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Stephen Wise Blog

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U.K. based energy company entered North America

The Situation: A U.K. based energy company entered North America and was not able to support it's product and customer growth plans with the existing Call Centre and Data Centre Infrastructure. The forecast call volume for sales and billing could not be supported. The Intervention: Working with the head of IT and head of Call Centre, Stephen developed a business case based on current operational statistics, growth forecasts, and measurable success objectives. After some negotiation, the executive team approved a hi-level scope, budget and schedule. A key success factor was the establishment of a structure and process for executive updates on escalated issues and decision making. Stephen went to work within the organization recruiting key project leads in Operations, IT, Human Resources, Facilities and Legal. Build out of Contact Centre capacity would be a seminal initiative. Therefore tried and true Project Management processes were used such as Work breakdown planning, task sequencing, cost estimates, and assignment individual accountability for various activities. A critical turning point in the project was the finding that the customer service applications were likely to be a significant bottleneck in increasing capacity. What began as a simple exercise to itemize the various applications lead to the acceleration of a future project to build an Enterprise grade North American Data Centre. A critical success factor identified was retention of existing contact center staff and recruitment for the new center. Contact Centre staffing has high turnover so it became critical to start and early and engaging communication plan for existing employees and develop support for the transition such as researching solutions for transportation and child care. The Result: The opening day was a massive success of readiness. The backup plan was to stop or slow the migration of agents from the old to new location if glitches arose, but instead, the migration was accelerated as soon as word got around about the well-designed office space, the inbound call queue/routing system, and the improved responsiveness of the customer information systems. Service capacity for inbound and outbound calls was increased 3x. Customer impact (measured in wait times and first call resolution) during the cutover was very low. The project finished on schedule and slightly under the $6 million budget.



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