Outsourcing Industry News and Views

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Latest News and Views from the Outsourcing Industry

30 March 2011     Serco purchase The Listening Company

I love a good success story, so I was especially pleased to see our friends The Listening Company had a massive win earlier this month when they were purchased by BPO giants Serco.  Neville Upton and his team have done a fantastic job, coming from nowhere to Top 5 player in 13 years.   

We’ve done lots of work with TLC over the past few years: my colleague Ian Horseman Sewell has been advising the board on strategy, Philip Shuldham-Legh – TLC’s Product Development Director - spoke at our last Conference, and I’ve been doing some interesting pieces of work with their operations teams in both Richmond and Portsmouth.

We expect an invitation to champagne on the new yacht ...

30 March 2011     Move over, Professor Brian Cox:

                              Kieron Murphy has found the secret of the Universe

Well, a secret of the contact centre Universe anyway ... “how do you simultaneously achieve lower AHT and higher customer satisfaction scores?”  Personally I’m on a mission to banish AHT as a stick to beat agents with.  However, I appreciate it is a vital business metric, so solutions must be found. 

I guess what upsets me most is when ops managers, or executives even further away from the ‘shop floor’ (and who frequently have never been on the phones themselves) issue an edict from on high: “you must get your AHT down”.  What they never tell the unfortunate agents is “how”.  I’ve even been at a client site where the proclamation has come down to the floor – “Agents have now got to try and cross-sell product X on every call – but they can’t increase their AHT”.  I’d like to see you do it, sunshine...

I stumbled on the solution last year by chance, as many of the great discoveries have been made down the ages ... I had been asked to design and deliver a large training programme to bring down the number of complaints and raise C-Sat in a large outsourcer, who were working for a major client in the telecoms/broadband sector.  Lo and behold, without me even focusing on the AHT, NPS went up from -34.8 to +12.9, while AHT dropped by about 8%.  One individual lowered her AHT from 14 minutes to 5...

I’ve since done other projects with similar results, but that’s anecdotal and I don’t have the exact stats yet.  Word from the floor has been that conversion rate doubled and AHT halved.  Sounds too good to be true? 

If any of these issues ring a bell with you, give me (Kieron Murphy) a call on 07768 731698.  Things can only get better.  (Apologies again to Professor Cox)




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