- Client name - A leading UK telecom service provider
- Industry type - Telecommunications
- Products or Services - Provides infrastructure for telephone and data services
- Geography or Areas of operations - UK
- Annual revenue - Over 1 billion GBP
Wipro has been a partner to the client for many years, providing contact center helpline services for their end customers and engineers. Three years ago, Wipro proposed an action plan to the client to improve the operational efficiency of their business process value chain without compromising on output quality.
This plan comprised of five goals to be achieved by March 2021:
- Reduction of operational costs by 35%.
- Reduction of the cycle time of current processes by 25%.
- Quality improvement of service delivery by 20%.
- Cross-training agents on multiple skill sets.
- Productivity optimization.
Wipro utilized the ‘waterfall approach’ to implement the action plan, where all five goals were broken down into a series of actionable stages and assigned a team. Wipro also created a special team comprising operations managers and black belt holders to manage these teams. Following methodologies were used to achieve each goal:
Phase - 1 (Initiation): Identification of improvement opportunities
The teams conducted meetings with different stakeholders, team leads, and SMEs to analyze the existing value chain and brainstormed ideas and approaches for its improvement. Wipro identified improvement opportunities based on the outcome of these meetings.
Phase - 2 (Planning and design): Project mapping and timeline
Wipro performed a root cause analysis on the inputs obtained from phase 1 and created a set of action plans. An owner was assigned each action plan, and a review mechanism to track progress was established.
Phase - 3 (Execution): Action implementation
The action plans were implemented in collaboration with the customer, as per the inputs from Phase 2.
Phase - 4 (Monitoring and control): Mitigating challenges and sustaining performance
This phase involved monitoring the post-implementation performance of the action plans. For challenges/hurdles, the project team checked back with the respective stakeholders and resolved the issues quickly.
Phase 5 (Closure): Benefit measurement and project sign-off
This phase focused on performance measurement, comparison, calculation of benefits, and obtaining sign-offs from the respective stakeholders.
The action plans for each of the five goals were supported using the following technological and operational activities:
- Utilization improvement of agents through cross training
All agents were cross-trained in various skills and goal-specific requirements, enabling us to flexibly utilize them in any channel for different context-specific needs.
- Decision tree driven interactive guides
When an agent received a call from either a customer or an engineer, it was their responsibility to ensure that it immediately fulfilled the caller’s needs. To enable this, the agents used a unique application that gave real-time solutions, support articles, and possible courses of action based on the caller’s behaviour. This application was based on decision tree models, and their interactive nature made call resolution effortless and faster.
- Tails’ volume reduction efforts
Different types of customers place different kinds of orders. There are some unique cases when orders remain long unfulfilled as operational delays. A unique name is given to these orders - Tails. If these unfulfilled orders occur within a certain period of time, the client has to pay the penalty.
Wipro reduced tails by ensuring all relevant agents and stakeholders in the client’s value chain could freely communicate. By having a birds-eye view on what was going on in the value chain, agents and other stakeholders could keep each other updated about any order delays and ensure that they were fulfilled as early as possible.
- Smart scripts for quicker resolutions
We created VBA-based (Visual Basic for Applications) smart scripts for cases that can be resolved without assistance from the agents. This helped determine the callers’ problems step-by-step and significantly reduced manual efforts and ensured that agents were available for more critical requests.
- Enhancing performance management through gamification
We implemented the gamification principles to design a fun-performance management system that represented metrics through catchy graphics. The system used a live leader board to project agent performances in real-time. This system went a long way in boosting agent motivation and increasing productivity.
- Usage of standard project design principles
We used time-tested lean project design principles like value stream mapping, Heijunka, Kanban, and Andons to reduce the time taken to resolve a call (Average Handling Time), bringing it down to an optimum level.
We also used other tools like volume deflection, OCR improvement, smart ops and six sigma.
- A holistic approach to support engineers
We offered the client’s regular customers and engineers 24/7 support, covering a range of technical issues. We ensured the engineers received timely and relevant advice by using advanced diagnostic tools that gave microscopic insights into technical issues and support from subject matter experts.
Wipro managed to fulfill the five goals of its action plan successfully within the stipulated timeframe. In the initial stages, we employed about 501 FTEs to satisfy these requirements. However, with advances in the operational and technological capabilities, and improvement in the learning curve of agents, we reduced the number of FTEs and continued to maintain the agreed-upon level of functional quality.
We managed to free our FTE working capital using the following methods:
- AHT reduction led to a capacity creation of 83 FTEs.
- Utilization improvement (via cross-training) led to a capacity creation of 68 FTEs.
- Tail volume reduction led to a capacity creation of 65 FTEs.
- Smart script automation and decision tree usage led to a capacity creation of 26 FTEs.
In all, we reduced the base of 501 FTEs to 259 FTEs and utilized the remaining 242 FTEs for other client processes.
As a result, we improved our CSAT score by 25% and saved USD 7.86 M for the client.