When Outdated Systems no Longer Meet Requirements in Online Retail Contact Centre

When Outdated Systems no Longer Meet Requirements in Online Retail Contact Centre

What happens when legacy systems used for documenting key processes no longer meet the requirements of a fast evolving contact centre environment? 

This was the challenge faced by call centre operator Serco and Online retailer Shop Direct. With 6 contact centres handling thousands of customer queries every day and over 1500 different processes to follow, contact centre agents were struggling to keep track. The constraints of a legacy system were also felt by management, being unable to track and measure the interactions with the customer.  Here are some of the challenges identified:

Process Documentation Captured in Spreadsheets

Issues with the legacy system included the fact that all process documentation was captured in a series of Excel documents. The format meant that contact centre agents would have to access the relevant process document and assimilate the whole process before being able to respond to queries.

Time-consuming Training and Cross Training

This meant the learning curve for new staff and cross training of existing staff was time-consuming and resource intensive. It also meant the range of enquiries such as refunds, deliveries, promotions and credit account queries were harder to handle, even for experienced agents.

 

Lack of Management Information and Reporting

With existing systems, management information was lacking. There was no audit trail on what information had been accessed by each agent. It was not possible to track how agents navigated the available information or which of the information was used most frequently.  The absence of tracking data made it difficult for managers to prioritise staff training and development of process information.

Inability to Proactively Distribute Relevant Information

With available information only being accessed through Excel files and no ability to track usage it was not possible to proactively direct the most relevant information to agents.  Neither could supervisors or managers gain any confirmation that the most relevant information has been read and assimilated by agents, until now.

Processes Mapped to Decision Trees

With this range of challenges Serco and Shop Direct worked with KPS to investigate and develop a solution.  A key requirement was the ability to use existing sources of information while creating a structured work-flow for contact centre agents. Enabling agents to follow processes step by step through guided decision trees allows agents to focus on the customer interaction while relying on relevant information and guidance being presented as each service interaction develops.

Solution Developed and Live in 3 Months

Working together, KPS, Serco and Shop Direct managed to implement a solution in 3 months. Roll-out was swift with a days training before agents were using the system to handle live enquiries.

To learn more about how the knowledge management system was implemented for the contact centre, download our Case Study:

Join the conversation – What legacy system challenges have you faced in a contact centre environment?