Are Your Back-Office Operations in the Dark Ages?
By Mary Lou Joseph
Posted in Customer Engagement
Is your organization still plagued with operational silos? Are you chained to outdated legacy systems? Is meeting customer demand and expectations the focus of just the front office, or your entire company?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then likely your operations are living in the dark ages.
In the article, “The Growing C-Suite Directive: Digitally Integrated Operations, with An Automation Underbelly,” HfS Research CEO, Phil Fersht and Dave Brown, Global Lead, Shared Service and Outsourcing Advisory at KPMG, discussed the growing trend toward creating a “One Office” strategy that merges front and back offices into “an integrated support operation that has digital capabilities and prowess to enable the organization to meet customer demand.”
All this is being driven by the digital disruption of the last few years (visit the Verint microsite Digital Disruption Demands Action for more detail)—as well as the more recent introduction of Robotic Process Automation (see the Verint blog Robots Are More Than Just 'Cool'—They Can Get Work Done).
An HfS Research and KPMG study1 found that 79% of respondents believe aligning front and back-office operations is either mission critical or increasingly important. And Paul Stockford, CEO of Saddletree Research, found that “69 percent of U.S. organizations now have the contact center and the back office reporting up to the same internal department.”2
At Verint, we have built a holistic, Enterprise Workforce Optimization solution that enables organizations to manage their people, processes, technology and work in a standardized framework, with automated workflows to give end-to-end visibility into the customer journey, and help optimize performance to meet and exceed customer expectations.
We are seeing more and more customers blend their contact center and back-office operations, increasing visibility into every step of the customer journey, and improving efficiencies, consistency and turnaround times.
One customer, a leading digital financial services company, implemented Verint Enterprise Workforce Management, Performance Management and Desktop and Process Analytics in a critical business unit that was comprised of 400 contact center agents and 350 processing specialists. In an effort to provide the most cost-effective service to their customers, the division set about identifying ways to improve productivity and turnaround times.
Creating a standardized framework for measuring and managing performance for all employees—using role-specific performance scorecards and KPIs that rolled up into business objectives—allowed management greater visibility into day-to-day operations. They could see that there was a gap in actual time spent in production applications vs. employee perceived time in relation to productivity goals.
The transparency in reporting and focus on achieving standards empowered employees to own their performance and change behaviors to help them reach their productivity goals. The scorecards also helped managers quickly identify employees in need of coaching or additional training.
Additionally, with enterprise workforce management the division was able to identify employees who were cross-skilled in both roles, and assign these resources to activities based on actual work volumes.
So, if there was a sudden peak in call volumes, processing specialists could be reassigned to assist and help ensure response times were met. Conversely, during lulls in calls, agents could be assigned to help handle processing volumes, minimizing the need for overtime and helping to ensure customer expectations for turnaround times were met.
The division experienced a 13 percent increase in productivity and was able to reduce their inventory or backlog of transactions year over year from 85 percent to 60 percent—a 25 percent reduction—with the same headcount, even though overall volumes had increased by 3 to 5 percent.
To move out of the dark ages and into the digital economy, companies need to break down operational silos and start replacing their legacy systems with digital solutions that span their entire enterprise, giving visibility into the customer journey from start to finish—enabling them to increase efficiencies so they can meet or exceed customer expectations.
1 State of Operations and Outsourcing 2017, HfS Research and KPMG
2 Saddletree Research and National Association of Call Centers 2016 Survey
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