The Return on Call Center Desktop Integration Technology

Jodie Monger, PhD
Posted: 04/12/2009

The determination of a call center success of any solution or implementation is predicated on the quantification of a positive effect. A solution or implementation can be declared successful only when the current situation is improved by the change, by the addition or the removal by an implementation. Success within the call center is measurable. As a matter of fact, in the call center there is nothing that cannot be measured for its effect. Gut reaction and anecdotal information has no place in the call center beyond identifying what needs to be measured—what essentially needs to be proved or disproved in the call center.

Return on Technology Investment in the Call Center (RoTI)

Prior to the commitment for an implementation, the call center management team must assess the value proposition of the alternatives to make a selection. Only after the selection and implementation can the success of that decision actually be quantified. The effect of technical changes in the call center must be measured in order to validate and quantify the degree of the return on the initiative.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Customer Relationship Metrics (Metrics) takes its responsibility seriously in all measurement within the call center. An implementation of a unified or integrated desktop for each call center representative has many measureable outcomes related to operational metrics; however, changes in such metrics at the expense of the call center representative or the customer is, by definition, not a success.

Recently, Metrics designed a research study to examine the outcome of an integrated desktop solution. The focus of this research was on the effect of an integration toolset, which developed an integrated call center representative’s desktop for a large business process outsourcer. One of the goals of the implementation was to reduce the burden on the call center representative during peak calling seasons, which in this case, was "open enrollment" for a significant Medicaid/Medicare provider. The original implementation was a pilot for 50 call center representatives with a broader deployment across the organization after positive improvements in operational metrics.

Relationship Metrics: Does Greater Transactional Efficiency Lead to Greater Call Center Employee Satisfaction?

A positive effect in operational metrics was quantified but now the measure of success must include determining whether or not the integrated desktop had a positive effect on call center representative’s performance and satisfaction. Metrics designed an agent impact test (questionnaire) to assess the second component of the value statement to this organization.

Prior to deployment of an integrated desktop in two very large call centers, agents completed the questionnaire, which focused on job satisfaction and perception of the customer experience by the contact center. Four months after the implementation, the test was administered again. The study was designed to avoid the error often made by organizations and sought to prove the RoTI by measuring, making a change and then measuring again.

The Effect of the Implementation

Quantifiable improvement was found between how the call center representatives felt before the integration as compared to after. The following attributes had mean scores that were statistically different between the pre-implementation measurement and the post-implementation measurement.

Relating to their performance, the call center representatives felt:

  • More confident in their expertise to enroll callers in the healthcare plan
  • More confident in their expertise related to issue of the healthcare changes
  • That the customers were less impatient with the amount of time it now takes to get the information they need
  • That customers call back less frequently because they did not get the answer they wanted from another agent
  • That customers were overall more satisfied with the healthcare program

Relating to their job satisfaction, the agents felt:

  • More satisfied with their job itself in general
  • That the objectives and goals they must reach were fair
  • More satisfied with the supervision of their work
  • That there is more fairness in the way the company treats them
  • More likely to recommend employer to a friend looking for a job

The Return on Technology Initiative is Positive

Through the implementation of integration technology, these very large healthcare services call centers gained operational efficiency, allowing agents to more quickly access relevant information and related research and to improve first call resolution. An important additional benefit of improving employee confidence in their own ability to serve customers leads to higher levels of performance and greater employee satisfaction. The RoTI quantified will directly contribute to an improvement in the organization’s performance.

First published on Call Center IQ.

Jodie Monger, PhD
Posted: 04/12/2009

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