Alliant Consulting Aligning people, processes and metrics to meet your business goals.

National Newspaper wishes to project future needs, assess the performance and potential of the current consumer sales and support operations and determine whether/how to outsource all customer contact functions. They currently serve customers via a combination of in-house and outsourced contact centers providing customer support via web, chat, email and telephone.

Alliant conducted the assessment, identifying and documenting work activities, processes and tools, and reviewing contracts and performance. The review included the current outsourced contractor, in-house contact center and departments with cross-functional dependencies such as Logistics, Finance, Reception and ERP System Operations. Workload, staffing, schedules and standards were analyzed, recommendations were developed, and performance improvements were achieved during the five-week assessment.

The review identified opportunities to:

  • Simplify pathways and reduce portals into the contact center, effectively use IVR/ICE and reduce published numbers and email boxes
  • Optimize staffing/schedules for all contact centers using ACD and historical data to optimize service and reduce unnecessary FTE
  • Establish routines to accelerate response time to print and email correspondence to improve service and reduce inbound calls
  • Increase oversight of outsourced contact center to improve contact quality and service
  • Re-set expectations and revise contract with current outsourced provider
  • Reopen vender selection process with guidelines to establish terms that drive high performance and lower cost
  • Developed contact center cost model
  • Simplify work processes, eliminating dozens of unnecessary steps

Operating & Financial Opportunities Realized

  • 39% reduction in online support ready backlog in less than three weeks
  • Eliminated backlog of emails waiting to be read > 24 hours
  • 28% increase in service level (from 70% to 90%+)
  • Revised schedules to reduce abandoned calls 36% and staffing by ~ 35%
  • Redesigned portals to reduce “mailboxes” by 65% to simplify customer experience and improve responsiveness
  • Designed IVR routing that allowed elimination of all but 4 of 21 telephone numbers currently published for customers
  • 33% reduction in cost per call at outsourced operation by implementing schedule recommendations and closing loopholes in current contract
  • 32% reduction in outsourced staffing (from 33 to 25 FTEs)
  • Developed schedule design to reduce in-house staff 13%; FTE savings could be as high as 40% with implementation of process design recommendations