Case Studies : Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes is a world leader in mail and document management solutions. The company, based in Stamford, Conn., serves more than two million businesses through dealer and direct operations. Its Customer Care Services (CCS) division operates three call centers servicing customer with product or billing inquiries. With more than nine million customer contacts each year, CCS views every customer interaction as an opportunity to delight with best-in-class service and first-call resolution. The company’s investment in the Impact 360™ solution provides a standard quality assurance platform to ensure customer value and retention. Through the implementation of customer interaction recording and performance analysis solutions, Pitney Bowes has realized a significant return on investment (ROI), improving performance and strengthening customer relationships.
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Pitney Bowes has a mantra — "enable excellence every day" — that describes the essence of its quality assurance program. Known as E3, the program is based on a call model that describes virtually every aspect of every call answered. Its three key components include call flow, customer interaction, and navigation and technology. The company uses Impact 360 to record both the voice and data portions of customer interactions and facilitate the online scoring of agent performance. Using Impact 360 in conjunction with its call model has enabled Pitney Bowes’ coaches to provide agents with more effective performance feedback, explains Jodi McBride, national training manager for Pitney Bowes CCS. "Agents’ skills and effectiveness will improve only by giving attention to each call component."
Since the E3 program’s initial launch in the 300-agent Spokane, Wash., call center, first-call resolution has increased by five percent. Additionally, Pitney Bowes reports a 13 percent increase in technical support revenue due to effective upselling. These results during a five-month pilot led the company to roll out E3 with Impact 360 in its other call centers, one in Appleton, WI., and one in Norfolk, VA.
Pitney Bowes invested in Impact 360 for training and agent development, and it has helped the company improve motivation and morale among its associates, subsequently increasing their performance levels, according to Randy Clark, director of service quality for Pitney Bowes CCS. "Furthermore, we’ve been able to demonstrate how quality management impacts our bottom line," he notes.
The Pitney Bowes CCS division’s 1,000 customer service associates handl seven million inbound calls that fall into different categories, and they place two million outbound calls regarding collections. Some transactions require associates to navigate through multiple systems, up to five different applications in certain situations. Given these complexities, it was important for the division to automate the process for capturing customer-associate interactions.
Shortly after licensing Impact 360, Clark, McBride and mangers from all three call centers took part in a Quality Evaluation Optimization workshop and delivered by the consultants from Verint(R) Witness Actionable Solutions™ to optimize the software’s use by developing a blueprint for the implementation of a successful quality management strategy. "It "It was critical for the centers to work together to build a strong foundation," McBride says.
The focus of the Quality Evaluation Optimization engagement is mapping a company’s unique business drivers against corporate goals to isolate measurable agent behaviors that can enhance customer interactions. The key deliverable is an evaluation form reflective of corporate, contact center and agent goals, which is then used by supervisors to score and track agent performance within Impact 360.
Pitney Bowes needed to develop an evaluation form encompassing the core components of its call model as well as the variable components of four different call types: inbound billing, outbound billing, sales and service.
Clark explains. "The form we created includes dynamic sections based on call type. This level of customization enables us to reinforce the skills and behaviors we think are appropriate for each call type." "We highly recommend the workshop to help build the framework for fair and consistent performance measurement, which improvesboth agent and customer satisfaction," McBride says.
With Impact 360 as the cornerstone of a quality assurance program, supervisors can spend more time coaching associates, gone is the cumbersome practice of setting up manual recorders and searching through tapes. "Tape recording was totally inefficient," Clark says. "Now our seniors (supervisors) spend more time developing our associates."
Pitney Bowes associates are monitored a minimum of eight times and receive 30 minutes of feedback per month. These sessions include replaying two to three complete interactions to highlight strengths and discuss opportunities for improvement. A composite quality score is produced, helping to determine quarterly bonuses.
In addition to reviewing associate-customer conversations, Pitney Bowes call center managers can evaluate corresponding desktop activities to make sure associates follow procedures correctly and use their technological resources effectively.
"Being able to capture both voice and data is phenomenal," McBride explains. Before Impact 360, the company had no way of knowing if something as simple as updating the customers’ addresses was being done. "That makes an impact when you consider the amount of direct mail that has been returned because we don’t have the right addresses."
With data capture, Pitney Bowes has made some important discoveries. For instance, the company found that associates were making a lot of screen navigation errors — going to unnecessary screens, manually entering data into fields within the Siebel CRM application that populate automatically, or not logging into systems correctly. By correcting these types of errors, Pitney Bowes has been able to lower talk times anywhere from one to five seconds.
Business-driven recording (BDR) is another Impact 360 feature Pitney Bowes CCS values, specifically for triggering the recording of outbound calls regarding collections. Capturing these interactions prior to Impact 360 was "impossible" because CCS could not easily identify calls placed to states requiring two-party consent for taped conversations. But by loading the area codes of two-party consent states into Impact 360, CCS ensures full compliance with state laws governing taped conversations.
Pitney Bowes CCS also leverages Impact 360 in its initial and ongoing training programs to identify training needs. In the case of continuing development, McBride has been replaying customer interactions captured by Impact 360 in training modules, walking agents through examples of customer contacts to demonstrate the best ways of handling certain situations.
"We spent a lot of time looking at the processes and technology we needed to put in place to support the E3 philosophy and improve the performance of our associates, creating consistently positive customer experiences," McBride concludes. She adds that implementing Impact 360 was the right thing to do for Pitney Bowes CCS and its customers.
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Verint Systems is a provider of analytic software-based solutions for the security and business intelligence markets. Verint solutions transform voice, video, and text into actionable intelligence - mission-critical insights for achieving strategic goals. Verint solutions are used in global and diverse markets, including: governments, law enforcement, and transportation; global corporations and financial institutions; retail and gaming establishments; and telecommunications and utility providers.
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organisations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6 billion.
Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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