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Contact centers can offer organizations a wealth of data on agent performance and customer experience. But what if your contact center platform doesn't track the information you need to keep agents productive and customers happy? This was the reality for search engine optimization service provider Boostability.
Boostability, based in Lehi, Utah, provides SEO services to a customer base of more than 26,000 small businesses. The company has more than 400 employees, including 100 contact center agents, in two offices in Utah and satellite locations in Amsterdam and Berlin. It needed a more in-depth contact center to support agents in multiple locations and meet future needs in rolling out new capabilities, such as integrating with customer relationship management.
Trish Stines, vice president of client services at Boostability, discussed the challenges of the vendor's previous contact center deployment and the factors that influenced its decision to deploy Talkdesk's cloud contact center platform.
The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
What business problems were you looking to solve by moving to a new contact center platform?
Trish Stines: The solution we had previously was a bit of a disaster from the beginning. Boostability was looking for a contact center solution that would provide transparency in reporting, like how agents were spending time. What was sold to us and what was delivered were drastically different things.
The solution was bare bones, inaccurate and had major flaws in the data. What little data we did have access to, when we dug into it and started asking questions, compared to what we knew was happening, it was riddled with inaccuracy.
We spent a year looking into a solution, and we were left with something completely unusable. We realized we needed to make a change and went through a couple [of] months of testing and demos with several providers.
What were your contact center must-haves, and what vendor did you select?
Stines: Product integrity was really important -- what they say it will do versus what it will actually do. The user interface was important to me, as well -- something that was simple and easy. Some other competitors we looked at had great info, but you needed a Ph.D. to interpret what the screen was telling you.
Price was important and the ability to have a flexible contract, because we were burned so bad by [the previous] solution, and we're still tied to that contract today.
Talkdesk was introduced to us, and they really took a deep dive into problems and issues; they did a good job at identifying pain points. They offered transparency into agents and productivity: Are we hitting SLAs [service-level agreements]? Were customers calling in? How long they were in the queue? Were they abandoning?
Talkdesk gave us all that, and I can see live information, which is important for me. We have about 100 agents, and around 60 are on there now. We recently launched to one of our newly acquired companies out in Columbus, [Ohio,] and I can see what they're spending their time on. They have no one monitoring them, but I can do that in Utah.
How did you deploy the new contact center platform?
Stines: We had a staggered launch. The initial trial was to launch with 45 users. The way my team is structured, we have different teams that service different partners. The first team launched with 20 users. There have been some expected bumps and bruises along the way, which we expected, as people are getting used to a new solution.
On the IT side, it's been a dream. It's been really easy to implement and easy on the support side. Troubleshooting is not complicated; we haven't had to use support on that side. The deployment has been a matter of just a few days, rather than what I assumed of a few weeks for each team.
How are you measuring improvements across the contact center?
Stines: I thought I was pretty conservative of what I thought I could gain in percentage of what efficiency looks like for nine months on the program. I was guessing around 10% to 20% gains, but it's probably closer to 30% to 40%.
We're moving from a dedicated model to a team model, where everyone is answering calls as they come in. Having transparency into how agents are spending time, I can determine staffing and how many people I need to hit SLAs, low missed-call percentage, low abandon time. We're using just about every metric available to use.
How agents are using statuses was the most impactful piece. We had no way to hold people accountable. If the phone's ringing, are they going to answer? Are they away from their desk? How many breaks are they taking? That was most beneficial to us.