C A N A DA’S P RO F E SS I O N A L C U STO M E R CO N TAC T SO L U T I O N S F O R U M
w w w. co n t a c t m a n a g e m e n t . c a
l First call resolution
l NEW! Product Showcase
Contents JAN/FEB 2007
Cover photo: Falko Matte
10 Operational strategies
Ideas a mile a minute
12 First call resolution
Measuring to better manage customers’ experience
By Wendy Lauther
Chasing that elusive FCR goal
By Rob McDougall
Applying people, processes and technology to improve FCR
By Mike Desmarais
16 Multi-channel / web-enabled
Weaving a web of customer service
By Susan Maclean
26 association news
Manitoba Customer Contact Association
Alberta Call Centre Association
GTACC – Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association
4 FROM THE EDITOR
5 READERBOARD - The latest industry news
Scanning the Canadian contact centre sector – By Steve Demmings
17 PRODUCT SHOWCASE
Multiple channels offer service opportunities
Self-service options prove popular
Benefits inside the centre
Halton Region makes government more accessible – By Susan Maclean
Nordia reveals its VoIP strategy
25 REGIONAL PROFILE
20 BC quality of life attracts skilled, multilingual labour
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 3
from the editor
Meeting customers’ expectations Volume 7 Number 1
The start of another year just seems to lend itself to taking stock and attempting to Steve Lloyd
look through a bigger picture. Where are we and what’s in store for 2007? email@example.com
Here’s what Witness Systems’ principal global market consultant Oscar Alban Editor
recently noted in his blog at www.improveeverything.com. “The biggest discon- Susan Maclean
nect that exists in enterprises today is between the contact centre and marketing
Marketing Information Coordinator
department. Many marketing dollars are spent trying to learn what customers think Adam Lloyd
and feel. To gain this insight, marketing organizations spend a significant amount of firstname.lastname@example.org
money on focus groups, where they elicit the voice of the customer. Ironically, con- Creative Director
tact centres are involved with a continuous and very large focus group every day. Susanna Ferguson
One key element of workforce optimization is the realization that an opportunity email@example.com
to capture the true voice of the customer exists within every contact centre … and Advertising Sales Manager
it’s essentially free. Contact centre management, reach out to marketing. Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
recognize the strategic asset that the contact centre actually is. In so doing, the en- Senior Account Manager
terprise scores.” Sean Foley
Gary Barnett, CTO and exec VP at Aspect Technical Services and Research Develop- email@example.com
ment writes: “I believe that in 2007 company executives will increase their focus on For subscription, circulation and
the contact centre as a source of revenue generation, and place more emphasis on the change of address information, contact
contact centre as the predominant way to retain customers.” firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to achieve these objectives, he thinks contact centres will focus on the fol- Publications Mail Agreement No. 40063311
Return undeliverable Canadian
lowing trends, some of which have been gaining momentum for a few years but can addresses to:
now incorporate “new technologies that will accelerate acceptance.” Firstly, he cites Circulation Department
a unified approach such as that of VoIP adopters who are migrating to VoIP “to take 302-137 Main Street North
Markham ON L3P 1Y2
a more complete view of their customers and focus on customer experiences from t: 905.201.6600
the consistency and ease of use perspective.” Another trend is performance manage- f: 905.201.6601
ment and “the ability for managers and executives to access information in different e: email@example.com
ways, and to use that data more efficiently to determine where their companies really
Subscriptions available for $40.00/year or
stand with customers and to more effectively reach both service and financial tar- $60.00/two years.
gets.” A third trend is “retaining agents by improving work environments by focusing 2007 Lloydmedia Inc.
on technology such as workforce management or quality management solutions.” All rights reserved. The contents of this publica-
tion may not be reproduced by any means,
And lastly, self service. “We will see the continued adoption of speech as companies in whole or in part, without the prior written
look at incorporating more speech into self service; and, a closer consent of the publisher.
tie between the web and contact centre self service so that cus- Printed in Canada
tomers can start with self service on the web and end up in the Reprint permission requests to use materials
published in Contact Management should be
contact centre.” directed to the publisher.
It still all boils down to meeting customers’ expectations,
doesn’t it? This issue features technology, tips and techniques
for companies like yours as you try to meet those expec-
tations and even stay one step ahead. We wish you suc- next issue...
cess in 2007 and hope you’ll find us good company on
MARCH/APRIL – Developing
global partnerships, international
site selection strategy, the how and
why of mystery calling, regional pro-
file on Quebec.
MAY/JUNE – Protecting against
identity theft, how to find and evalu-
ate an outsource option, inbound
software showcase, regional profile
4 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
... ECH ROADMAP SEEKS YOUR OPINION...
What is the agent of the future going to five-year trend in technology evolution to centres and inhouse versus outsourcers,
look like? Will she/he be working from ensure that the Canadian workforce skill for example.
home with a headset? Will it be a multi-lin- sets are in place to meet changes. John At press time, a day-long workshop
gual avatar on a website? What will be the Gelder has been named project manager called “The Contact Centre of The Future”
impact on human resources management? and preliminary data gathering has begun. was set for Feb. 23 at the University of
Contact Centre Canada will be looking An advisory committee is being struck Ottawa’s Executive MBA Centre. It was ex-
for information and your opinions as part and the consulting firm AtFocus has been pected to be attended by many industry
of an upcoming study on key emerging enlisted to help assemble the information participants to generate some insight on
technologies, expected workforce skill collected. this topic.
gaps and priority industry issues. It’s all Initial activities include vendor market/ Contact Centre Canada would appreci-
part of Technology Roadmap, a new proj- analysis reports on IP contact centres, ate your opinion and asks that you watch
ect Contact Centre Canada has launched meetings with key industry vendors and for a web link to use for that purpose at
in partnership with Industry Canada. contact centre executive to review stages www.contactcentrecanada.ca. cm
Technology Roadmap will look at the of technology uptake of small versus large
...CITY OF CALGARY 3-1-1 PROGRAM RECEIVES HONOUR... ATTRACTS 1,000 SGS
JOBS TO WINDSOR...
The City of Calgary’s 3-1-1 program is a who the citizen talks to subsequently in
2006 Award of Excellence recipient of the the operations centre. A new technical support centre in Windsor
Canadian Information Productivity Awards 3-1-1 CSR data can provide city officials expected to create 1,000 high value jobs
(CIPA), the premier information technology with details on everything from speed in this community has been announced
and innovation awards program in Canada. of service to identifying areas of need. by Ontario’s Economic Development and
Calgary launched Canada’s first 3-1-1 mu- Monthly data is collected by the 3-1-1 Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello.
nicipal call centre service on May 18, 2005. measurements team and city business Sutherland Global Services (SGS) will
3-1-1 connects citizens 24/7/365 days a year units. Regular reports go to senior man- provide advanced technical support for
with non-emergency city services through agement and elected officials. Reports personal computer users. The new Wind-
an Operations Centre that handles service reveal statistics and trends including ser- sor operation will phase in hiring and train-
requests on hundreds of municipal matters vice-request volumes and types, on-time ing for technical support agents in diagnos-
from intake through to resolution. performance indicators, call volumes to tics and troubleshooting. SGS was to begin
The City of Calgary’s 3-1-1 program is the the 3-1-1 Operations Centre and how well with 75 agents and add another 500 agents
municipality’s long-term customer service the city is meeting service-delivery agree- in March 2007. One thousand full-time po-
strategy to improve and standardize how ments in various operations. sitions will be filled by March 2008.
the corporation responds to more than An annual telephone survey conducted “This investment is a real boost to this
one million citizen inquiries and requests for the city by HarGroup Research of city’s economy and a vote of confidence
received annually. Calgary’s 3-1-1 program more than 800 Calgarians using the 3-1-1 in its highly educated workforce,” Pu-
uses Customer Service Request (CSR) soft- telephone service showed that 86 per patello announced. “These are the kinds
ware to co-ordinate and electronically cent were moderately to completely sat- of investments that help put Windsor and
assign work orders to field staff through- isfied. The percentage of customers who the rest of Ontario on the radar screen to
out the city. The approach eliminates the recalled being transferred three or more attract other businesses. We’re grateful to
need for decentralized call centres across times dropped to 11.5 per cent in 2006 Sutherland Global Services for choosing
the organization. from 25 per cent in 2005. First-call resolu- Ontario. We know it’s because of the qual-
With 3-1-1, citizens can call one num- tion of calls in 2006 was 80 per cent. ity of Windsor’s workforce, and the com-
ber 24/7 to report a pothole to be fixed, 3-1-1 received a CIPA silver award in petitive advantage Ontario offers through
request a building inspection, report the customer care, not for profit catego- lower corporate tax rates, health care and
a missed garbage pick-up or request ry, at the 2006 annual awards ceremony in telecommunications costs.”
hundreds of other services. The citizen Toronto on Nov. 1. Windsor is the third SGS operation in
automatically receives a tracking, or SR “To be recognized by CIPA for our Ontario. The company operates two tech-
(Service Request) number, which guaran- work in establishing Canada’s first 3-1-1 nical support centres in Sault Ste. Marie
tees the completion of the request. This operations centre is an honour,” said Terry employing 1,300 people. SGS’s COO Ashok
guarantee ensures that the work order was Pearce, manager of the City of Calgary’s Jain cited the abundant skilled labour, the
logged, sent to the right place, and acted 3-1-1 Operations Centre. “It is rewarding continued support of the Government
upon within a set time frame. For Calgar- to have our efforts to improve citizen of Ontario and the spirit of partnership
ians, 3-1-1 provides a service guarantee that response through innovative technology demonstrated by the City of Windsor in
is easily followed-up on later, no matter acknowledged on a national scale.” cm its recent choice of location. cm
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 5
...CCEOC CERTIFIES CRAWFORD ADJUSTERS - GRAND AND TOY...
The Contact Center Employer of Choice include: phone, web, chat, email and fax. hance public perception, develop excep-
(CCEOC) Institute in December certi- Typical calls include: claims intake, claims- tional work environments, attract, retain
fied two more Canadian contact centres related questions, ethics and compliance and engage high performing, culturally
– Crawford Adjusters Canada’s CLAIMS- inquiries, healthcare claims, emergency aligned employees and have positive im-
ALERT contact centre and Grand & Toy dispatch, surveys, class action administra- pact on employee/customer satisfaction.
contact centre operation. tion, reservations and technical support The assessment looked at three groups:
Crawford Adjusters Canada’s CLAIMS- The company is a wholly owned subsid- call centre, telephone adjusters and sup-
ALERT contact centre in Kitchener, ON, iary of Atlanta,GA-based Crawford & Com- port. The designation applies only to the
achieved the gold level CCEOC designa- pany, the largest independent provider of call centre group.
tion on its first assessment. About 60 claims management solutions to insurance “Crawford’s CLAIMSALERT team is a
call centre, support and administration companies, and self-insured entities. young, energetic and dedicated group of
representatives handle well over 250,000 Crawford Adjusters Canada decided to employees,” notes Jeff Doran, CCEOC In-
calls per year. Channels of communication pursue the CCEOC designation to help en- stitute president. “High scores in the areas
of employee/management relations, envi-
...GLOBAL FORUM FINALIZES PACKED AGENDA...
ronment and facilities and customer satis-
ICT Communications reports that the pro- The future of the industry on the faction helped push them over the top.”
gram for the world’s first contact centre world’s key continents will be addressed Dave Nice, director, CLAIMSALERT
forum to unite contact centre decision by a panel of leading analysts. Mary noted: “We’re very proud to have achieved
makers across the global industry includes Wardley, vice-president of Research for Gold on the first assessment. As a compa-
regional reviews that forecast the future global intelligence firm IDC, will consider ny, we’re going through tremendous growth
of the industry in the world’s major ge- the changing relationship between con- and we feel it’s very important to recognize
ographies—EMEA, Asia Pacific and the tact centres and the organisations they the valuable contributions our employees
Americas—plus a series of interactive serve within North and South American make every day. This award tells us we’re
panel discussions addressing controversial markets. Dr Catriona Wallace, director of doing a lot of things right. It also tells us
industry issues. The Contact Centre Glob- Call Centres.net, will examine dynamic where we need to focus and improve.”
al Forum will be held for the first time in tensions between profitability, cost and The Grand & Toy contact centre opera-
Cannes, France, from April 25 – 27, 2007 human resources demands within Asia Pa- tion achieved the first level CCEOC desig-
and annually thereafter. cific. Finally, Evan Kirchheimer, Datamoni- nation for 2006 at all three sites – Toronto,
Forum director Christina Wood notes: tor research and analysis director, will Ottawa and Edmonton. About 120 total
“The Contact Centre Global Forum won’t examine divergences across mature and customer services representatives handle
shy away from the difficult issues our nascent markets in EMEA and assess their more than a million contacts per year.
industry faces – from globalisation to implications for contact centre operators, Channels of communication include phone,
employment; from customer disaffection outsourcers and their clients. web, chat, email and fax. Types of calls re-
to the industry’s own shortcomings that A half day ‘Global Future Summit’ will ceived are orders, order inquiries, product/
contribute to it. By airing these subjects allow delegates to hear and debate the price/account/invoice enquiries, order
openly, and by encouraging action-based findings of a worldwide industry opinion corrections and rush deliveries, as well as
debate, we’ll help industry leaders identify survey and to formulate a series of change web, technical and consultative inquiries.
ways to transform the present and direct recommendations to improve performance “Paul Gyarmati, Grand & Toy’s national
the future in ways that benefit contact within their markets. The Forum also offers manager, contact centres, adds: “The re-
centres, the organisations they represent a Business Exchange area, where 29 Fo- sult of the CCEOC assessment tells us that
and the customers they serve.” rum Partners—industry associations from we are on the right track and heading in
The first panel discussion is ‘Why Cus- around the world, including Canadian Call the right direction. I’m very proud of our
tomers Hate Us – And What We Can Management Association (CAM-X)—will employees and the progress we’ve made.”
Do About It. The second, ‘The Future host a series of meeting points and events. Founded in 1882, Grand & Toy offers
For Agents – Who We Will Recruit and The Business Exchange will also house a more than 6,500 products through seven
How,’ considers how increased self-ser- Contact Centre Clinic with international commercial distribution centres, an Inter-
vice will affect agent roles, job numbers consultants and be the focal point for net ordering system and 50 conveniently
and employer recruitment strategies as social and networking activities. located retail stores. The company em-
automation overtakes straightforward For details about Forum Partner- ploys 2,200 across Canada and is a wholly
contact centre processes. A third, ‘Global ship, commercial sponsor and exhibi- owned subsidiary of Office Max.
Standards – Do We Need Them and What tor options or to enquire about del- The CCEOC certification award is an
are They For?’ questions whether quality egate places, contact Christina Wood, industry standard for recognizing and
standards add value and whether a single Forum Director, at +44 (0)1483 755647; branding people-centric contact centres.
global standard is desirable or achievable. Christina@ictcomms.com. cm www.ccemployerofchoice.com cm
6 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
Scanning the Canadian
contact centre sector
The potential for great economic benefits from Canada’s customer contact centre sector requires
great leadership, comments Site Selection Canada’s Steve Demmings. He sees the industry’s future BY STEVE DEMMINGS
success as demanding improved branding and aggressive marketing.
ccording to Site Selection Canada as the logical global provider for a higher munity outside Toronto. Similarly, New
there have been 270 new customer value, infrastructure superior, well edu- Brunswick has announced 43 new deals
contact centre expansions an- cated solution for Technical Support and (16 percent) of the Canadian total and has
nounced in Canada in the last five years. elevated Customer Service companies continued the job creation initiative in
This has resulted in an estimated 84,462 that seek to employ college and university spite of two government changes.
new jobs in addition to the 700,000 jobs graduates. This is the future! Any North The province that has assumed lead-
that existed in 2000. The economic ben- American work process that can be digi- ership for the Canadian sector is Nova
efits are enormous. It has contributed to tized…will be digitized…in the immediate Scotia. It has not only become a dominant
the leasing of an estimated 9.2-10.6 million future. This will have huge implications for player in Canada, but since 2000 it has
square feet of Canadian office space and those countries that can offer Near Shore achieved what the rest of the country
$23.6-$25.3 billion in annual salaries. options for expanding U.S. business. Don’t has been talking about for years. It has
In the past two years both the number of take my word for it; read Andrew Ross’s created a stellar customer contact cen-
deals and jobs created has trended down as best seller “Fast Boat to China, Lessons tre infrastructure and an international
companies focus their attention on smaller from Shanghai” to get to know our com- reputation resulting in 7,744 new jobs in
centres (up to 400 jobs) located in Tier petition that is on the horizon. five years and 24 new expansions (nine
Two and Tier Three cities that offer more percent) of the Canadian total. They have
abundant and cost effective labour. Much Leading provinces created a new level of expectations in the
of the Canadian growth has been by com- During the past six to seven years, the po- economic development arena because of
panies that have been historically active litical landscape of Canada has undergone the Research in Motion (Blackberry) ex-
for the past three to four years including significant change. Three provinces, in pansion. The “RIM” deal puts Nova Scotia
Minacs, NuComm, Stream, Convergys, VAS, particular, deserve mention. Ontario has into a different orbit than their provincial
Help Desk Now, Client Logic, Sutherland, been a consistent leader during the five competitors. RIM offers “careers without
Sitel and Teletech. However, the customer year period (generating 49 percent) of the limits” providing excellent salaries…and it
contact centre sector has witnessed major deals in Canada. Obviously the McGuinty creates a real solution to help Nova Scotia
new growth in Ottawa. Since their first government recognized the job creation stem the migration of educated young
expansion announcement in February of potential of the Harris initiative because it graduates from the province. Hot on the
2006, Dell has made two further announce- accelerated the customer contact centre RIM announcement was the Nov. 16, 2006
ments in May and November that they will program, in virtually every Ontario com- headline in the Globe and Mail “Halifax,
eventually employ 2,700 CSR’s in their new
147,000 square foot premises. The Dell busi- CANADIAN CORPORATE EXPANSIONS
ness has been a nice rebound for Ottawa Summary: Comparative performance – customer contact centres 2002 - 2006
since the tech meltdown in 2000. PROV 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 TOTAL RANK
ON 31 29 23 22 26 131 1
Actions for future success NB 15 6 11 5 6 43 2
Several years ago Contact Centre Canada NS 5 9 5 2 3 24 3
was launched as a national human resourc- QC 7 7 3 1 5 23 4
es sector council to assist the industry in BC 5 6 4 6 0 21 5
meeting its human resources challenge. Its AB 1 2 3 1 1 8 6
mandate was a timely one, because the SK 0 1 3 3 1 8 6
availability of employees has become “the MB 0 1 2 1 1 5 7
issue” for all of Canada’s industry. How- NF 1 0 0 1 3 5 7
ever, what we need sooner than later is PE 2 0 0 0 0 2 8
a much more proactive and aggressive in- TOTAL 67 61 54 42 46 270
dustry association that will brand Canada Source: Site Selection Canada
8 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
a centre for International Finance? It’s
No Fish Tale.” The Globe announced the
creation of another 1,000 financial admin-
istration jobs with Bermuda-based com-
panies including Bank of N.T. Butterfield
& Sons, Olympia Capital International and
West End Capital Management, affiliated
with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Manitoba’s lost potential
Want to understand how to destroy a
business reputation that took eight years
No Canadian province provides a
starker image of lost economic develop-
ment possibilities than the province of
Manitoba, under the current NDP govern-
ment. Manitoba was once a front runner
in the industry, competing toe to toe with
New Brunswick for most, if not all, of the
new business opportunities that consid-
ered Canada as an expansion opportunity.
In 2001 both provinces were in a virtual
dead heat with 11,000 contact centre jobs.
Since then New Brunswick has rocketed
ahead with 20,000 jobs, while Manitoba
has shrunk to less than 10,500. This is the
direct result of an appalling lack of politi-
cal leadership and a profound inability by
Premier Gary Doer’s NDP government to
vision the economic and leveraging po-
tential of the customer contact centre
sector, as best illustrated in the lost op-
portunity with Research in Motion.
In order for the Canadian industry to
ratchet up to the next level in creating
greater employment opportunities for
our educated youth and to ensure “that
our lunch is not taken from us” by the
competitive forces lurking on the global
horizon, we must scrutinize the provincial
track records that are now clearly obvious
because of the past five years. Take note of
the accompanying Site Selection Canada
score card! Great economic benefits are
possible for all of us, but this requires great
leadership, now more than ever! cm
Steve Demmings is president of Winni-
peg-based Site Selection Canada (www.
siteselectioncanada.com). Site Selection
Canada advises technology firms seeking
new Canadian locations and advises com-
munities on developing strategies to attain
economic development results.
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 9
Ideas at a mile
The 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes keynote panel was a hit at the ICCM
conference in Toronto last fall. The session was moderated by Paul
Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research. Panelists were: Chris
Crosby, President, Latigent LLC; Garry Schultz, VP, Global Support,
Roxio/Sonic; Jon Silverman, CTO, Spanlink Communications; Kevin
Hegebarth, then director of Strategic Analysis, Witness Systems; Mag-
gie Klenke, The Call Center School; and Henry Kolisnik, then senior con-
sultant, Telus. Here are most of their suggestions organized by topic.
VoIP the number at the end of each instruc- are former
Chris Crosby – The VoIP migration will tion. Get rid of industry jargon. call centre
wreck havoc on your reporting. Whether it’s agents. Teach
an upgrade or a full ACD replacement, there Silverman – Agents have up to 20 applica- them how to diagnose performance and
will be a significant impact to how report- tions on their desk. Look for a composite coach. This is the great missing link.
ing works in your new environment. Make application. Organize your agents’ desks.
sure to work with your vendor prior to the Put all applications into one container to Kolisnik – Customers have different pref-
migration to ensure a smooth transition. speed their productivity. erences for contacting you. Give your
agents SPACE – Shopping, Problem-solv-
Jon Silverman – VoIP won’t reap benefits Henry Kolisnik – Understand when it is ing, Answering questions, Collecting infor-
unless you transform your business to the right time to invite to chat or call. mation (pre-shopping), Executing transac-
take advantage of it – for example, how For example, consider LivePerson if you’re tions. Recognize that they need to switch
you route calls around the world. Business looking at multi-channel. gears when shifting to a new mode.
transformation is the way to take advan- Think about work at home as an adjunct.
tage of this great technology. Silverman – Find ways to drive your cus- Agents would rather work at home if they
tomers to your website and reduce costs could. There are business continuity ad-
Deploying other technology and time to talk to agents. Have your vantages and higher retention rates. It’s
Silverman – Identify your subject matter agents get customer’s email address and particularly attractive in high cost markets
experts. Show your agents the presence send callers multiple links to your website like Toronto.
state of the subject matter experts that as a voice call wrap up. Show customers Consider seating your supervisor ranks
can help them handle contacts. An agent how to help themselves. with an outsourced supervisor.
can contact the subject matter expert us-
ing instant messaging and never put the Human resources Crosby – Be agent for a day. It will be the
customer on hold. Klenke – Boost your special handling most humbling experience of your career.
Agents need time to become familiar workforce or quality management by It’s a great morale booster when agents
with the technology or information. When trying out agents in those positions. Give see management trying to understand
you roll out a new software application them an interim posting for six weeks to their job. You will also glean a better
for your agent to use to handle customer see if they would like that role and are understanding of your operations, from
contacts, use a quality-monitoring screen able to handle it. After six weeks, they go how the telephone works to what your
recording to capture information on what back to the floor and you’ve done your as- customers are saying.
training is really needed. sessment for future reference.
Regarding HR turnover, analyze your Kevin Hegebarth – Give some consider-
Maggie Klenke – Unless your IVR is as losses by supervisor team. People leave ation to how you treat staff from a personal
intuitive and easy to use as an ABM or a managers, not the company. There is a perspective. Give agents their own space to
kiosk at the airport, don’t move to speech recruiting and hiring problem if staff leave hang family pictures and service awards.
recognition with that same garbage! early on. If departments steal your people, More often than not, customers are
Don’t use all 10 numbers on your IVR! You ask for some of their training budget. knowledgeable and have been to the
should give no more than five choices. Say More than 50 percent of supervisors website. Have your agents been to your
10 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
website? Let contact centre staff surf your think speech analytics. If you analyze the your mother use it? There’s a 10 percent
websites so they are informed. call a day or week later, you’ve probably demographic that refuses to speak to
Tell agents their shifts are based on per- lost the customer. With real time speech anyone but the president. The Graying
formance metrics or quality scores. analytics you have the opportunity to es- of America is becoming a challenge, de-
calate a call immediately. manding more and more services and ease
Disaster recovery Be very careful how you design your of use while our budgets are plummeting.
Crosby – Be prepared for surprise disas- speech recognition call flow. Capture Our industry is getting slagged and in-
ters such as a fibre cuts and flu epidemics. data on how your callers use it and be pre- sulted by comedians, ratio talk hosts, Om-
Have a secret skill group. Put together a pared to spend time iterating on your call budsmen and cartoonists left, right and
one-page disaster recovery plan. flow design. Building a successful speech centre. Start pushing back. Write letters.
recognition application takes more time Call radio hosts.
Measuring than for touch tone applications. Speech
Garry Schultz – Most centres still measure recognition is better when an expert is Reports
agent performance by traditional metrics; driving it. Don’t take touch-tone out. Us- Crosby – Consistency in communication is
AHT, ASA, AWT (these are all resource ers should have a choice. difficult to attain. Accumulate the differ-
planning data points). Throw out your ent knowledge points of your call center
measures and instead become experts at Kolisnik – To sell speech recognition such into one-page documents. This should
measuring your customer satisfaction. Ask as speech navigation internally, start at the cover everything from how service level
one question: are you satisfied? out-of-the-box product level before get- is calculated in your company, to esca-
ting into the big stuff. lation procedures for when systems go
Klenke – Don’t ignore variances in AHT down. This will make it easy and intuitive
from one period to another. If you use the Beyond the centre for people to access the information they
same AHT for all periods, you won’t achieve Hegebarth – Have your IT or marketing need when they need it. As you document
your SLA and you won’t know why. department be an agent for a day – or topics, also move them to your intranet
week, depending how much you like them. for easier access.
Hegebarth – Get behind the numbers. It can bring the strategic value of the con- Seek and destroy Excel spreadsheets! A
The industry is obsessed with statistics. tact centre to the organization – such as key metric buried on tab 34, page 67 will
Do we know what they mean? A low AHT gathering competitive intelligence; assess- be missed. Tailor your reports to specific
might be really bad agents getting off calls ing how goods and services are perceived individuals. Avoid information overload
quickly. Find out what’s driving it. Look at by customers. and focus on reports that drive action.
both ends of the bell curve.
Regularly communicate strategic objec- Crosby – There is a great deal of informa- Schultz – Provide one-button reports.
tives of your enterprise. How do AHT and tion about your company that you need Thirty percent of one’s time is spent on
quality scores relate to what executives to monitor that is not available from a compiling reports. Bring on one high pow-
measure as the strategic value of the con- database. Like or not, customers are most ered data analyst that has the magic blend
tact centre? They don’t. likely blogging about you and filling the of business acumen and can craft useable
internet with personal product reviews. reports. The target is that managers, at any
Maggie – We measure because we can. Utilize Google Alerts to monitor the level, can get the pertinent data they need
Can I directly link a measure to a company internet for websites that mention your to manage with just One Click.
goal or mission? Know how it contributes company, brand, competition, etc. Go to Go one better than a graphic report.
or don’t measure. http://alerts.google.com Record client calls and edit the calls in
eight to 15 second snippets to focus on
Kolisnik – Integrate bottom up metrics Klenke – Think of your contact centre as the point you are making. Then paste
– (what actions to take) – with top down an outsourcer for your company’s various them together into a four-minute audio
metrics (what is important to management). departments. Bill out your services. Don’t file to marketing. Let them hear the voice
finger point. Bill back for their applications of the customer – for example comments
Silverman – If you have evaluation forms, but be prepared to do whatever they ask. on products or services.
have a formal quality program. Define what And our last is also Schultz’ suggestion:
quality means for your business in terms of Schultz – Build your maven community in- Question everything. Why are our hours
key performance indicators or metrics. ternally and outside the company. We’ve 24/7? Why not offer windows of op-
Have a key metric in the evaluation form got tens of people outside of our compa- eration for customers to even out volume
that if that metric fails, everyone fails. ny who take care of our customers. Help patterns? For instance, if your Erlang shows
those people helping your customers. a lag in the late afternoon gently instruct
Speech analytics Know your customers and bear in mind customers that registrations are between
Silverman – Think real-time when you the GOA – the graying of America. Can two and four in the afternoon. cm
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 11
first call resolution
Measuring to better manage
customers’ experience BY WENDY LAUTHER
Even defining first call resolution (FCR) as the percentage of calls resolved during the first contact made by the customer can
be a matter of debate since the definition of resolved to the customer and resolved to the rep may not agree.
The percentage of calls resolved on the first contact has been comes from a small number of centres with fully deployed and
much discussed in the marketplace as every company yearns to robust CRM solutions. To be an effective metric, it must follow
measure this accurately. the transaction all the way to the end – across departments and
When an organization addresses FCR opportunities, the im- people. Another trend, in an effort to support accurate mea-
pact is far reaching. Successful FCR initiatives can save organiza- surement, is to take self-service transactions out.
tions 15 to 40 percent through: Effective measuring typically begins the old fashioned way
call volume reductions – through side-by-side observations. The most sophisticated
increases in customer satisfaction approach to measure FCR is provided by speech analytics.
increased customer retention Sometimes the easiest and most readily available information
decreases in employee churn to use for FCR measurement is the number of calls/transactions
increases in morale pended. Pended calls/transactions are those that are not com-
optimized enterprise processes pleted and must be placed in a suspended or “pended” status.
decrease in escalated customer issues This is an indication of a flawed process, as it suggests numerous
improvements in service levels touches to complete a single customer issue. Companies tend
increased customer response times to have information regarding pended issues, rather than com-
pleted issues. This allows the company to “back into” a measure-
FCR is one of the best indicators of customer experience but it is ment, as a pended issue is not considered resolved.
extremely difficult to measure – let alone define. Some compa-
nies define FCR as not transferring to another area, while others Call segmentation
try to measure the number of calls a person may place in an at- Call segmentation is typically a practical starting point in under-
tempt to resolve a single issue. The most accurate measurement standing the type of call received, leading to the opportunities
12 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
to improve those contacts. Many times larger corporate objectives. mance management tools, make sure you
the most insightful study is one that iden- In order to assess the performance of leverage all the time spent by the qual-
tifies those calls which are consuming the service providers and agents and to help ity team to collect data, and leverage the
greatest amount of time, in addition to deliver targeted coaching and training, the observations/monitors completed by your
those occurring most frequently. By ana- organization needs powerful analytics. management team to gain insights. cm
lyzing the time allocation across call types FCR is overwhelming because it is a
you can identify FCR opportunities. business problem that requires tools to Wendy Lauther is VP, Performance Man-
Calls with the greatest Average Handle address. If your company cannot make agement Solutions, Verint Systems Inc.
Time (AHT) are a wonderful starting point the investment in the enabling perfor- 312.953.3355 firstname.lastname@example.org
in understanding FCR as they involve a great
deal of the customer’s time and attention.
The issue with a call may also be what
takes place after the agent hangs up with
a customer. If a commitment was made to
take action, it is critical that action take
place in a timely manner to prevent a fol-
low up call on the part of the customer.
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT by IEX CORPORATION
FCR issues are typically a result of process is- Improve Planning • Enhance Performance • Streamline Tasks • Integrate Data
sues and agent performance. For call backs,
large backlogs and poor cycle times, most
of the solutions for these issues are outside
of the call centre so FCR many times uncov-
ers process opportunities in other areas of
organization. It is critical when you are ap- For over 15 years, Xentrax has been
proaching areas of the business to present a pioneer in offering innovative turn
process opportunities to have quantifiable key Contact Centre Software solutions
support of the findings. Even in the event
to the Canadian Marketplace. It is our
speech analytics are not available, observa-
tion data can be used. Begin the process the singular focus and specialized expertise
old fashioned way – by interviewing the in Workforce Optimization that allows our
management team and observing. The best customers to rapidly leverage the power
way to learn about calls is through listening.
hidden within their contact centres.
Nothing can take the place of a qualified
person conducting a scoring exercise.
As a general rule, business processes typ- As IEX’s certified Canadian partner,
ically account for approximately a third of Xentrax provides Systems Installation,
FCR issues in an organization, while agent
Product Training and On-going Product
performance tends to account for about
half of the issues. Support of the TotalView Workforce
Management Suite of Products.
Ensure the environment supports FCR.
Determine whether the agent or training
issues are preventing resolution, while
ensuring that the agent was allowed To learn how we have powered some of
enough time to complete the call backs Canada’s more customer focused contact centres,
as promised. In addition, the business call 888-XENTRAX (888-936-8729) or
must consider if they are setting a realistic email@example.com
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
expectation for call backs.
Empower the agents for FCR success.
All instances requiring escalation, authori-
zation and forwarded must be reviewed to Innovative Contact Centre Solutions
determine if those processes support the
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 13
first call resolution
Chasing that elusive FCR goal
Poor first call resolution (FCR) rates rank as the number one contact centre chal- and track where calls go. Look at calls
lenge facing more than a third of managers polled in Witness Systems’ 2006 Na- and how the IVR handles them. Too many
tional Customer Service Week survey. BY ROB MCDOUGALL, P.ENG customers merely opt to “zero out.” That
choice, however, isn’t giving you interpre-
Nearly one-third of all inquiries your call Step 2. Track repeat calls by analyzing table data. Callers choose to zero out for
centre receives are from repeat callers. agent logs and the IVR system. Identify numerous reasons, including their desire
The reason is clear: customers simply whether an issue was resolved on the first to speak with a live agent.
aren’t getting their problem resolved fully call and if not, the actual reasons for re- Don’t believe that solutions such as
the first time. Suddenly, they become “at peated calls. Look at all customer inter- VoIP or enhanced IVR are the Holy Grail
risk” customers more likely to defect. This face points, because if the customer first in seeking improved FCR rates. It comes
almost guarantees you will face increasing contacted you via self-service systems, down to people talking with people.
customer churn and thus hurt the bottom that counts as a call. Improvements needn’t be expensive.
line. Yet, organizations continue to grapple One IBM call centre receiving one million
with understanding why higher FCR rates Step 3. Make certain you provide a means customer emails annually discovered that
routinely elude their contact centres. to measure FCR from the first day forward. by making a simple update on the FAQ
What are the five most important rea- You need useful information to conduct page on its website, it cut email volume in
sons for poor FCR rates? a root cause analysis. What’s one ideal half. How? IBM tracked the types of ques-
1. The ability of the agent is not strong outcome? Could it be one where you con- tions and applied a quick solution.
enough, which is either a training issue or tinue to use the technology now in place Better FCR rates remain a top but elu-
a personnel issue. -- but making it work better for you? sive ROI goal at many contact centres.
For instance, consider giving your agents Track repeat calls. Measure and analyze
2. Your company hasn’t provided the au- onscreen data that allows the agent to de- them using root cause analysis. Put your
thority to agents to make decisions that termine a customer is shopping around to agents in a commanding “once and done”
impact the customer, forcing a continued get a better outcome. “I see a colleague position, enabling them to resolve any is-
escalation of tedious, time-consuming, of mine talked with you five minutes ago. sue within the framework of the first and
repeat calls to people who rank higher in What did she say?” single call.
the organization. Additionally, agents can ask the custom- Pinpointing the true causes of poor first
er if the first call resolved the problem: call resolution rates is your best initial
3. Your agents cannot find information • “Is there anything else I can do?” step in resolving caller issues in the first
easily that provides answers or actions • “Is this what you wanted?” place. The end result is cost savings and
for customers. This aggravating situation By carefully tracking agent log informa- improved customer retention. cm
leads to repeated “look ups” and even giv- tion, you identify specific customers and
ing customers incorrect information. the reasons they are calling. Is it a callback Rob McDougall, president and co-founder
or not? of Upstream Works, can be reached at
4. Contact centre systems don’t properly With IVR systems, examine transactions email@example.com.
process changes the agents are making, or
the changes are processed so slowly that
the root problem is still unresolved for
5. Customer perceptions and behaviours
are the causes of repeat calls. For example,
customers call back trying to get a different
result if their account is being suspended.
Improving FCR rates has three steps:
Step 1. Conduct an information-seeking
“drill down” with experts who are proven
resources. They can help determine the
best approach in tackling poor FCR rates
14 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
Applying people, processes and
technology to improve FCR
Achieving 80 percent or higher FCR rating typically results in an average of 1.2
calls needed to resolve customer’s inquiry or problem. BY MIKE DESMARAIS
SQM Group’s research clearly shows that monthly for achieving their FCR goals. you anytime or anywhere.
FCR is the call centre measure that mat- Financial Incentive – CSR to VP financial Call Type Screen Pop-up – CSR receives
ters most because it reduces operating incentives are at least 50 percent of finan- an FCR screen pop-up script guideline for
cost and revenue at risk, increases op- cial incentive payout. resolving the customer’s call.
portunities to sell and improves both Resolution Outcome – CSRs take owner- Knowledge Expert Availability via Pres-
employee and customer satisfaction. No ship for resolving their own customer ence and Collaboration Tools – CSRs
call centre measure has as much impact inquiry or problem calls by asking the cus- can rapidly identify knowledge experts’
on call centre performance as FCR. SQM’s tomer if they have resolved their call. availability to assist in resolving customer
definition of FCR is – “The customer’s in- Coaching – FCR coaching is provided at issues in real-time.
quiry or problem is resolved in one call” the CSR level to the VP level. Roaming Knowledge Experts – knowledge
and that the customer must be the judge Hiring & Turnover – new CSR hires are experts can assist CSRs or customers for re-
of determining if their inquiry or problem based on having a predetermined FCR pro- solving calls via wireless phone technology.
was resolved in the first call. file and call centre management focuses Call Wrap-up Resolution – allows CSRs to
Only five percent of the call centres on reducing CSR turnover. capture call resolution outcomes and pro-
benchmarked by SQM are at the world vide FCR and call resolution reporting.
class FCR rating of 80 percent or higher. FCR process enablers Knowledge Management – CSR uses an
The average call centre FCR rating is 67 Establishing the right processes can also online knowledge management tool as a
influence FCR performance.
percent resulting in an average of 1.6 calls resource to resolve customer calls.
needed to resolve customer’s inquiry or Two Plus Calls – call centre management Callback Tool – when CSRs are not avail-
problem. As you can see there is a big dif-evaluates source of error and reasons for able, customers can leave a message on
ference between a world class performing two plus calls. voice menu and they are called back in
call centre and an average performing call Measurement – FCR is measured weekly the sequence in which they called.
centre. Listed below are the best practicesand is determined by the customer. Verification Self-Service – for verification
for people, processes and technology for Call Escalation – customer’s problem or status update the customer can go ei-
transforming your call centre into a world should be attempted to be resolved with ther online to get information, or receive
class FCR call centre. first CSR and customer should only explain an email or IVR call providing real-time
their problem once and is warm transferred verification or status update information.
FCR people enablers to the tier two CSR for call resolution. Customer Relationship Mgmt (CRM)
The way people are trained, managed and Call Flow – customer calls are effectively – CSR has access to all customer infor-
motivated can have a significant impact and efficiently managed (i.e., call rout- mation and history to assist in resolving
on FCR. ing, script, desktop applications, etc.) for customer’s call.
Management – is committed to improv- achieving FCR.
ing FCR in their mind and heart and FCR is Remember, only five percent of the call
viewed as the most important measure. FCR technology enablers centres benchmarked by SQM are at the
Awareness – all levels of employees (CSR Several technology enablers exist that can world class FCR rating of 80 percent or
to VP) are aware of why it is important to help increase FCR, and each one should be higher. The key to achieving world class FCR
improve FCR and are also aware of their evaluated for its potential role to improve rating of 80 percent or higher is to execute
ongoing FCR performance. call centre FCR performance. the best practices we identified for people,
Accountability – all levels of employees Intelligent Skill Based Routing – match processes and technology enablers. cm
(CSR to VP) are accountable for achieving customer and/or call type with the CSR’s
FCR goals. knowledge and skills. Mike Desmarais is president & founder of
Recognition – CSR to their direct man- Contact Channels – multiple channels ac- Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Group.
ager level are recognized weekly and/or cessibility means customers can contact www.sqmgroup.com / 800-446-2095.
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 15
multi-channel | web-enabled
Weaving a web
of customer service
Even if most customer interactions continue to be via the telephone, can you
afford to ignore the demographic and significant purchasing power of clients
using non-voice channels? BY SUSAN MACLEAN
Given the choice between phone, email, users. In addition, the number of ven-
chat and web self-service, most custom- dors providing these services has also
ers will choose the former. But, companies increased during this time, meaning cost need to be able to provide exceptional
not offering access via these other chan- reduction due to competition.” customer service and support to custom-
nels are likely missing out on the potential Regarding the concern about a limited ers using communication channel (such
of achieving greater customer satisfaction pool of non-voice channel users, he re- as phone, email and chat) that custom-
at a lower operating cost, according to at ports this is also changing. “The growth ers choose. Canadian companies must be
least one industry watcher. of PDAs, email accounts and web-chat committed to learn about unique needs
In the last 10 years, there has been a not- users has exploded over the past decade, of the customer during each interaction,
ed growth in interest around developing and many vendors are looking to connect assimilate that knowledge throughout the
new contact channels, thereby increasing with their customers using these conduits. enterprise, and enable real-time access
an investor’s reach to existing or potential What is clear is that the bulk of customer to customer information to all key stake
customers, reports Peter Ryan, a Montreal- interactions will continue to be driven via holders of the enterprise.
based CRM analyst with Datamonitor. the telephone, but the demographic of “Given that more than two-thirds of
“To date, the overwhelming majority of clients using non-voice channels are very Canadian adults use the Internet to inter-
investment has been placed in voice chan- likely to have significant purchasing power act with a wide variety of companies and
nels, focusing on live agents or investment and sophistication, meaning that these industries, ranging from banks to online
in IVR. However, forward looking business channels cannot be ignored.” shopping sites, it is imperative that compa-
would be wise to also investigate the pos- Ryan also contends that “in the context nies gear up to meet service and informa-
sibility of deploying non-voice channels, of Canada, it is important for contact tion requests that arrive through the differ-
including web-chat, email, and text mes- centre managers and outsourcers to con- ent Internet channels,” the audit summary
saging so as to maximize their interaction sider more non-voice deployments. With continues. “This is especially true for the
chances,” he counsels. one of the highest Internet and mobile most coveted demographic of all — over
Ryan adds that there is no question telephone penetration rates in the world, 88 percent of young, urban, high-earning
that many potential investors have been the ability for customers to connect with Canadians are using the Internet to get their
put-off by multi-channel investment due business across verticals will be of the ut- personal and professional business done.”
to two key inhibitors: the perceived high most importance. In addition, the inability However, the wisdom of offering multi-
cost and concern around the relatively to make an investment in these technolo- channel access may be questionable if
small number of end users. However, he gies will end up costing both in overall that access does not offer the response
argues that in both cases, perception may revenues and customer retention.” times and quality that customers expect.
not be reality. That Talisma audit also revealed:
Service differentiator • nearly half of all email queries were
Cost reduction “In a world where customers regard flaw- ignored by the companies included in
“While it is clear that a capital outlay for less products as a given, service is the key the audit;
new technology associated with non- differentiator between companies in many • there is a lack of self-help tools, espe-
Photo credit: Falko Matte
voice capabilities is required, it may not industries,” reads a report summary of a cially searchable knowledge bases;
be as expensive as thought,” he argues. customer service audit – 2006 Canadian • few companies provided online chat;
“This is due to heavy technology innova- Top 100 eService Survey – of Canadian • phone service was much better but
tion and economies of scale over the past companies conducted by Talisma Corpo- lacked personalization; and
five years, in conjunction with the growth ration, a provider of customer interaction • the majority of companies do not have
of these same channels in terms of end- management (CIM). “Canadian companies access to unified customer history.
16 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
Capital outlay for new technology associated
On the plus side, accuracy scores were
with non-voice capabilities may not be as
very good for the responses received. expensive as thought, says Peter Ryan.
“The most pressing issue is providing
a consistent customer experience across
multiple channels,” the report continues. In fact, Talisma estimates that cost reduc- achieve higher volumes of service re-
“Delays in answering phone calls and tion can result in savings of up to 90 per- quests in the same time.
emails erode customer confidence. This cent of traditional phone support costs. • Support the multi-channel delivery
erosion in responsiveness will only in- According to Talisma, organisations of customer service functions—phone,
crease as channels such as self-help tools, should look to implement a multi-channel email, chat, and self-service.
text message, or online chat are demand- solution that can achieve the following: • Allow continuous system modification
ed as a basic service by customers. What is • Strategically deploy communication to accommodate new products without
encouraging is that providing service using channels using best practices as a differ- disrupting operations
the broad reach of Internet channels will entiator to create enhanced experiences • Be easily deployable and maintainable
only increase customer satisfaction, as • Significantly reduce the time for an with a low total cost of ownership (TCO)
well as be much less expensive to support agent to execute a customer’s service or • Take advantage of existing contact
than traditional phone.” support request. This would help agents centre and CRM investments. cm
Multiple channels offer service opportunities
Consumers dealing with customer service marketing so customers can access a firm BY SUSAN MACLEAN
will pick up the phone because it brings without having to download any software ferent windows and effectively reducing
them the fastest results. Yet, one study or be a member of, for example, AOL, customer waiting time.
found that 70 percent of consumers say Yahoo or Microsoft Messenger Network Vendors are trying to make it easy for
they would use instant messaging (IM) or (MSN). HelpSwitch solutions complement customers to move into the web-enabled
email if the response was immediate. email and 800 telephone support with real- environment. Aspect Software, Inc., for ex-
That was a finding last year by Corporate time chats to customers, live on the web. ample, recently released version 10.1 of its
Research International (CRI) of Findlay, OH, If you have pre-teens or teens in your Web Powered Agent product along with
a firm that promotes IM and live web chat home, you know why Kwong suggests IM a promotion through to March 2007 for
as the wave of the future, based on 2,213 would be particularly advisable for a com- Aspect Spectrum ACD customers to move
completed surveys from a review of call pany with younger clientele. In fact, the to what is being billed as “a complete
centre customer service issues and prefer- “cool” factor is cited in company literature inbound solution that includes robust
ences for contacting a company, whether as one of the benefits. To some extent its queuing, routing, reporting, agent empow-
by phone, email or other method. use depends on the age of both the tar- erment and modeling capabilities.”
When asked how long they were will- geted customer and the agent. Vocalcom also has what it calls an “in-
ing to wait for a response via email, 51.2 IM can provide more detailed and even tegrated convergence tool” to quickly gain
percent of the respondents said they call technical information than what is readily multimedia functionalities of email, tele-
because they don’t want to wait, 33.83 said over the phone and a single agent phone, fax, Internet. Called X’Media, the
percent said they would wait an hour or can support three or four customers at Vocalcom contact centre product allows
less, while only 65 percent would wait 24 a time. a company to centralize infrastructure in
hours, which is what many companies give Kwong says some of the challenges in one location, which in turn is said to cut
as a turnaround time for a response. adopting IM once management is con- infrastructure costs, enhance productivity
Dr. Yat-sang Kwong, general manager vinced of the value of the tool, are some and provide better customer service.
and CTO at HelpSwitch Canada, finds his resistance by support staff and manag- Some companies offer hosted software
company’s IM solutions are a harder sell in ing changes to skill sets. He suggests a further facilitating going beyond toll-free
Canada than in the U.S., although he notes company with 20 agents might have only inbound calling. For example, CallCentre-
momentum has been building in the last one or two who are keyboard proficient. Anywhere from Telus is a hosted service
year. He says government is the fastest He recommends running a pilot of 10 or providing access to all the features of a
sector to take up IM in Canada. 15 percent of centre staff on IM support. fully functional, multi-channel contact
For about three years, Markham, ON- Then, look at the volume and track the centre without requiring a capital outlay.
based HelpSwitch Canada has offered IM number of customers a single agent can It’s all about being available to customers
solutions for customer services and email support simultaneously by opening dif- when they want and how they want. cm
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 17
Self-service options prove popular Benefits
What are the most common questions
your customers ask? What if they could
actions from a
inside the centre
get the answers to those questions easily single, unified Web capabilities don’t just refer to
via your website so they wouldn’t have to agent desktop. the world reaching into the contact
phone you? A live per- centre. Within the centre, web-based
That’s the idea behind IntelliResponse, son on the software can enhance communication
an online query and answer tool devel- other end of and reporting practices.
oped by Comtext Systems Inc. of Water- the browser Merced Systems Inc. of Redwood
loo, ON, and launched in 2000. Initially gives an Shores, CA, is a provider of contact centre
the focus was on servicing university stu- online shopper and operations performance management
dents to reduce the growing number of the control and connec- systems. In 2006, the company commis-
email inquiries manually processed by tion they’re looking for when they go sioned a study to identify performance
staff. With limited marketing, the system online, maintains LivePerson, Inc., a New management practices at 107 companies
spread to 23 universities and colleges in York city-based provider of solutions for in the contact centre industry who were
Canada. It has also been adopted at some managing online customer interactions not Merced customers.
of the world’s largest commercial corpo- including chat, email and self-service/ While 95 percent of participants be-
rations including ING, American Express, knowledgebase. Analytics will help you lieved it is critical, very important or im-
ScotiaBank, TD Bank, National Car Rental read your website visitors’ emotions and portant to provide performance data to
and Budget Truck Rental. With over 125 live chat helps you cement the relation- front-line employees, only 40 percent of
implementations, IntelliResponse is said ship by supplying a human element that, this group provided online dashboards and
to have managed over 20 million inquiries, generally speaking, is lacking on the web, reports to agents. The survey also noted
with an automated response rate exceed- the company contends. that reporting and dashboard automation
ing 80 percent. The company claims that all companies responses were found to correlate with an
The online query/answer tool is like an that install LivePerson report a dramatic operation’s performance. No companies
ongoing customer survey with an unbiased, increase of online sales. It also reports that reporting “significantly above goal” for
100 percent response rate. While the original 71 percent of LivePerson consumers say revenue or quality reported having a fully
goal is to allow customers to find informa- they would like to find other web sites that manual dashboard and reporting system. IT
tion quickly and easily on the website, be- offer live chat and special promotions. priorities were cited as the top reason for
cause it also tracks the types of questions, The company predicts that consum- not having online dashboards and reports
it helps a company get to know customers ers will lead the demand for live chat, available to agents.
better and make sure website content and and will ultimately force online retailers Mark Gally, director of marketing at
company services meet their needs. worldwide to embrace this communica- Merced Systems, Inc., cites a six to 12
LivePerson’s suite of products is said to tion channel. Will contact centres be far month payback, five to nine percent pro-
support and manage all types of online behind? cm ductivity gains and sales revenue boosts
of 10 to 15 percent by implementing
web-based performance management
software. The positive results come from
automating the coaching process to
Want to learn more about making your develop consistency and getting a more
accurate, real-time view of how the op-
call centre web-ready and interactive? eration is being managed and how well it
Check out our website to get contact information for Canadian and US He suggests supervising is a key com-
vendors who can help. Our Internet Technology Guide provides a detailed ponent in a centre’s performance and
listing and descriptions of companies that are involved in helping call cen- having better insight with clear reports
tres with their capabilities and technology for implementing or improving: and dashboards makes a significant dif-
Online Research, Compliance & Privacy Management, Content Management, ference. “Performance management drives
Web-Help Services, Instant Messaging, Email Security, GIS & Mapping, Broad- behaviour change on the front line,” Gally
cast Email, eCommerce Services, Electronic Payment Systems and eCRM. says. “Supervisors can work better with
agents to drive strategic goals, rather than
Visit us at www.contactmanagement.ca/janfeb.htm sit in front of a spreadsheet. They can
execute on the fundamental principles
18 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
It’s probably as sure as death and taxes that you’ve ex-
perienced frustration getting information from the gov-
ernment. Too often when we get to talk to someone,
we’ve got through to the wrong person or department. Ron MacMaster manages
BY SUSAN MACLEAN Access Halton, ranked the #1
hanks to Access Halton, residents federal government information. tario, the province of Ontario’s citizen ac-
and businesses in the Halton Region Halton Region was one of the first cess channel, to ensure “there’s no wrong
of southern Ontario have fast ac- regional and municipal governments in door” when someone inquires about mu-
cess to government-related information Canada to establish such a single point nicipal, regional or provincial issues. “We
and problem-solving. of contact and typically handles an aver- can’t answer all questions, but we want to
In 2006, Service Quality Management age of 23,000 telephone calls per month. give information and send people to the
Group (SQM) ranked Access Halton as the It was also the first local government in right place,” MacMaster explains. SQM
number one government centre in North Canada to deploy a CRM software appli- measured 83 percent customer satisfac-
America and in the top five percent of cation driven by a comprehensive custom- tion among customers whose calls were
all 19 SQM key performance benchmarks. er service strategy, according to then chief transferred and dealt with by other Re-
SQM measured overall customer satisfac- administrative officer Brent Marshall. gional departments.
tion at 83 percent with an impressive 80 The success of Access Halton likely stems But getting to this point could not have
percent of all customer telephone inqui- from that top-ranking official’s commit- been easy. Just for the Region, there were
ries resolved in one call. ment to customer service. It was under his multiple ways of interfacing with citizens
Access Halton is the corporate contact leadership in 1999 that a seamless service – including about 30 different telephone
centre for Halton Region and officially standardizing interaction with clients was numbers for people to call.
provides a single integrated point of con- recommended to the regional government. “We told (departments) to give us the
tact for regional programs and services via Marshall’s focus on serving citizens seemed repeat calls so they could focus on the
a local number or a toll free 1-866 number. to gel with the culture of the organization higher value ones,” recalls Ralph Blauel,
The centre is responsible for handling calls to make Access Halton possible. director of Technology Services in Halton
to about 16 program areas, including those Although Marshall has recently retired, Region’s Corporate Services Department.
dealing with waste management, health, Access Halton’s manager Ron MacMaster “We could preserve the uniqueness of each
housing, business, seniors, transportation, says the executive commitment and culture and not pigeon hole any department.”
children, finance and purchasing, commu- remain – and certainly he is bent on keep- The single most important key was
nity services and long term care facilities. ing the centre on its successful course. having the CAO’s support, adds Kate John-
But, in fact, it provides seamless single- Access Halton was the first municipality ston, corporate projects consultant in the
window access to regional, provincial and to develop a partnership with Service On- office of the CAO. “Without him champi-
20 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
oning it, the roadblocks would have been rates,” adds Blauel. centre staff see this as a foot in the door
insurmountable.” MacMaster reports they keep an eye on to moving on to other parts of the corpo-
She notes that they also treated each the amount of calls, types of calls and talk ration. Others like this type of work. Five
group being changed as a client, showing times per division to ensure staff is allocat- staff members are Certified Alliance of
the benefits to them and making a point “to ed appropriately. “We don’t have an empha- Information and Referral (AIR) specialists.
understand and respect their uniqueness.” sis on handling time as long as the customer He describes staff as “empathetic, well-
Johnston’s efforts at getting people’s needs are met. Why rush the customer to educated, very articulate and with a drive
buy-in cleared the path for Blauel’s team get off the phone? It makes no sense. to help. We look for good people with a
to implement the technology – specifical- “Siebel (Oracle) is a great tool for us,” he desire to help.”
ly, public sector CRM software from Siebel adds. “It houses the knowledge base so we Recruiting begins with an initial tele-
(now Oracle). can do key word searches. It stores 600 phone interview to listen to how the
The Technology Services team eventu- different scripts. It logs calls according to person sounds on the phone. The person
ally applied it to addressing citizen issues types. It communicates to other program is asked for previous experience and is
with not only the regional government but areas, creating a “ticket” for follow up. It invited to tell a story. Before being hired,
also other organizations and the four mu- provides accountability.” a prospective employee is paired with an
nicipalities Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville Callers are given a “service promise” experienced rep whose opinion is con-
and Burlington. In fact, there are so many that action will be taken within a certain sidered in the hiring process. “People are
applications that Blauel and Johnston time frame. Rules are in place for Seibel/ teamed so they need to get along with
claim Halton Region is using Siebel/Oracle
more comprehensively than the city of
New York, also a Siebel/Oracle customer! “We can’t answer all questions, but we want to give
“We dove deep,” Johnston stresses. “We
did it slower and with a lot of attention to information and send people to the right place.”
detail, getting to every FAQ or client in-
quiry. I feel we have all clients served well Oracle to provide an alert if any promise one another,” he explains.
through the call centre. It is a comprehen- is not kept. Continuous training and updating the
sive implementation that is cost effective, Access Halton measures through its 600 scripts in collaboration with program
collaborative and client-centered.” Nortel Meridian Max the volume of calls, areas never ends, he says. “Scripts are like
For some of the most frequent munici- talk time and hold time. It matches that to paths,” he stresses. “You have to give them
pality-related programs – such as regis- the data entered through Siebel/Oracle their freedom to let their personality show
tering a child for the local recreational which logs every call without capturing through. Otherwise there’s no job satisfac-
program – Access Halton has an internal what would be considered private infor- tion from just reading a standard script.”
number linked to the municipality so the mation from customers. Halton has a population of just under
caller can be transferred over to a live per- MacMaster says they compare the two 400,000 with a lot of growth in the last
son right away without redialling. measuring systems to ensure the error rate five years. “Call volume is increasing every
In other instances, for example a call by staff is low. At five percent, it certainly year due to centralizing internal divisions
about a body of standing water on what is low. and growth,” MacMaster says.
might be public property, a service rep So is absenteeism and turnover. An IVR is used but it is “kept flat” with
could send an email out to the person re- MacMaster suggests this has much to very few options and the ability to zero
sponsible. “We simplified a service request do with being part of a larger good em- out. There is a self-serve feature for after
by creating a linkage to the service level ployer. Along with the police, ambulance regular office hours. “We wanted to guar-
(regional or municipal),” says Blauel. “The staff and administrative staff in the build- antee a live answer. People don’t like IVRs.
result is an increased compliancy rate with ing, the contact centre staff members They are frustrating to a customer,” Mac-
respect to West Nile virus.” have access to a cafeteria and gym facility. Master contends.
Or, a complaint about waste collec- The centre has grown from an initial five To reflect the increasing ethnic diversity
tion… “We’ve taken the leg work away people in August 2001 to 14 full-time and of the population, in 2005 Access Halton
from customers to repeat stories” as a three part-time staff. contracted with a language company so
caller is transferred from person to per- The centre runs 24/7. As part of the it could provide service in 150 languages.
son, says Johnston. “A service request is corporate emergency plan and essential A conference call is placed to the service
sent by email to the cell phones of the service for Halton, the centre is located provider as required and within seconds a
waste management crew who can re- in part of the building that would remain translator is on the line. There is also a TTY
spond remotely. This (remote response) powered during power outages so it can line for those with hearing impairments.
gets uploaded to the Siebel/Oracle sys- remain open. It’s obvious that Halton Region is com-
tem, so the ticket gets closed.” MacMaster boasts that the centre’s mitted to being as accessible as possible
“It’s rapid and we can track response CSRs are good at their job. He says some to those it serves. cm
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 21
Nordia reveals its
Nordia Inc., one of the largest users of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony in Canada, is How did you go about determining what
a provider of multi-contact customer relationship management solutions offering VoIP technology to select? What brand
multilingual contact centre services 24/7. It has six contact centres across Canada did you choose? Why?
with more than 2,500 employees handling 100 million customer contacts per year. Reliability, maximum flexibility, as well as
Contact Management delved into its award-winning Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony a high quality for voice passage and highly
structure with Pierre Grimard, vice-president Information Technology, and Lyne efficient equipment were key elements of
Magnan, sales & marketing coordinator in Quebec, PQ. Here are their responses. the utmost importance in our choice. We
found all of these qualities with Bell’s lat-
What was the business case that prompt- When did you install the VoIP technol- est Virtual Private Network Technology: IP-
ed Nordia to turn to VoIP? ogy; how long did that take and who VPN links. It is based on the Layer 3 packet-
Nordia: We had won new contracts gen- installed it? routing efficiencies of Multiprotocol Label
erating 40 percent of additional business. Nordia and its dedicated expert IT team Switching (MPLS), a key feature of Cisco
We needed to rapidly increase our call spared no effort to carry the VoIP migra- Internet Operating System (IOS) software.
answering capacity, as we were facing tion project to completion in 2005, over We found the IP-VPN a secure, robust and
50,000 calls to be handled daily. Among a period of four months, deploying one cost-effective way to extend the reach and
our main objectives was that we wanted site after the other. Our strategic partners coverage of our communications infra-
to better manage call fluctuations and to Bell Canada, our telecom provider, and structure. Not only does the Cisco MPLS
improve service level. In order to do so, Interactive Intelligence Inc., our call cen- solution provide a high level of security,
we needed to optimize the utilization of tre systems solutions provider, were the it presents a cost-effective method for
all our agent workstations, regardless of two important key players with whom we connecting offices, workers and business
their geographical locations. So, instead worked very closely. partners across geographic regions.
of buying new “traditional telephony” IP-VPNs do not simply extend a corpo-
equipment and opening a new centre, we Was it a smooth or difficult process? rate network to remote locations, they
turned to the VoIP telephony solution. The fact that we were getting 40 percent can also help organizations to achieve
This multimedia infrastructure allowed us of additional business to be implemented productivity gains, while increasing net-
to link more than 800 seats and 300 “IP- in the same period of time was a huge work security, reliability, scalability and
ready”, in our six contact centres, which challenge in itself. Having to implement an performance. The simplest definition of
can now act as one virtual contact centre important project such as VoIP at the same a VPN is “any network built upon a public
to optimize the overall capacity for both time really added to the pressure. In fact, network and partitioned for use by indi-
voice and data service delivery. at the time we implemented it, it was the vidual customers”. According to this, pub-
largest VoIP migration project for a contact lic frame relay, X.25, and ATM networks
Is there a length of time that you estimate centre company in Canada and U.S. At the can all be considered as VPNs but they are
the investment will have paid for itself? same time, we also had to integrate Inter- generically referred to as ‘Layer 3’ VPNs.
In fact, we have already recuperated our active Intelligence’ s call centre manage-
investment, which was quickly realized in ment CIC systems so that it would be fully What other peripheral equipment did you
less than six months, while helping our cli- tuned with our IP infrastructure. Overall, have to purchase? Or was it a package deal,
ents by being able to quickly handle extra the right expertise from highly profession- complete with VoIP headsets, for example?
call volumes, thus rapidly generating new al partners, combined with our dedicated We selected Interactive Intelligence IP
revenues for Nordia. expert IT team made it a smooth process. approach: Session Initiation Protocol,
22 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
or SIP. Interactive Intelligence chose the we would have spent integrating new proved and we have a better control over
international SIP standard because SIP is applications (hardware/software) at four Internet filtering, thus reducing the risks
an alternative to TAPI-based IP telephony sites, which would have represented an of virus intrusion and loss of productivity.
models, a protocol that eliminates the important amount of money with tradi- Linking agents at multiple sites into
need for a separate IP PBX and contact tional infrastructure. We can now choose common queues allows us to reduce hold
centre solution and the emerging stan- the location/site where we want to direct times, reduce staffing levels or achieve
dard for session control for a variety of the calls without having to initiate an IT some measure of both. It also enabled
other communications mediums. project for each new service, every time. agents to request assistance from coaches
At that time we had to install SIP enable Furthermore, we linked both our Québec or transfer calls to other sites in a trans-
cards to connect our T1’s and convert from and Ontario centres by providing them parent manner.
TDM to SIP. We have now moved to Intel’s with a virtual help desk support service,
Host Media Processing (HMP) Software, per language. Then, to cater to an unex- How has staff reacted?
which is a 100 percent software solution, pected call volume increase, a third site Even though it was essentially transparent
reducing costs over TDM voice boards with agents having the proper qualifica- to call centre agents, we made sure that
typically required for IP telephony. tions, was also linked to this service. our staff understood the various advan-
We had to acquire and install new clus- By optimizing our workstations with the tages that this migration project would
tered servers for reliability and stability, buy VoIP migration, Nordia experienced addi- have on Nordia’s business, for instance,
CISCO switches that manage Quality of tional growth of more than 25 percent in that it is a strong competitive advantage
Service over the MPLS network, to prioritize annual revenues without having to open in the market. So, this project was intro-
and guarantee bandwidth stability for voice new centres. It allowed the recuperation duced gradually in the company and the
packets. We also had to buy new IP phones of more than 150 workstations which, in reactions were very positive. Of course,
and IP headsets for each agent position. addition to improving our cost structure, this new technological environment (and
represent the equivalence of an invest- other factors) called for a change in our
What changes has it brought your business? ment of more than $750,000. organizational IT structure. We wanted to
In fact, the advantages of VoIP lie not in Also, the implementation of new ser- make sure to leverage our technical work-
new capabilities, but rather in efficiencies vices, which used to take six to eight force in all of our centres and to better
that make changes in your operations weeks, can now be set within days. With balance the IT scope of work. Therefore,
cost-effective. Centralizing our telephony VoIP, the IT department is “no longer on the Nordia IT workforce has become a
network saved us the need to integrate, the critical path” and every member of unified unit, which was also well received
upgrade and support contact centre our team is proud of having removed that at all sites.
technologies at each site. In our world pressure off our shoulders.
of multiple services and sites, it’s very Reduction of the number of T1’s by How have your clients reacted?
complex to maintain rules for call routing, nearly 15 percent was made possible via The VoIP virtual infrastructure allows for
and it’s expensive to maintain all systems line sharing and the integration of several reduced hold times and increases our ca-
in a dynamic environment. Therefore, services on a same SIP soft-switch. This pacity to handle more call volume. These
Nordia being a multi-centre company, represents an important annual saving on key factors have significantly improved
we virtualized the telephony network, our telecom spending. Significant savings our service, thus contributing to increas-
using two Soft-PBX and Automatic Call were also achieved for public Internet ac- ing our clients’ satisfaction.
Distributor (ACD) for all of our six centres. cess going down from five to two points Also, one of the advantages of VoIP
This also saves on IT support and the time of access. Equipment reliability has im- see VoIP watch page 22
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 23
is that you can call anywhere, anytime expected. One area in particular is the reside in the expertise of the IT resources
without paying extra phone charges, management style which needs to adjust performing the configuration and fine tun-
thus reducing long distance charges. For to the virtualization and the deployment ing of the environment. In fact, the clarity
example, one of our clients has been the of VoIP in multiple centres. The technol- of voice is often better, with a much bet-
beneficiary of a very robust economy ogy allows to seamlessly distribute calls ter noise reduction efficiency.
of $500,000 annually in long distance between various centres and you have The technology changes are a good oc-
charges. Since a cost-effective solution is to deploy the management structure to casion to review business processes and
always “music to a client’s ears”, of course, track, measure and manage a service de- to improve the delivery of services. Often,
the reaction was very positive.
Finally, in case of a disaster recovery
plan deployment, operations are simpli-
fied when it comes to quickly transfer-
By optimizing our workstations with the VoIP
ring call volumes to other locations. In migration, Nordia experienced additional growth
addition, the Nordia corporate network
is designed to continue operations even of more than 25 percent in annual revenues
when there are failures along a particular
path – thus increasing reliability of IP- without having to open new centres.
VPNs since they are riding on highly reli-
able infrastructure. These elements have a
direct impact on the business continuity livered by multiple parties and locations. we automate or streamline when much
and the guarantee we can provide to our Traditional pyramid style management larger changes could be done by reviewing
clients that the same high level of service has to migrate to a more complex matrix the complete process and envisioning the
can be maintained at all times, in a trans- of responsibility and delivery process to new possibilities brought by technology.
parent manner. ensure delivery of services. For an out- We are dealing everyday with clients
sourcer like Nordia with multiple centres requiring highly secure system, transpar-
How did you handle the controversy serving multiple clients, the complexity ent and flexibility of service, cost-effec-
about security issues? can quickly increase. tive solutions and improved productivity.
In fact, the security aspects of our busi- A migration needs to be well planned There were no questions in our minds that
ness have significantly improved by sim- with partners aligned to the same key the VoIP telephony system was definitely
plifying its management and reducing milestones and project schedule. going to help fill those needs. Plus, Nordia
to a minimum its vulnerability to attacks Keep the number of providers as low as belongs to a global family of contact cen-
and intrusions. IP-VPNs allow the use possible, as it can become very complex tre businesses with over 5,000 employees
of private IP addresses, thus increasing and difficult to troubleshoot problems on three continents and, to stay ahead of
both security and flexibility. Private IP ad- with your voice environment if some competition in a global market, we under-
dresses are similar to internal telephone components are provided by non-certi- stood that flexibility is key and that con-
extensions in a PABX with the IT Manager fied or non-compatible third parties. tact centres must foster innovation and re-
controlling the numbering of devices on spond to market challenges quickly and ef-
the network. Well-programmed firewallsAny further words of advice? ficiently. Furthermore, as the trend toward
at selected points on the network are Do not perform this migration for bad outsourcing contact centre operations
used to grant and manage only accessesreasons. A complete evaluation of the grows, and as IP allows call-by-call man-
for those who have been authorized. potential savings is required. In the call agement of outsourced agents, we believe
centre world, savings are more associated
Since the underlying IP-VPN secures and that VoIP will play a large role in uniting
to flexibility, expansion and virtualization
encrypts all data automatically, IT man- internal and outsourced customer service
agement can avoid spending time ensur-of centres. In standard business telephony, operations, anywhere on earth! Therefore,
savings are often related to reducing the
ing confidential corporate data are secure the implementation of a VoIP structure
or encrypted before they are transmitted was not even a question of choice, but
Several people, after experiencing simi-
to a remote user, partner or branch office. one of survival. It is no longer only a ques-
lar technology with public (home) VoIP
As for Voice over Internet, unlike public tion of whether or not you have the right
VoIP services, all our communications telephony, may be afraid that the voice expertise and workforce to meet your con-
quality could be diminished. The reality is
are transported only on Nordia’s secured tract requirements, but it is a question of
private network. that there is actually no difference. Calls whether you are able to provide the right
are processed on a private network that, technology to cater to the market’s ever
Any lessons learned? when properly set up, guarantees that changing and increasing needs. VoIP is defi-
The deployment of new technology, as your voice packets are always prioritized nitely the “voice” of the future and a must
usual, has impacts in more areas than and not scrambled. The quality results competitive advantage. cm
24 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
REGIONAL PROFILE - BC
BC quality of life attracts skilled, multilingual labour
The multilingual and highly skilled labour nomic Partners Corporation in Chilliwack, have been estimated to be over US$500
along with the different lifestyles of the BC, is very upbeat about areas as well. million. That group’s focus has now been
rural community mean BC has lots to offer “While no doubt some of our existing turned to other economic sectors.
the contact centre industry. centres are experiencing issues around la- Another BC strength is that it offers
“BC offers a hugely multilingual work- bour availability due to the improved econ- easy access to the U.S. border. Mitchell
force,” says Jean Mitchell, president, BC omy in BC, I believe that opportunities still says a global strategy is to have a centre
Contact Centre Association (BC CCA) and exist for small specialty contact centres in here and another in Asia.
manager of Call Centre & Industry Training some of our member communities, spe- The local industry is supported by BC
Solutions at British Columbia Institute of cifically Mission, Cowichan, Comox, Maple CCA, the active provincial association.
Technology (BCIT). “Every language is spo- Ridge and Osoyoos,” he notes. “Some of BCIT, the polytechnic institute in Burnaby,
ken here, including Mandarin, Cantonese, the existing centres that are having the BC, offers the BCIT Call Centre & Industry
Spanish and German. There are large U.S. challenges still remain some of the most Training Solutions program, which Mitch-
outsourcing centres with proximity to the productive centres in North America.” ell manages. Its Call Centre of Excellence
U.S. market. That market requires Span- Wheeldon is chair of Linx BC, an eco- is a working call centre designed to help
ish as a second language and BC has no nomic development initiative founded by give companies and individuals the edge
trouble filling that requirement.” the Province of BC and several BC com- in this fast-growing sector. Companies can
However, BC contact centres are look- munities in 1998 to create opportunities try out the latest technology. Call centre
ing for people, Mitchell admits. She re- in high unemployment communities by managers can add to their operations
ports that the rural areas are doing well attracting call centres to the province. It to handle overload during busy times.
with centres in Victoria, Kelowna, Prince brought in 10 call centres which netted Through BCIT’s Call Centre of Excellence
George, Vernon, Chilliwack and Nanaimo. over 10,000 new jobs and a total annual Training Series, individuals can build the
Meanwhile, Dale Wheeldon, director of income estimated at US$283 million! The job skills needed to succeed as call centre
Economic Development, Chilliwack Eco- annual indirect benefits of these centres agents, supervisors and managers. cm
� � � � � � � � � � � � �
������������� ������������ ���� �������������������
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 25
MCCA – Manitoba Customer Contact recognized as a leader in Canadian industry The Manitoba Customer Contact Asso-
Association associations. One example cited was Mani- ciation celebrated its eighth annual MECCA
MCCA chair Lilly Kaminski writes in her new toba being a first in Canada to introduce a (Manitoba Excellence in Customer Contact
year message to members: “MCCA assists the University Level call centre management Achievement) Awards night November 16,
industry through proactive human resource training program, and taking a proactive ap- 2006 at the Canad-Inns-Polo Park with over
programming that will enhance members’ proach to human resource development. In 300 industry guests sharing in the enthusi-
chances for global success. Government of- our busy schedules, we often overlook and asm and excitement. Lilly Kaminski, Chair of
ficials at our MECCA Awards recently boast- take for granted what work is happening be- MCCA, opened the evening along with guest
ed about the outstanding job MCCA is doing hind the scenes at MCCA to strengthen our The Hon. Jim Rondeau, Minister of Science
for this industry and applauded us for being global positioning.” Technology Energy and Mines. Another guest
was Kyle Janota from Contact Centre Canada.
Arvel Gray was the Master of Ceremonies for
the evening which included a performance by
Brazilian Dance troupe Viva Capoeira.
The awards program is intended to rec-
ognize excellence and evoke pride in the
customer contact centre industry. Congratu-
lations to all the winners!
Representative of the Year Awards went
Q U A L I TY & P E R F O R M A N C E M A N A G E M E N T b y eTA L K C O R P O R AT I O N to: Johanne Absalom, Archway Marketing;
Teri McDowall, CAA Manitoba; Barbara
Custance, Canada Post; Nicole D’Auteuil, CN;
Monitor • Measure • Improve • Understand Patricia Bradley, Convergys Canada; Lucille
Gregory, CUETS; Edgar Ruiz, E-Care Contact
Centers Ltd.; Sue Smith, FineLine Solutions;
Kristi Fecyk, Great West Life; Muriel Tweed,
Health Links - Info Santé; Marie Paule Palud,
For over 15 years, Xentrax has been Integrated Messaging; Lindsay Robinette,
a pioneer in offering innovative turn Manitoba Hydro; Peggy Campbell, Manitoba
Public Insurance; Lola Lewis, MTS Allstream;
key Contact Centre Software solutions
Rindalah Hijazi-Figueroa, RBC Royal Bank;
to the Canadian Marketplace. It is our Tracy Doyle, The City of Winnipeg; and
singular focus and specialized expertise Linda Panciera, The Faneuil Group.
Manager of the Year Awards were given to:
in Workforce Optimization that allows our
Nadine Laborde, Archway Marketing; Nellie
customers to rapidly leverage the power Guy, CAA Manitoba; Ruth Honeygham, Can-
hidden within their contact centres. ada Post; Ken Carroll, CN Customer Support
Centre; Trevor Burns, Convergys Canada;
Stuart Eckert, CUETS; Sharleene Viray, E-Care
As etalk’s certified Canadian partner, Contact Centers; Shawn Knox, FineLine Solu-
Xentrax provides Systems Installation, tions; Sarah Rogers, Health Links - Info Santé;
Product Training and On-going Product Shelley Garand, Manitoba Hydro; Brian
Byczkowsky, RBC Royal Bank CCC; and Bill
Support of the Qfiniti Quality and Wilson, The Faneuil Group.
Performance Management Suite Organization Awards were presented in
of Products. five categories.
Community – CUETS; MTS Allstream
Environment – Health Links-Info Santé; MTS
To learn how we have powered some of Allstream
Canada’s more customer focused contact centres, Technology – CAA Manitoba; Archway
call 888-XENTRAX (888-936-8729) or Training & Performance Management – Inte-
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. grated Messaging Inc.; Convergys Canada
Employee Satisfaction – CUETS; RBC Cus-
tomer Contact Centre
MECCA also honoured its five-year volunteer
committee members: Craig Johnson, CDI Col-
Innovative Contact Centre Solutions lege; Carolyn Welsch, McDaniels Executive
Recruiters; and Alex Herriot, Custom House.
26 Contact Management January/February 2007 www.contactmanagement.ca
Association News - cont’d from page 24
coming events: 2007
MECCA reports that another study session has begun in the Cer- FEBRUARY 28: GTACC 8am-10am., 161 Bay Street, BCE Place
tificate in Interdisciplinary Studies: Customer Contact Centre Man- – Suite 4040. Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association
agement. University of Manitoba Extended Education and MCCA speaker and networking session; www.gtacc.ca
have designed a program specifically for contact centre managers,
supervisors, team leads, trainers, CSR’s and quality assurance manag- MARCH 28: BC CCA Call Centre Tours, Vancouver;
ers who wish to advance in their career or pursue a career change www.bccallcentre.com
in the industry. Students must complete 100 course hours from the
University of Manitoba and 100 course hours from the MCCA to re- APRIL 17: Symposium 2007 AMR-Postes Canada, Montréal, PQ;
ceive a certificate. For more information about the program, individual www.amrq.com
courses, contact MCCA’s training coordinator Lynn Riddell 975-6465 or
email@example.com. APRIL 25 - 27: Contact Centre Global Forum, Palais des Congrés,
Cannes, France; www.ccglobalforum.com
MAY 14 - 16: Alberta Call Centre Association ninth annual
Alberta Call Centre Association
conference, Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, Calgary, AB.
REPORT BY SCOTT MACKENZIE
Come join us at the ninth Annual ACCA Conference May 14-16 at The
Coast Plaza Hotel in Calgary, AB, as we highlight the “Best In Class, MAY 15 - 16: MCCA AGM, trade show & conference, Winnipeg,
Getting There and Staying There.” Expect a dynamite three days of call Man.; www.mcca.mb.ca 204-975-6464
centre tours, seminars and keynote presentations headlined by Tom
Blake and his insights on “Winning Organizations”! Also featured are
a fun-filled karaoke night, gala dinner and wine tasting event, great classifieds
prizes, and a dynamic tradeshow. Be sure to check out our website
at www.abcallcentre.com for more information and register early. We
look forward to seeing you in Calgary on May 14!
GTACC - Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association
REPORT BY SANGEETA BHATNAGAR
GTACC is a non-profit knowledge exchange and networking association
with industry, government and service provider representation. Founded
in 2002, GTACC meets on a quarterly basis to share information on in-
dustry related topics, keeping its membership on the leading edge of
industry issues and initiatives. Furthermore, GTACC supports the Greater
Toronto Area Marketing Alliance with positive, sustainable marketing ini-
tiatives for the Greater Toronto Area customer contact centre industry.
GTACC is about networking and communication, people assisting
people. Membership is free. Sponsorship and donations are welcome.
The latest meeting was Sept. 20, 2006 at 8:00 am. Brian Villeneuve
allowed us to book our meeting at BCE Place, 161 Bay Street, Suite
4040, Toronto. This was another fun, information driven, networking ���� ����� ������� ������ ��������� ������� ��������� ���� �������
opportunity with leaders from our community! Elizabeth Winter, CPA, ��������� ��������� ��������� ��� ���� ����� ������� ����������
spoke on “Absenteeism in the Workplace” and shared a lot of excellent ��������� �������� ���������� ���������� ������������ ����������
information!!! Our second speaker also came very highly recommended ������� ������ ���������� ��������� ������ �������� �������� �������
- Lilly Krstic, Subject Matter Expert with TELUS. Lilly engaged the mem- ���� ������������ ���� ����� ������� �������������� ��� ������
bership with information on “Contingency planning for Call Centres.” ����������������������������������������������������������������
Our first GTACC meeting for 2007 is set for February 28 at 8am -10am. ����� ����� ������� ������� ���� ����������� ����������� ����
at 161 Bay Street, BCE Place – Suite 4040. We are fortunate to have Afshan
Bye, from Switchgear Consulting come and speak for us. Afshan is very
active with Contact Centre Canada where she is an active member and
sits on the Board. She was most recently head of ING DIRECT Funds and ������������������������
just prior to that was SVP of sales and service at ING DIRECT Canada. ������������������������
Afshan will be speaking on the challenge that so many call centres face ���������������������
– ATTRITION with the front line representatives. Afshan will share les- ���������������������������������
sons that she has learned that have led to effective management of agent
turnover/attrition. We look forward to having a tremendous information
session, great networking as well as meeting up with our peers to have
some fun!!! Once again, Brian Villeneuve has been kind enough to get us
the beautiful location with some great coffee to start the morning off!
For details contact chairperson Sangeeta Bhatnagar at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit GTACC’s new web site: www.gtacc.ca cm
www.contactmanagement.ca January/February 2007 Contact Management 27
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