Rethinking agent deployment

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Lesley Gilmour 27th February 2018 3 minute read

Rethinking agent deployment

As the Operations Director for our partnership with a leading UK department store, Lesley Gilmour is responsible for the leadership and management of the account, operational teams, and successful service delivery. Here, she outlines how a tactical approach to agent deployment allowed the outsourced contact centre operation to deliver a highly successful 2017 peak.

With Black Friday, Christmas and January sales causing a shopping frenzy, winter peak is obviously an incredibly busy time of year for any retail contact centre. It’s no different on our operation, so we start planning for the period months in advance.

The most crucial aspect of preparing for peak in an outsourced contact centre is arguably the recruitment and training of new temporary staff. The operation normally has 470 people working on it – at our busiest point this year we ramped up to 770!

Having to get 300 new colleagues trained and confident in their roles so quickly can prove to be challenging. This year, we were more tactical in terms of how we trained our temporary advisors and where we deployed them – though as we have been very successful in this area in the past, we didn’t change too much. However, we did want to give ourselves a head start in terms of the right calls going to the right people, to support service delivery and Voice of the Customer.

Normally, we would train our temporary staff to work in the front office because that’s where the main volume of our calls come to. However, this year we tried moving them into a few of our back office areas. They’re a wee bit less complex but they are quite specialist, and that makes it possible to learn all you need to know quite quickly – to help new colleagues become instant experts, if you like.

This has enabled us to free up some of our more veteran staff for areas where we need to deliver and manage a great outcome. We were able to use our most experienced people in the areas that really come under pressure, and this paid off in terms of maintaining great results in Voice of the Customer.

Ultimately, a tactical approach can allow for a more efficient customer experience, resulting in increased customer satisfaction – a result not to be sniffed at!

To read more about providing a successful outsourced contact centre operation during peak, read our February 2018 edition on our Intelligence hub page.

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