What are the key trends we’re seeing in optimizing operations work?
Simplification is a huge theme. Agent workflows have become increasingly complicated at an operations level. Teams design business processes without linking the end-to-end systems internally, and in the absence of good design, agents will do what they can to get the job done while management remains unaware of any underlying process or technology issues.
This is a measurement problem. The front line employee experience is blind to the operations leaders designing their work in a conference room. Companies today start with outcome measures and then need to work backwards to understand what their levers are but often lack the data they need to do so.
Employee engagement is a big focus as teams search for better measurement beyond CSAT, AHT, or NPS. The best BPOs are really starting to study what it takes to get to the best talent and how to leverage WFH as an engagement opportunity. Leaders are not only focused on hiring good people but also avoiding attrition to drive quality and efficiency internally.
How can leaders analyze processes to gain efficiency and know what to focus on improving?
Operations teams have inputs, process measures, and outcome measures that need to be evaluated holistically to really get at the root cause of an issue. Outcome measures like NPS or AHT tell you whether a team is delivering what you want them to but process analytics are generally where the answers will lie.
As companies look to optimize in this remote environment, operational analytics are crucial for uncovering trends or inefficiencies and identifying how best to prioritize team efforts. Look at the range of outcomes you’re getting to understand what the drivers of your top and bottom performers are and then problem solve from there.
What data should companies be gathering to understand performance opportunities?
Teams have been following an ‘out of sight out of mind’ attitude that prevents them from truly understanding the use cases that their agents are working on. It is critical for leadership to close that gap and actually shadow true work to understand the complexities of an agent’s day and what their end-to-end processes look like. Have both the qualitative and quantitative insight so you can first prioritize opportunities, and then truly understand processes by reviewing the full video playback of relevant interactions.
It is also important to have transparency of work and measures across BPOs. It can be helpful to have one dashboard where teams can see how each partner is performing by use cases to optimize across vendors and allocate work properly over time.
How should leadership implement and measure continuous improvement programs across orgs?
Process improvement initiatives should start by asking yourself whether you understand what you’re requesting from your vendors in a way that you can own and manage the initiatives from afar or through other companies.
For many teams, companies will hand off an efficiency plan when they don’t understand the work that they are giving out and what their team is capable of doing in its base state. Better data and insights give you the ability to share both in the pain and in the successes with your vendors or remote teams. Treat every agent as if they’re your own employee and be sure to give them a voice back into your team internally to drive continuous improvement loops.
How can teams leverage process data to boost culture and morale in remote environments?
CX teams are held to a set of quality and efficiency metrics and remote work brings a bunch of external factors into the mix that can massively impact performance but are outside of the agent’s control.
To counter this, it is critical for leaders to thoughtfully design remote environments. Learn what the best practices are for a homebase office and be able to share that as a clear expectation with remote workers. Companies that design this well will have a lot of success with remote work and will actually see the same level of productivity from their teams.
Be sure to prioritize coaching and allow external or remote teams the ability to provide feedback on specifically how the business can improve the process and remove technology barriers like slow internet speeds and unnecessary context switching.
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