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Experiencing a 70% Reduction in Call Wait Times

March 10, 2011

A ContactCenter Management SystemTM (CMS) Case Study 

We have all heard the dreaded words, “Please hold and the next available representative will be with you shortly.”  Whether it is six minutes or 10 seconds, the amount of time we wait on hold significantly impacts our overall call experience.  Tyndall Federal Credit Union (TFCU), a nine location institution in Florida – including a 40 agent contact center, has historically been challenged with less than ideal call wait times.  To help reduce their wait times without significantly increasing their labor cost, they sought a solution that helped them schedule the right number of agents at the right time; and FMSI’s ContactCenter Management SystemTM (CMS) not only helped them to substantially decrease their average call wait times, but it also helped them to increase their agent productivity

Improving Call Wait Times

When placed in her Contact Center Manager role about a year and a half ago, Jocelyn Cassidy knew she had her work cut out for her.  Specifically, the TFCU contact center had an average call wait-time above five minutes and a scheduling process that resulted in costly inappropriate staffing levels.  She was also keenly aware that the contact center’s current reporting process was insufficient compared to her previous experience as a Branch Manager – working with FMSI’s Teller Management SystemTM– where she learned the power of monthly management business intelligence reports and an accurate forecasting scheduling engine.  With the assistance of CMS, Jocelyn aimed to completely change how she staffed and managed the contact center.

After implementing CMS, Cassidy and her staff immediately started to successfully utilize their call data to forecast both staffing levels and their precise impact on wait times.  She explained their achievements by stating, “FMSI’s ContactCenter Management SystemTM(CMS), has been instrumental in decreasing our average call wait times from five minutes plus to our targeted goal of below two minutes.” 

Additionally, TFCU’s management was also able to use the CMS monthly individual performance reports to identify agents that required coaching.  These particular agents were then given additional training such as, learning how to hold a more structured call, which resulted in an improvement in quality – and subsequently a quicker call.   Conversely, TFCU was also able to recognize top performers, which Cassidy explained by stating, “We rewarded our best performing agents based on the CMS reports and ultimately experienced an increase to this group’s size due to more agents working hard to qualify for this list.”

A More Flexible Scheduling System
Prior to the roll-out of CMS, TFCU had the same basic schedules, including the following shifts: 7:00-4:00, 8:00-5:00, 10:00-7:00.  For better or for worse, all the employees had to fit into these exact schedules.  This presented conflicts with a number of the agents at the contact center – especially those with children.  The CMS scheduling engine allowed for a more flexible scheduling creation process, which took employee preferences into perspective.  “Our agents were able to be scheduled around more peak call volumes, including lunch time and late afternoons.  CMS allowed for shifts like 11:00-3:00 and 4:00-7:00 during specific days.  Our employees were very pleased with this flexibility,” explained Jocelyn.

TFCU was also able to use the CMS scheduling tool to schedule specific times for outbound telemarketing.  The system recommended the times that were ideal for this type of activity – based on historic call volumes.  This practice resulted in a more steady flow of outbound telemarketing.
 
Contact Center Best Practices from TFCU

  • Have meetings with individual agents once a month, and use the CMS numbers to help quantify their activities to review their performance.
  • During weekly meetings with supervisors – incorporate CMS numbers.  They experienced a lot of great discussions around the numbers.  For example, at one point TFCU had an event that resulted in a flood of extra calls and longer wait times.  During the subsequent supervisor meeting, the detailed CMS numbers guided them toward a resolution.
  • Hold monthly one-on-one meetings with supervisors to review average wait times and agent productivity numbers.

 
Contact centers with undesirable call wait times can adversely affect the entire financial institution.  As a major account holder touch point, it is crucial for organizations to obtain the right contact center service levels without significantly increasing their cost in the process.  By improving their average wait time and call agent productivity with FMSI’s ContactCenter Management SystemTM (CMS), Tyndall Federal Credit Union has been able to significantly improve the service level at their contact center while decreasing their operating expense.

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