O2

Ringing the changes with automated training solutions

Open 24/7 and handling 35,000 calls per month, this organisation's Service Operations data & network support contact centre has transformed its customer service thanks to the implementation of Silver Lining's Optimizer solution. Following a departmental re-organisation and the removal of an existing coaching model, the Service Operations department created a new training team to up-skill existing advisers and provide training on new products and services. The new team needed to find a way of measuring the level of skill required for varying roles and opted to implement the Optimizer solution comprising skills assessment, Quality Management and observational feedback tools.

Part of the Silver Lining Skills Manager portfolio, the Optimizer solution has delivered:

  • 50% (on average) reduction in training time
  • Significant increase in the efficiency of training delivered
  • A substantial increase in the knowledge of existing advisers
  • An increase in first call resolution with customers receiving the right information first time.

Opting for optimizer

The 1st Line Training & Development Manager, Service Operations, explains why Optimizer was the only way forward: "Optimizer allows us to measure each individual's knowledge and skill level, creating a baseline to understand the overall training challenge." Training packages were designed by the training team to be modular, mirroring the results from Optimizer so where a training need was identified, the package filled the gap. Training has become more in-depth, but simpler in that it is now at individual topic level that is more focused than a full training course and is geared towards specific individuals receiving training based on their assessment results.

A Skills Matrix was created around the types of calls received. Optimizer has meant that they can manage who handles what skills in the department, using the assessments to support the skills, knowledge and behaviour checks in line with future plans for the department and its operation. This allowed the training team to:

  • demonstrate the level of departmental knowledge in the transforming technology
  • programme
  • shape the training roadmap
  • provide additional objectives for advisers and managers alike based on the pass rate
  • structure meaningful mentor programmes
  • highlight structured career paths with clear goals
  • create individual personal development plans relevant to personal skills and knowledge
  • adapt to change and be time efficient due to the knowledge checks that allow the
  • assignment of tasks to other areas if needed relatively quickly
  • understand whether advisers know what they should about key 'difficult' subjects and
  • devise a strategy to overcome gaps through assessments and training
  • measure the improvements that training has delivered
  • facilitate skills-based routing on a single telephony platform due to knowing where the skill and knowledge is in the department and matching customers with the right advisers.

Benefits

There has been a substantial increase in knowledge in existing advisers. Optimizer has allowed this telcommunications provider to dispel any myths about who knows what and provides proof of the level of topic knowledge in the department. Skills and knowledge assessment, along with training delivered from a single source, is ensuring that everyone is giving the same information to customers. It has also provided a clear framework for developing PDPs and structured career paths.

There has been an increase in the number of calls handled particularly from the out of hours and weekend advisers. The department is now able to deliver the same standard of service regardless of when the customer calls. Training has been delivered across different call types and the Average Handling Time has been maintained with no impact to the service level.

Transferred calls have been reduced by 25% following an analysis of the reason for them and then delivering training where required based on an individual's knowledge gap. This has helped increase first call resolution as the customer receives the right information first time. Despite the department undergoing further change with the amalgamation of two different service areas each with varying skillsets, knowledge and call types, customer satisfaction levels have been maintained throughout the amalgamation.

And finally, the contact centre advisers have gone from complete scepticism of the assessment process to complete acceptance. The majority are happier that training has now been given some priority and that assessments are a valid part of the process. The training team has now become more proactive and strategic with senior management recognising the value being brought to the business by training delivering against requirements. This has had a positive impact on this organisation's strategy by changing the focus on calls from quantity to quality, with lower call volumes but better service from knowledgeable advisers.

The training team is now strong, highly focused and driven to achieving results. The Training & Development Manager is able to promote innovation from developing the right assessments to new training methods and material. He says:

There is a clear and measurable goal that everyone can contribute and work towards. It is very simple now for them to identify training requirements and then to deliver to those requirements. Our new way of working has seen the training team morale go through the roof.

Training And Development Manager, Service Operations