Call Centre Expansion: Enhancing Customer Support Capabilities

The Situation

A UK-based energy company entering the North American market faced a critical challenge: its current call and data centre infrastructure was inadequate for supporting anticipated product and customer growth. The company projected that the existing facilities would not be able to handle the expected increase in sales and billing call volumes, necessitating an urgent and scalable solution.

The Intervention

Led by Stephen and in collaboration with the heads of IT and the Call Centre, a comprehensive business case was developed. This case was grounded in detailed operational statistics and growth projections, aimed at crafting a scalable and efficient call centre solution. The executive team green-lighted a high-level budget and timeline based on this plan, marking the beginning of a critical strategic project. Stephen mobilized a multi-disciplinary project team, drawing expertise from Operations, IT, Human Resources, Facilities, and Legal departments, to embark on this initiative. The project's foundation rested on established project management methodologies, focusing on work breakdown, task sequencing, cost estimation, and fostering individual accountability. A turning point was the recognition of potential bottlenecks posed by outdated customer service applications. This insight accelerated the development of an Enterprise-grade North American Data Centre. Key to the project’s success was prioritizing the retention of existing staff and streamlining recruitment processes for the new facility, addressing the industry’s common high turnover rates with proactive communication and supportive measures for staff transition.

Project 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.

The Result

The project's launch exceeded expectations, with a seamless and accelerated migration to the new facility. Feedback was positive on the improved working environment and systems. The effort tripled the service capacity for handling calls, with negligible impact on customer wait times and resolution efficiency. The initiative was delivered on schedule and under the projected $6 million budget, highlighting the project's strategic planning and execution.

Key Executive Takeaways
  • Comprehensive Planning: The foundation of successful infrastructure expansion lies in detailed planning, incorporating realistic growth projections and operational data.
  • Cross-functional Teamwork: Effective collaboration across various departments is crucial for addressing complex challenges and ensuring project success.
  • Project Management Discipline: Adhering to proven project management practices ensures timely and budget-conscious execution.
  • Staff Engagement and Support: Early and ongoing communication with staff, coupled with supportive measures for transition, is key to minimizing turnover and ensuring operational continuity.

#CallCenter #Energy #Infrastruture #EmployeeRetention

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