Business Systems UK Ltd - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog Page 3
Workforce Management (WFM) self-service and engagement capabilities are key functionalities within Workforce Management technology. It allows employees to view schedules, request absences, view their own performance and self-schedule through preference and availability options.
A WFM employee portal provides an organisation with a fantastic opportunity, not only to engage their employees but to also help reduce the management overhead of dealing with requests and reporting. As part of the engagement toolkit, the employee portal enables the employee to take control and accountability for all elements relating to their work patterns.
So if you’re considering deploying an employee portal via WFM, here are 5 top tips you should consider to ensure a successful outcome:
1. Involve employees from the outset
This is perhaps the most critical element in a successful rollout. At the earliest opportunity make sure employees are included in any scoping, communication and rollout plans. This will require support from across the board including human resources for example who can ensure all employee forums and staff associations are kept up to date with the latest news. Failure to involve employees at the earliest opportunity will lead to disengagement and lack of support.
2. Slow and steady wins the race
The deployment of a WFM employee portal can be a considerable cultural change for employees to come to grips with, particularly with suddenly having access to their work patterns, requests and performance. The “go live” period is therefore a critical time to ensure employees are on board and do not feel overwhelmed by the sudden change and onset of responsibility which may ensue. As a result, it may be worth considering testing out the implementation with a sample team of WFM ambassadors first, to ensure feedback on the system is gathered before rolling out to the wider organisation.
3. Be selective
With a new system, the temptation will be to deploy each and every functionality within the portal from the get go. This however, may be overwhelming for the organisation particularly key departments who will be directly affected by the implementation. It may also be the case that some capabilities of the system are not relevant for the organisation, wasting key resources and time on incorporating new skills which will not be utilised. On this basis, it’s worth considering an approach which thrives in stages – this includes taking the time to roll out the key functionalities which have been recognised and making sure each element is delivering the original benefits which were first agreed upon.
4. Ensure the technical infrastructure is ready to go
Resist the urge to go live without all of the required technical integrations in place. Technical hiccups and inconsistencies are found to take the most time to rectify. Ensure all measures are in place to prevent these. For example, if you need to allow access to the portal from outside of the organisation make sure the technical team are aware of this and are working on any firewall restrictions which may be in place beforehand. If you are connecting to third party performance data to provide a more rounded view of performance then at the earliest opportunity, ensure the integration between the two is possible and robust.
5. Measure the benefits
They say what gets measured gets done. It’s easy however, with a new technology in place and exciting functionalities to use, to forget to measure the impact on the business not only from an efficiency perspective but also from an engagement perspective. Each organisation will have different methods of measuring engagement and performance, however the foundation to all of this is to baseline the data at the point of deployment and measure any benefits.
There is no doubt employee portals should be at the forefront of any WFM deployment. To find out more about self-service WFM and the benefits it can bring to your organisation, check out our article and video with our resident expert David Evans – Self-Service Workforce Management explained.
Publish Date: August 4, 2016 5:00 AM
To set the scene on the Brexit stage, on the 24th June, the FCA issued a “Statement on European Union referendum result” stating that:
“Firms must continue to abide by their obligations under UK law, including those derived from EU law and continue with implementation plans for legislation that is still to come into effect”.
MiFID II therefore still represents a colossal change – Brexit or no Brexit. As regulatory framework for the financial industry tightens, financial institutions are being called upon to record “all communications that are intended to lead to a transaction”.
So what does this really mean for mobile call recording?
MiFID II – the trials and tribulations continue
Let’s go briefly back in time. The original MiFID gave EU member states the discretion to decide which telephone conversations were to be recorded. In 2011, the UK’s financial regulator (the FSA now called the FCA) put a spanner in the works by enforcing that all relevant mobile communications between traders had to be recorded – including both SMS and voice.
Let’s bring it back to the present day – as a result, MiFID II now makes the recording of mobile conversations mandatory, regardless of whether a conversation is on a personal or company-owned device. For many businesses worldwide this means change. Thousands of firms will have to begin recording all forms of communications that are related to a trade; and hundreds of thousands of additional users will now have to have their mobile interactions recorded.
Compliant Mobile Call Recording Solutions
When the need for mobile call recording was introduced, most of the solutions on offer relied on applications being installed on the mobile handset to route the call via a call recording system. These applications were considered highly unstable and were not trusted by the financial industry. Elements of risk of failure, as well as risk of being tampered meant they could not be put forth as ‘truly’ compliant solutions.
Today, mobile recording technologies have matured and the ‘In Network’ SIM-based recording solutions no longer rely on application-based recording. These solutions utilise the call routing being carried out by the mobile network provider, with a duplicate stream of the call being sent to the recording solution. The advantage to this is a more reliable and seamless user experience, as well as the ability of some network-based solution providers to tailor the recording solution according to the customers’ requirements. This for example, may include working with the financial institution’s existing infrastructure to dual stream recordings into different call recording platforms.
What are some of the main considerations to keep in mind?
MiFID II is approaching and even if adoption of the specific directive does not happen, the FCA may well incorporate similar requirements to the UK’s regulatory framework for financial institutions. If you do not already have a mobile call recording system, here are some main considerations to keep in mind when sourcing one:
- Hosted or on-premise – Hosted solutions can provide the same level of functionality and robustness as an on-premise solution, and could also be equally secure, however due to the culture of control which Financial organisations cultivate, on-premise is normally the preferred option. Another consideration due to MiFiD II enforcing a five-year retention period for all forms of communication is storage costs which may vary depending on whether you are considering hosted or on-premise solution. Some hosted providers for example will charge a premium for storage; with the approaching deadline of MiFID II this may present them with a perfect opportunity to elevate their storage charges.
- Roaming whilst abroad – Do you require calls to be recorded whilst roaming? Typically, there is a roaming restriction around the CAMEL network (Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic). If a call does indeed need to be recorded while abroad, the user will need to be in one of the countries that is within the CAMEL network (for inbound recorded calls there are only a very select few countries who are not on the CAMEL network).
- Recording resilience – With MiFID regulations firmly stating that organisations must be aware of periods that do not comply with record-keeping requirements (such as component failure within the voice recording system), it is worth considering solutions which allow recording failover. In the event of a component failure, these systems will allow the solution to either failover to a secondary recording system or would consist of two separate recording systems recording the same audio.
Our advice on MiFID II continues – in order to stay one step ahead of the game, firms should look at how technology can help them to efficiently achieve and adhere to compliance regulations. So just how prepared are you for MiFID II? If you have any questions contact our team to find out how we can help with your compliance obligations.
For more information on mobile call recording you may be interested in the following articles:
Answering the compliance call
The evolution of mobile call recording
Publish Date: July 21, 2016 5:00 AM
Workforce Management technology has come a long way from the niche, single channel scheduling tool it once was, to the hosted and cohesive solution offering we have today.
The technology has developed in parallel with the evolution of the contact centre and is still seen as one of the driving tools to utilise in this environment. It has unfailingly enabled organisations to plan and schedule efficiently to improve customer service as well as better meet the needs of the very people it helps manage, by providing functionalities tailored to nurture employee engagement.
A recent report on ‘The State of Workforce Management in Contact Centres – 2016’ however has shown us that 83% of respondents were experiencing challenges with their current WFM system.
WFM has been around for many years, and as a result many systems have simply become incompatible with the demands now placed on the modern contact centre. The majority of challenges reported by our respondents, (including speed, performance reporting and scheduling time off requests) are no longer encountered in the enterprise systems of today which are quicker, cannier and more user intuitive.
To name a few, some of today’s modern functionalities of WFM includes:
Self-service and engagement for employees
Offers employees the opportunity to login and effectively schedule their preferred working patterns (entailing shifts, holidays and breaks) based on organisational requirements.
Multi-channel for all interactions
As technology gets smarter and faster, customers of today get used to instant service – with no exception. WFM takes into consideration all agent skill sets in order to identify those that could possibly cover multiple contact types such as emails, web chat, social media and SMS.
Integration with technologies
WFM provides the ability to connect with your payroll, time and attendance systems proving instrumental in reducing admin time and manual tasks. It is also possible to integrate WFM data with third party applications such as performance management to provide a 360 degree view of employee performance.
Modern workforce management solutions are without a doubt a transformative proposal for contact centre managers today, looking for a system to reflect the ever-changing dynamics of the modern contact centre. As workforce management technology has evolved, so has the needs of the contact centre which has unfortunately meant not all organisations necessarily have access to the latest features or may be using them to the best of their advantage.
David Evans, Workforce Optimisation Consultant at Business Systems puts things into perspective “Organisations today are looking for WFM that provides flexible deployment options, and true multi-channel capabilities. The key is agility and flexibility to cater for the increasingly complex customer expectations. This should be matched with an employee engagement functionality that provides self service and self scheduling options.”
Publish Date: July 7, 2016 5:00 AM
On the 21st-22nd of June we attended the Compliance and Conduct Risk in Financial Services Forum where we held a workshop session with our partners O2, showcasing how technology can help meet the ever changing regulatory and stakeholder demands without compromising compliance.
We caught up with our guest speakers Garry White (Business Systems) and Mark Baggs (O2) who gave us an overview on what they discussed in their leading session “Evidencing the journey – Managing change without compromising compliance”.
Garry White, Business Systems (UK)
Many of you may be familiar with the Donald Rumsfield speech:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know”.
This speech has never been more relevant as the regulatory framework for the financial industry tightens. Financial Institutions are called upon not only to perform telephone transactions in a specified manner, but also to record and provide evidence of compliant conduct under strict time constraints. For organisations with thousands and millions of phone transactions, it is impossible to be certain that each and every one of those transactions follow procedure –whether this relates to code of conduct, process or technology.
Regulatory guidance as well as experience provide some direction in provisioning for and controlling events that are not currently known (such as the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive aka MiFID II). It is however the vast majority of unknown parameters surrounding the life-cycle of a transaction that pose the highest risk. Whereas verbal noncompliance might be spotted only if placed into context, there is also the technologically induced risk to consider. How can you say for example, with all certainty that every single one of the calls is accurately recorded? Or the vast depot of historic recordings is 100% intact and accessible?
This is where technology can help with a number of different solutions including a call retrieval and replay portal enabling organisations to easily retrieve and replay recordings from their entire repository – often dating many years back. In addition to this, technology can also help with the automated testing of the entire voice domain to spot real time call recording failures. Finally, utilising speech analytics to pick up on compliance breaches triggered through phrases and pre-defined alerts is also proving a valuable tool.
There is no way we can avoid the unknown unknowns. The only way is to place the right safeguards (with technology the prime enabler) that will help you prepare for any eventualities and in turn spot potential risks faster.
Mark Baggs, O2
In today’s world mobility in the workplace is common practice accompanied with a 37% rise in flexible working. Workers have become increasingly mobile with the majority of organisations supporting the growing number of employees who use mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) to complete their work either at the office, at home or whilst travelling.
The changing work practice represents a known unknown. Organisations are well aware of the changing practice and are trying to prepare for the unexpected, but if your employees are not present in the business environment, how will you ensure they are staying compliant throughout their communications?
Another question to ask yourself is how secure your mobile infrastructure actually is. With an ever tightening regulatory framework that aims, among other things to establish transparency in market conduct and crack down on rogue trading, the need to consider what it means to have a robust mobile call recording solution in place is now more important than ever.
With the introduction of several recording solutions throughout the years, technology has led us towards a solution that will provide a reliable and seamless user experience at home as well as abroad, embracing the known unknown of flexible working rather than shying away from this changing work practice.
Publish Date: June 29, 2016 5:00 AM
When most contact centres invest in call recording technology they typically have a list of requirements that have to be met. Usually these requirements include Quality Monitoring (the ability to evaluate agents and report on their performance), Screen Recording (the ability to see what is being done on screen by the agent) and PCI Compliance (the ability to stop the capture of credit card details to meet PCI DSS regulations). But what other less known features does a call recorder have that could substantially improve your business?
There are many ways customer interactions take place. Customers can email, chat or even use social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to get in touch with a business. All these different interactions should be recorded as they all offer a wealth of information that can be used to shape the business. Recorded data can help you understand competition, quickly resolve issues with customer complaints and provide a better overall level of service, which in turn strengthens customer satisfaction and loyalty. Most importantly, it can provide you with the ability to see your customers’ engagement in its entirety.
Do all the agents know how to respond to different scenarios? As a call progresses, do they need real time guidance on how to respond to a customer? You can now utilise Process Optimisation solutions, such as real time interaction analytics, which take information from various sources to assist agents in dealing with customer enquiries in the most efficient and appropriate way. Real-time interaction analytics technology increases first call resolution through intuitive guidance and reduces customer churn by empowering agents to resolve issues in real time. It also improves operational efficiency by optimising workflow.
Dashboard Views and Reports
Reporting is a vital assessment and planning tool. The right report can highlight areas for improvement and help the organisation decide on the necessary steps for ensuring SLAs are constantly met. Moreover, recording solutions can generate statistical reports using the data stored, thus providing an all in one high level view of call statistics, Quality Monitoring indicators and sales figures. These statistics can help different areas of the business understand how the contact centre is performing and provide Managers with the possibility of drilling down where more information is required. Finally, creating a dashboard view that takes information from various sources and presents it in one easy to use dashboard, increases visibility on staff performance and highlights areas that require further attention.
Publish Date: June 22, 2016 5:00 AM
Failing to deliver on service can be extremely costly for any organisation, where according to statistics 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again (Lee Resources).
So in today’s competitive landscape, what exactly should you be expecting from your Call Recording and Workforce Optimisation Service and Support providers? With over 60% of Business Systems’ personnel residing in this division, we outline the 3 pillars of successful Service and Support which we (and our customers) have come to recognise first hand!
1. Strategy & Design
They say ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. The same maxim also holds true for major projects taking place in your organisation. Without a solid strategy and design in place to guide your project plan, desired objectives and budgets (due to nasty unexpected delays and costs) will not be met. With a good service provider, you take advantage of the years of experience in implementing similar solutions, with skilled consultants helping you to design the project so that you don’t have unwanted surprises. Moreover, once you build an ongoing relationship with your provider, you gain access to timely advice on how best to address emerging technological, regulatory operational trends in your industry.
2. Project Management, Implementation & Deployment
In order to ensure each implementation is as straightforward as possible, the service provider should assign a dedicated and qualified Project Manager to ensure that the project is managed and implemented professionally, timely and to budget. It is also important that the project team holds an ethos of responsibility which involves taking ownership of technical issues, providing onsite management and having a proper escalation process in place if and when any faults arise during the project life cycle. In addition to this, a reliable service provider should always be providing you with updates and reports on key milestones project life cycle on a regular basis.
3. Technical Support Services
When dealing with a service provider it is extremely important to consider a number of factors regarding their technical support capabilities including:
- SLA adherence – Beyond listing expectations of service type and quality, does your provider’s SLA specify remedies for when requirements aren’t met?
- Service delivery – Do they have a 24/7/365 service delivery capability?
- Geographical coverage – How many engineers do they have operating across the country?
- Spare parts holding – Do they have readily available spare parts to ensure fast support if and when a component of your system goes wrong?
- Comprehensive offering – How extensive are their capabilities; for example, can they provide end of life (EOL) support for discontinued solutions if needed?
Service and Support excellence is the foundation on which long-term customer relationships are built, and as a customer it can have a huge impact on the return of your investment as well as total cost of ownership.
If you need to find out more about what you should be expecting from your service provider and the different levels of support available, then check out our Service & Support webpage.
Publish Date: June 15, 2016 5:00 AM
Call recording solutions can be a truly profitable investment that should not be taken lightly. The right call recording solution will not only help you to comply with any internal and external regulations, but it can also provide valuable insight to help improve your operational efficiencies and staff profitability. In this article we highlight 4 features you should look out for when researching a call recording solution that could make a big difference down the line.
Access control and user right permissions
Regardless of what industry you operate in, call recordings can contain sensitive information and you should make sure you entrust the right people with the right level of access. For instance, if you operate in a highly regulated environment you will want to certify that your recordings are not at risk of being tampered with from unauthorised users.
On the other hand, in a contact centre environment, call recordings can offer a wealth of information for improving business processes as well as agent training. Team leaders should have access to their agents’ recordings in order to evaluate and identify areas for improvement. You might also want to go one step further and provide agents with user right permission to access their own calls for self-evaluation purposes. By doing so, agents have the opportunity to listen to their own calls and recognise areas for improvement on their own accord without having to rely solely on their team leaders.
To achieve this, your supplier will need to configure your system to define user privileges that meet your business requirements, for example any compliance regulations which need to be met and any internal risk management protocols the organisations has in place.
Call recording search capabilities
The extent of Search capabilities will define the ease and speed with which you will be able to find calls. It’s no longer good enough to be able to search for a call by extension or date and time. Over the years we have seen many of our customers require more targeted parameters to retrieve the right record. Having access to multiple search criteria allows for the necessary flexibility to find the rights recording fast.
- Date and time
- CLI/dialled number
- Call direction (incoming/outgoing)
- Marked calls
- Notes fields
- User fields (max. 20)
Service and Support
Technology manufacturers are not always geared up for supporting their products in the long run, as more emphasis and resources may be placed on product development. Call recording systems and their complimentary applications require adequate support pre and post implementation so to match the exact needs of the business and ensure you get the maximum value from it. Moreover, does your contact centre work over the weekends? Does your call recording needs to be operational 24h for trading purposes? It is important you make sure your support contract matches your operational requirements.
It is always worth to shop around to see who can provide flexible and varying levels of support contracts without necessarily having to rely on the manufacturer. Look for service and support from someone who has a proven track record of managing your chosen systems and is capable of dealing promptly with any issues that may arise.
Access to legacy call recordings
Heavily regulated industries, such as the financial services and insurance, are obliged to retain call recordings for a number of years. When investing in a new call recording system, it is advisable to consider how easily you will be able to access recordings from older legacy systems alongside more recent recordings should the regulator demand it. There are technology solutions, such as WordWatch, capable of providing a single user interface to find and playback calls across multiple recording systems, old and new, onsite and offsite. This type of technology can help greatly reduce the costs of maintaining older systems and the risk of non compliance.
Publish Date: June 2, 2016 5:00 AM
It is Part 3 of The Insider’s Guide to Legacy Call Recording and we would like you to meet Anna, a Control Centre Manager who works within the Emergency Services sector.
Anna is the Control Centre Manager of an ambulance service control team. Her responsibility is to oversee the team of call handlers (often also known as medical dispatchers) and ensure that all incoming calls are handled to the expected high standard.
In this series Anna has to address two critical issues:
- Ensure speedy and accurate call retrieval & replay, whilst meeting NHS’ requirement for storing these call recordings for a period of up to 27 years
- Continuously improve call handlers skills and therefore the speed and accuracy with which each call is dealt with
Problem #1: Ensuring speedy and accurate call retrieval & replay
Anna’s emergency dispatch call handlers deal with all types of 999 calls taking essential information of the patients’ condition and exact location, whilst logging them onto their computer system and allocating the nearest ambulance to the scene as quickly as possible.
A year ago, a call handler had to give medical advice over the phone as the caller was in a life-threatening situation. The same caller is now claiming that incorrect medical advice was provided at the time. Anna is aware that the first thing she has to do is locate the call and listen back to the recording. Unfortunately for Anna, she finds out that this particular call was recorded and saved on one of their older recording systems and is now sitting on tape.
The laborious process of having to locate the correct tape that holds this specific call and finding the right time and part of the tape with which this call features could take hours or even days. This has happened several times before and on each occasion has eaten up several resources within the organisation which could be better spent elsewhere.
Currently, Anna’s organisation has two call recording systems stacking up –the old tape-based recording system and a soon-to-reach end-of-life presently used to record and store the calls. For Anna, switching between the two systems does not facilitate her administrative duties, on the contrary it creates unnecessary complexity and often causes friction with their IT support department as well as management. Some of these complexities include the fact that there is no unified view from which to extract useful insights and statistics for reporting purposes, as well as multiple support costs to consider. Anna needs this complex process simplified – what options are available to her?
Anna needs to consider a call recording portal with an easy user interface that will protect previous investments allowing her to easily retrieve and replay recordings from both the live and legacy systems with a single search. Moreover she will have peace of mind that the entire estate of recordings is secured and the integrity of the recordings guaranteed.
With one system to manage instead of multiple, Anna will also save on multiple support costs for maintaining their legacy infrastructure, including recording platforms, obsolete operating systems (EOL/EOS), as well as software and subject matter expert knowledge.
Problem #2: Improving Call handling speed and accuracy
As a control centre manager, Anna is aware that in emergency situations, calls need to be answered and handled swiftly yet effectively, and so it is important that her team’s phone skills and ability to deal with situations under pressure is at a high standard. This is where Anna’s ability to effectively coach and train her team in order to meet required response times and ensure accurate exchange of information, is vital.
Although she has been using basic call recording technology for playback and manual evaluation (entered into excel) for randomly selected calls, the process is extremely time consuming and it is unlikely she is selecting the most useful calls for training purposes.
Anna needs to consider a simpler solution that will be less time consuming and much more effective in allowing her to find problematic calls and helping her team improve in those areas that they need the most. What add-on applications for live call recording should Anna be looking for?
In order to boost the performance of her team, Anna needs to consider a Call Quality Monitoring solution which is essentially an add-on application for her call recording system. Quality monitoring solutions have been developed in order to enable evaluation of calls in a standardised and comparable way based on user-definable criteria (e.g. agent, content, time of day, CTI event). Moreover many systems for example come equipped with a ‘replay speed’ functionality giving Anna the opportunity to speed up the call by 20-25%, thereby giving her the opportunity to listen to more calls and get a better sense of training needs.
This will in turn improve call handling speed, accuracy and response times. Anna has three options to choose from when deciding to procure a Quality Monitoring (QM) solution:
- Consider implementing an enhanced call recording portal as mentioned previously, that also has quality monitoring features such as evaluation, calibration & reporting.
- When she opts for a new call recording system, she can consider one that will be open to different Quality Monitoring plug in applications regardless of manufacturer. (This way Anna is not forced into buying a specific, potentially expensive QM solution and can shop around for one that will deliver the results she needs).
- Consider different types of call recording systems that already come equipped and are already integrated with the QM functionality.
We’ve now come to the end of our 3 part series to ‘The Insider’s Guide to Live & Legacy Call Recording’ where we met Dave in part 1, Ian in part 2 and Anna in part 3. If you didn’t get a chance to meet either Dave or Ian here is your chance:
Publish Date: May 25, 2016 5:00 AM
- A recent study at the University of Michigan suggests that attention and short-term memory processing are directly affected by a person’s surroundings and environment, with noisy environments reducing significantly memory performance
- The human brain can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds.
With those two facts in mind, one can only imagine how tough it can be for call handlers in the police force to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation and pick up on distress signals. Dealing with over 21,000 calls a day; the police force is a highly pressurised environment where speed, accuracy and ability to capture important information and signs of distress are imperative. Failing to do so could not only jeopardize the safety of the caller, but it could also result in loss of public trust and potential further funding.
How can Speech Analytics help you protect your call handlers, serve the public and control operational costs?
Speech Analytics technology is capable of quickly searching through live (real-time) and historic calls and highlighting those that fit pre-established criteria.
Real-Time Speech Analytics automatically captures and analyses the entire call interaction as it unfolds, to uncover information that is potentially ‘hidden between the lines’, by isolating specific words, phrases and tone of voice are some of them. Thanks to a sophisticated linguistic analytics module, it identifies keywords and phrases and picks up information from all aspects of the conversation. Furthermore, it takes into account additional caller and contextual information, before making its next-best-action recommendation.
Why is this important? The Police force receives over 21,000 calls every day, 25% of which are characterized as urgent. Real-Time Speech Analytics acts as a second pair of ears, picking up and alerting call handlers on issues that could otherwise be missed due to factors like noise, line quality, accent and articulation of the caller etc. These details could be of extreme importance when trying to distinguish between an emergency and non-emergency call and ensure that further action is based on correct data.
Speech Analytics also scans over historic calls and interviews to help identify drivers, highlight reoccurring trends and even locate historic recordings based on newly established intelligence. Moreover, using Speech Analytics to evaluate historic calls can contribute in improving processes and making training more effective.
As a training tool, Speech Analytics eliminate the need for random call selection by finding the right calls to support more targeted and tailored training. By better training call handlers to pick up on important queues and overall handle calls in a more efficient and professional manner, the chances of customer complaints and failing duty of care decrease.
With Speech Analytics, the police force control rooms have the opportunity to:
- Ensure compliance adherence by getting a clear picture if call handling protocols are being met.
- Meet targets with greater process efficiency and reduced costs
- Find relevant calls for training and improved processes
- Increase its crime intelligence and act on calls more efficiently for better results
- Minimise repeat calls by understanding root cause for call backs
Check out our Speech Analytics Advice Hub for more information on this game changer technology.
Publish Date: May 19, 2016 5:00 AM
On the 12th of May we held a joint webinar with Call Centre Helper discussing the best ways to introduce and maintain agent empowerment.
The panel, which consisted of Carolyn Blunt (Real Results Training), Emma Bridger (People Lab), David Evans (Business Systems), and Jonty Pearce from Call Centre Helper as the host and moderator, agreed that agent empowerment has many benefits, and for a business perhaps the two most important one is the resulting increase in both customer satisfaction and employee retention.
One thing that was emphasized by all panellists was that to achieve employee empowerment an organisation needs processes, technology and leadership, or as David Evans put it: when talking about Workforce Management and Self-Service, “empowerment is mostly a cultural change rather than a technological one”.
Technology however is a major facilitator and from that point of view, David referred to Workforce Management and Speech/Interaction Analytics as two key tools to enable employee empowerment. Speech/Interaction Analytics can provide insight not only on the voice of the customer but also on how empowered our employees are when on the phone, by helping listen to and analyse what was said and how it was said.
Getting into more detail with Workforce Management, David explained how self-service and allowing employees to set their own shift patterns gives them control and flexibility, two fundamental motivators that are highly appreciated by most. The main examples of shift patterns he mentioned were:
- Preference scheduling, where agents state their preferred days and times to work
- Availability staffing, where agents state when they are available to work
- Shift swaps, where agents are given options to swap their shifts not only with similar shifts (4 hours for 4 hours), but with longer or shorter shifts.
- Trade boards, a variation of shift swaps, where agents post the shifts they want to swap anonymously
Going a step further, he suggested that a company could provide remote access to its self-service portal to employees, so they can log in and schedule at their convenience, and even set auto-authorisation rules so the employees can see there and then if the desired change is feasible.
In support of the value of self-scheduling, one of the attendees commented at the Call Centre Helper Chatroom:
“My organization can set schedules is a hugely empowering element and I can tell you that even just offering flexibility of an hour ‘Window’ as well as affording paid time off that they can utilize really does allow for a better confidence in the company. It reduces turnover for sure!”
And indeed, Emma Bridget stressed that money is not necessarily the great motivator that many believe and referenced a video on what actually motivates people:
It seems however that self-scheduling has still to gain the trust of businesses. At the relevant poll that run during the webinar only 14% allow employees to set their own schedules. On the positive side, 38% allow employees to swap shifts without the need of management approval. These results coincide with the findings of our latest survey as depicted in The State of Workforce Management – 2016.
Asked about any downside, David mentioned that it is important at the beginning of a self-service implementation, to test the functionality and supporting processes with a small group and optimise it accordingly prior to mass deployment.
A Webinar replay is now available to view on the following link:
Publish Date: May 16, 2016 5:00 AM
Call quality monitoring (QM) has become common practice in almost all UK contact centres, with agents’ calls being monitored and evaluated by their supervisors or quality specialists. But is your contact centre receiving real value from your quality monitoring programme?
With this blog post we aim to offer a few tips on how to do get the most out of your quality monitoring efforts and deliver results.
Quality monitoring processes and consistency:
Big problems can arise when it comes to quality monitoring consistency. How do you know your supervisors are scoring calls correctly and in a consistent manner across the board?
Without a consistent approach your data can get skewed leading to wrong performance indicators. Moreover, agents can become incredibly demoralised if they feel they are not being scored equally and fairly. That’s where calibration comes in.
Auditing and calibrating allows contact centres to find some sort of consistency within the process. For example, the Quality Assurance team can re-evaluate calls and compare their results with the original evaluation. If both evaluations are within 5-10% difference of each other, they are to be considered acceptable. If however, the evaluations are significantly different, it is clearly necessary to establish a common benchmark.
For more information on Calibration, you can download ‘An Instrumental Guide on Calibration’.
Develop and maintain evaluation forms
Evaluation forms are at the heart of a good quality monitoring programme and when compiling them, you need to ask yourself:
- Am I asking the right questions?
- Am I getting the required results? i.e. output which leads to a continuous coaching and
- development plan for my team
- Does the scoring mechanism allow agents to provide an ‘outstanding’ or ‘WoW factor’ service not just an ‘average’ or ‘satisfactory’ service?
Evaluation Dispute Process
Give agents the opportunity to dispute their evaluation if there is any aspect they are unhappy with or feel does not reflect their work. The dispute process is extremely important in giving the agent the opportunity to have their evaluation revised by another person whilst further empowering them to take ownership of their own quality of work. Being able to dispute an evaluation promotes a fair and caring environment, where agents are encouraged to take ownership and consequently become more engaged with their work.
Agent Synergy Sessions
Synergy sessions involve groups of agents, team managers, CSMs and trainers listening to calls together to discuss call-handling techniques and evaluate the quality of the call. These sessions help reinforce quality standards and allow new and experienced agents to share experiences, best practice, advice and ideas. They also provide a natural way to cross-skill agents from different departments. Studies have shown that agents attending regular synergy sessions achieve anywhere from 5% to 20% higher quality scores than the overall contact centre.
In order to create a successful quality monitoring programme contact centres must be able to:
- Capture agent calls for quality monitoring purposes.
- Evaluate and score these calls against call evaluation standards.
- Produce and analyse meaningful quality monitoring reports for the various levels of the business.
- Improve the service provided to customers by utilising learnings from Quality Monitoring reports
For more information on Quality monitoring, download our report on ‘How Contact Centres are using Quality Monitoring’.
Publish Date: April 22, 2016 5:00 AM
The two companies form a Global Partnership Alliance to extend the reach of their service and support network
[Press Release] Business Systems (UK) Ltd, a leading independent call recording and workforce optimisation specialist, announced today its Global Partnership Alliance with Wilmac (USA) as part of its continuing commitment to cater to its customers’ service and support needs on a global scale. With the newly formed partnership, Business Systems is able to provide to its global customers a truly comprehensive service and support proposition for its call recording offering.
The Global Partnership Alliance brings together the existing international partnerships from Business Systems and Wilmac (a total of 14 partners across 28 countries), to create a truly global support network with significant benefits for both the customers and the local partners of the two companies. Customers have greater and simpler centralized control of their estate, with standardised cost plans and levels of service, whereas at a local level they receive technical support from the best provider, who has local presence and speaks the same language. The technical support providers can increase their income on top of their service fees, as they have the opportunity to share revenue from new sales.
Stephen Thurston, Founding Director at Business Systems comments “Systems availability pressures have dramatically increased for companies across the globe, and especially in the financial sector where the majority of our global customers operate. As a result, being able to provide them with high quality services, on time, wherever they need us, is becoming a key business driver for Business Systems. We are excited about partnering with Wilmac to extend our reach and deliver more value to our global customers.”
William McDonnell, President at Wilmac comments “Managing risk and complying with increased regulations is difficult enough for our clients on a regional level. Add global responsibility and the task becomes even more difficult. By leveraging our membership with the Global Partnership Alliance, our clients can rest assured that their solution is compliant, secure, and reliable no matter where they are located.”
About Business Systems (UK) Ltd
Business Systems is the UK’s largest independent provider of call recording and workforce optimisation solutions to organisations with critical phone-based interactions including Financial Institutions, Public Organisations, Emergency Services and many in-house and outsourced customer service centres. Solutions range from basic call recording (on premise, hosted and mobile) through to quality monitoring, speech analytics and workforce management tools. The company ensures high quality and fit-for-purpose implementations with a range of value added services including project management, consultancy, integration, training, and technical support.
Wilmac is a leading provider of Compliance Recording, Quality Assurance, Workforce Optimization, and Public Safety solutions. As key business partners with industry leaders, Wilmac’s product suite consists of an entire range of best-of-breed products well-suited for many different applications, all supported by the deepest bench of high level technical support professionals in the industry. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, Wilmac also has offices in Toronto, ON, New York City, and Philadelphia, PA.
Publish Date: April 20, 2016 5:00 AM
‘Winning the war’ in terms of speech analytics technology awareness
We catch up with Martin Hill-Wilson, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Strategist at this year’s Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference, where he shares his views on the latest in the future and adoption of speech analytics technology.
A key point which Martin makes is that organisations are still unsure where exactly speech analytics technology fits into the everyday operation of the contact centre. Although it has many applications, Martin pinpoints its popular uses in terms of:
- Improving performance & quality
- Identifying demand failure (broken processes in place)
- Further investigating the voice of the customer
One of the many benefits of speech analytics for example, is that 100% of calls are able to be monitored across 100% of agents, allowing to isolate successful behaviours to be shared across agent groups. As a result, the training and coaching received by new agents can be far more effective as well as targeted, fast-tracking agents to a level of expertise in order to reduce attrition and improve performance & quality.
Another benefit of Speech Analytics technology, is that it will allow you to accurately catalogue thousands of hours of recordings, helping categorise those calls with regular references to your competitors and their pricing for example, correctly capturing the voice of the customer for further analysis and informed business insight.
Martin goes on to state confirming our view, that speech analytics technology, (although adoption may have been slow) is presenting itself on many organisations’ roadmaps and within the top quartile for investment, predicting a rise in deployment within the next 12 month period.
Although organisations claim to be using speech analytics, Martin goes on to talk about differentiating the different ‘versions’ of the technology including ‘industrial strength models’ which can analyse huge call volumes and provide meaningful results in a business-intelligible format and those organisations using ‘real time’ identifying keywords and phrases that advisors should be citing throughout the conversation. This process, as Martin mentions is another way of carrying out automated quality assurance.
Martin prompts us to consider that those organisations who have begun to embed speech analytics into their organisation are now harvesting different capabilities and opportunities particularly as the voice of the customer grows and new ways of empowering frontline staff intensifies.
Confirming our views in the importance of not just ‘buying’ speech analytics, but actually embedding the technology into the culture of an organisation, Martin talks about viewing speech analytics as just a tool in finding opportunities. It is the end user ultimately who needs to transform these potential opportunities into something tangible, ensuring the value from the investment is distributed across the business contributing towards an ethos of continuous improvement.
Martin also goes on to mention those organisations using speech analytics in ‘real time’, looking to identify keywords and phrases advisors should be using during customer interactions at that point in time. Designed to improve the customer experience, the use of this technology is also another way of carrying out automated quality assurance by ensuring agents are saying and doing the right thing.
Publish Date: April 18, 2016 5:00 AM
Midway through our survey titled Surviving the FCA: Call Recording Survey, we are noticing that key aspects are potentially being omitted by financial institutions when it comes to their legacy strategies and plans. Is this the real picture? This is what you tell us so far:
- Although 54% of the respondents say they have a legacy infrastructure strategy in place, the majority have not incorporated key regulatory/compliance deadlines in their legacy roadmap.
- Data retrieval and data integrity seem to be the biggest concerns, however, there is a disconcerting number of ‘do not know’ responses on critical issues like storage and continuity plans on that data.
- With the majority agreeing that the biggest threats of non-compliance are financial and reputational, so far from our results it seems that key aspects of a comprehensive legacy strategy are still being omitted.
Please take 5 minutes and help get the real picture on how prepared Financial Institutions in the UK are to face the demands set by regulators.
Publish Date: April 15, 2016 5:00 AM
Business Systems’ partner, Teleopti, has been named a top Workforce Management (WFM) provider by DMG Consulting LLC in the 2016 WFM Product and Market Report.
As detailed in the report, Teleopti received a perfect overall customer satisfaction score and also achieved a perfect rating in key categories including training, implementation, vendor communication and product innovation. Overall, Teleopti ranked ahead of other major WFM vendors like NICE, Aspect and Verint.
Working with a partner that has been rated top Workforce Management vendor for the second year, underlines the commitment of Business Systems to deliver excellent solutions and services to its customers. Over the past few years Business Systems has worked closely with Teleopti to help its customers strategically plan and manage their contact centre operation.
For more information on our Workforce Management Solutions get in touch.
Publish Date: April 13, 2016 5:00 AM