Making call centres smarter

When looking for a better way to monitor the effectiveness of its call centre agents, Nordia Inc. called upon Speedware Ltd. to provide the solution – a decision that one analyst said is a positive one.

Planning and clear knowledge of a company’s business needs are essential elements that organizations must consider before putting resources into new technology, said to Samantha Kane, founding partner of telecommunications consultants, Kane-MacKay & Associates in Belleville, Ont.

Nordia shared Kane’s opinion of planning and mapped out its objectives before entering into phase one of its ongoing relationship with fellow Montreal-based company, Speedware.

“As an organization we have a vision and a mission to become the Canadian leader in the customer contact business, so one of the strategies was to make sure that we did have the tools to allow us to make this vision a reality,” said Paulette Beaudry-Klug, president of Nordia.

She added that after four years of operation, Nordia – providers of customer relationship management solutions – realized it was time to put the tools in place “to take the next giant step” and Speedware had everything the company needed to fulfil its objectives.

“We found that with Speedware’s products we were able to add the tools in our organization that are going to help our management team make better educated decisions faster, based on the information that is now totally automated,” Beaudry-Klug said. “So there is less risk of having wrong information [and] less human intervention, since it is totally linked to other systems.”

She added that Speedware’s Media reporting and analytic suite provides Nordia’s employees the tools they need to increase their performance and their personal expectations.

“We now have the tools necessary to very quickly look at every single employee’s level of performance and develop action plans that are going to help them get to the level of performance that they are looking for.”

Speedware implemented its Media reporting solution in all four of Nordia’s call centre locations, a process which consisted of consolidating information housed in three systems: Symposium, Enterprise Interaction Centre (EIC) and Bell Reports – a daily report sent to Nordia from Bell Canada.

Speedware’s Media suite is an analytical tool, which shows how many agent calls turn into sales and other performance measurements. The program transforms a company’s information in a graphical format with more specific information available “at the touch of a button,” said Joseph Madrinkian, a software consultant at Speedware.

The Media suite is set up as a dashboard, which breaks up the information into separate graphs and allows the client company to identify opportunities or problems in specific areas, Speedware said.

Calling Speedware one of Canada’s “best kept secrets,” Kane said the IT solutions company goes one step further than traditional automatic call distributors (ACDs) and provides, in one solution, what many vendors attack separately.

“[With Speedware] you have the ability to integrate dynamic real-time and historical information on the same dashboard of the same chart. Typically ACDs have real-time and they have historical information, but never in the same report,” Kane said.

She added that ACD vendors like Nortel Networks Corp. and Avaya Inc. shouldn’t strive to follow in Speedware’s footsteps, but rather that Speedware should be the tool that lays across the desktop, on top of the ACD vendors.

“I think it should be a collaborative environment,” she explained.

Phase two of the project is planned for November, Beaudry-Klug said, adding that Nordia will use the Media tool to analyze what improvements have been made since the completion of phase one and how the company can use the analytic tool to continue to increase the performance of the company.

When mapping out the future of the call centre, Kane said it is essential for employees to remember the important role they play in the success of a company to make the “vision” of a call centre become a reality.

“For a long time people thought that call centres were the prison and the black hole down there in the world,” Kane said. “I think the call centre or whatever you make the virtual front door [of a company] should be the absolute model and goal of an organization. Everybody should want to work there.”