Home call centre

Home call centre

Home call centre

“We have over 200 operational seats and over 300 on stand-by waiting to take calls and with no fixed costs, no building costs, no stand-by costs, no training costs and no attrition costs, clients only pay for what they need. An operational seat for Home Call Centre is manned 0800 to 2000 Monday to Saturday and in effect two or three agents are required to fill the seat. Most

staff work 16-20 hours a week. There are more than 1200 people on our data-base waiting to work for the company.

“If you add to this the fact that we offer full call recording in and outbound with limitless web access to all recordings for our clients it adds up to a 40% saving on traditional call centre costing, even when compared to in-house operations.”

Underpinning this operation is a communications infrastructure Travers installed at the beginning of 2008. “Having call centre agents based exclusively from home brought many communications challenges for our company and after unsuccessfully trying traditional telephone systems located at our Milton Keynes Headquarters – only three staff work here – we decided to use the Inclarity hosted IP telephony solution.”

 

Reliability

“Home Call Centre has many major clients that entrust the handing of their customer service to the company. For example, The Immigration Advisory Service where 14,000 calls per day for the charity are managed by the home worker agents. In addition to this Home Call Centre handles 80,000 calls per week for Papa John’s Pizza stores taking orders locally for each of their 120 outlets in the UK and passing them on via integration with the Papa John’s EPOS system. With Papa John’s target customer delivery time being within 30 minutes reliable communications is vital.

“When we used to use BT lines connected to a telephone system and we had a fault it was taking up to five days to get an agent back on line whereas with Inclarity’s Voice over IP (VoIP) system we actually have the ability set up an agent ourselves from new within 90 minutes.”

 

Flexibility

Recently Home Call Centre was contacted by a company that wanted to set up a campaign quickly on a Thursday night before a bank holiday. Travers, “We were able to send a text message to our agents enquiring who was available for work and had 56 responses within 15 minutes. The result was we were able to put five agents on the campaign within 32 minutes for the client.

“I know Home Call Centre was not top of the list of call centres to call for that client but noone else could offer him a single seat in the time scale required. The technology we use enables us to be highly responsive and flexible for our clients and therefore win new business.

“The Inclarity solution provides the flexibility we need and has proven to also be the most cost-effective solution we have tried.

“Initially when recruiting and working with new agents we train them remotely using their own broadband circuit. Call recording is used to ensure the agent’s voice and diction is clear as well as for product training on individual campaigns. Once this process is completed we install a Zen Internet broadband connection for the agent and a Cisco 7960 IP handset which means we can control the call from end to end.

“We use the Cisco handset for its durability. In an office-based call centre it’s easy to change a faulty phone – it’s a lot harder for remote agents. We pre-configure the handset ourselves and post it on to the agents – a simple plug and play operation.”

 

Management Control

“We know agents are live on our system as they appear on our wall board at head office. All calls to agents and all extension to extension calls are recorded. We use Inclarity on the switch call recording and it is an essential part of our operation. Our team leaders are primarily concerned with quality so their job is to listen to 5-6% of all calls taken by each of the ten agents the leaders manage.

“The Inclarity management information system provides us with all the data we need to ensure we are delivering excellent service for our clients. If a call is not answered within three rings it is passed to another agent. Any agent missing two or more calls in a two-hour period is suspended from that campaign until a team leader speaks to them. Of course agents can take breaks when they need to and have access to the Inclarity web-based calls waiting wallboard on their PC so they can see the best time to go and put the kettle on. Incidentally, because the wallboard is web based we can also let our clients see online how we handle their calls.”

 

Cost-Effective

The inherent benefits and features of the Inclarity enable Home Call Centres to set up agents and hunt groups themselves and the fact that they have no geographic limitations to recruitment opens the door to accessing a much greater audience of candidates. Likewise, because the company is not based in a single location they have fewer disaster recovery problems compared to traditional call centres.

“We lose at most 1 or 2 lines if an area goes down and this, together with the other features of the Inclarity telephony system and our own unique call centre operation, means we have best in sector campaign set up times for response campaigns or overflow with easy access to campaign expansion and downscale with ease and no penalty to the client.”

Technical Resolutions

Travers says that he last called the Inclarity help line more than three months ago which is quite remarkable considering all the operational changes he makes to the communications infrastructure.

“This is the most cost-effective and flexible solution by a country mile and not

CISCO
“We use the Cisco handset for its durability. In an officebased call centre it’s easy to change a faulty phone – it’s a lot harder for remote agents. We pre-configure the handset ourselves and post it on to the agents – a simple plug and play operation.” Bob Travers.

just because of the cost of running the agents. What we finds with clients is that they want us to do work when they can’t – evenings and weekends and daily overflows. They need an on demand system which is what we deliver by becoming their call centre. We’ve done more benchmarking than anyone else in the industry – everyone wants to see how we perform and we perform brilliantly!”

 

Environmental Impact

The Communication Managers Association (CMA) and Carbon Trust have collaborated with the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) to look into the use of ICT to facilitate remote contact centres as an enabler of a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

The IAS provides a number of central and regional phone numbers for asylum seekers and immigrants to get information and book appointments with appropriate legal advisors. IAS has recently switched all of these calls to be routed through an outsourced contact centre run by Home Call Centre (HCC). Previous to this, calls were answered by two or three receptionists at each regional office. All call centre services provided by HCC only use workers located at their own homes – i.e. remote contact centres. The remote contact centre worker will log the call, take down the callers details and carry out a mini-assessment of the caller. This information is then used to get the caller an appointment with a legal worker.

At present there are approximately 45 remote contact centre workers at IAS. Of these, 43 work from home 5 days per week and 2 of them for 2 days per week.

As a result of using a remote contact centre, IAS prevents the release of 93 tonnes of CO2 per annum into the atmosphere.