: the ‘go to’ for anything automation related in your organisation.

After the technology has been implemented, the centre can be used to:

  • Establish methodologies
  • Create training
  • Identify best practices
  • Identify ongoing needs for automation (streamline operations and reduce cost)
  • Collaborate with the business owners to design, deliver and maintain automation projects

Automation roles

Consider which members will be part of the Automation Workforce Team. Every organisation is different and one size will not fit all.

    • Manager – leads and coordinates all resources and activities
    • Technical Expert – monitors the quality of the output and encourages best practice across the dev team.
    • Connectivity Consultant – Manages and maintains the integration layer
    • Business Analyst – investigates challenges and identifies automation processes. Prioritizes potential use cases and creates design documents that dev team use for completion of projects.
    • Automation Administrator – Technical management and maintenance of ongoing automation solutions
    • Developer – executes the automation programmes using specific tools within the technology.
    • Quality Tester – executes testing (error handling and data validity) of automated processes
    • Automation rollout and change management - Expert– education and enablement activities for all employees using automation
    • Data Analyst – defines and measures automation value

Where can these roles fit within the organisation?

  • Centralised: Whole team located in the same organisational unit
  • Semi-distributed: automation business analysts strategically located across relevant departments e.g HR, Customer Service and Procurement
  • Distributed: Central management remains within the Automation Workforce Team, but automation business analysts and automation developers located in different departments where automation is being rolled out

Automation Training

Some Robotic Process Automation providers offer tools to promote, design and support the technology.

  • Training and certification for the technical employees taking part in the project (a certification means involvement in a Robotic Process Automation developers community)
  • Solution provider joins the centre of excellence team in a joint project implementation which includes coaching and on the job training.

 

Fig 1 - An Automation Training Project (click to enlarge)

Keep tuned for series 6 in the Insider’s Guide to Robotic Process Automation – ‘Cognitive Automation’.  

To view previous blogs in the series, please click here >

Source: https://www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk/blog/2018/11/22/insiders-guide-robotic-process-automation-achieving-automation-excellence/

Publish Date: November 22, 2018 5:00 AM

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