Simplifying workflow and improving response rates with a unified agent desktop
Balfour Beatty Workplace and Engie have recently merged businesses to enhance their joint offering in the energy, technical, business processes and facilities management areas. Engie employs over 80,000 people and has an impressive turnover of 14 billion Euros and now offers a unique combination of service expertise, extending from the design, installation and management of local and renewable solutions, to the operational delivery of integrated facilities services.
When Balfour Beatty Workplace wanted to optimise its performance across multiple customer projects, it established a major National Operations Centre (NOC) to serve as a centralised contact hub for a number of its key clients. Based in Salford Quays, the NOC supports a growing number of organisations including the BBC, Metropolitan Police and UK Power Networks.
Opened in 2010, the National Operations Centre was part of a major Balfour Beatty Workplace drive to combine its multiple client service centres into a single resource capable of delivering a consistent and improved performance for clients. According to Lee Dobbins, General Manager of the Balfour Beatty Workplace NOC: “The concept of a centralised customer service centre was clearly the right model for the TFM sector and we had built an impressive multi-tenant contact centre facility at Salford Quays to support our clients.”
Although the consolidation happened a couple of years ago, service levels in the operations centre still needed to be improved when Lee arrived: “Even though we had the right facilities, we still had a lot of work to do if we were to achieve the increasingly high service levels our customers demand. While we had a clear vision for service excellence, it was essential that we equip our customer service agents with all the tools they needed to track client requirements and processes from end-to-end,” he added.
Critical to the success of the migration to centralised operations has been the contact centre technology needed to mesh together the helpdesk and planning functions as well as handling calls and emails. To this end, the company was keen to identify a solution that could offer a dedicated customer handling and CRM system tailored to their needs, rather than an off-the-shelf package that would require expensive implementation and customisation.
“We initially had a contact centre operation in place, but we weren’t making it easy enough for our agents to track processes and really deliver for customers. It was clear that we needed to do more to empower our customer service staff,” continued Lee. “We had deployed an integrated contact centre technology infrastructure with the aim of bringing key customer service functions such as call handling, email handling, helpdesk operation and planning together, however both employees and the NOC management weren’t really using it effectively.”
Response Rates: 18% improvement
Rectification payments: 25% reduction
Performance SLAs: 28% improvement
Efficiency Savings: £515k in just nine months through efficiency savings and penalty reductions
Reduction in non-value-add calls: 2,000 a month
When Lee arrived he focused on simplifying workflow processes within the National Operations Centre, up-skilling the agent role, and giving agents end-to-end accountability. The team then worked with IFS-mplsystems on the deployment of a highly flexible helpdesk solution that leverages the company’s intelligentDesktop desktop solution.
IFS-mplsystems’ Unified Agent Desktop draws together a range of different client data to provide agents with a simple and easy-to-use solution for all interaction handling. Using an intelligent desktop approach provides agents with a true, single view of client activities, and since its deployment Balfour Beatty Workplace has seen a massive increase in service levels.
Enabling Effortless Customer Conversations
“To make our National Operations Centre really deliver we had to simplify processes and up-skill the agent role so that our 110 agents could assume end-to-end accountability for interactions and their resolution,” explained Lee.
The IFS-mplsystems approach is particularly well placed to handle the specific requirements of multi-tenant contact centre operations, enabling TFM operators such as Balfour Beatty Workplace to manage bookings and plan jobs across multiple accounts. Working with the intelligentDesktop solution, operations centre agents can manage all contracts and their varying SLAs from a single desktop, with a customised desktop view that guides the service desk through client-specific procedures, and also reports on individual client SLAs.
“Working with a single agent desktop has helped to improve all aspects of our operational performance. We’ve seen a step change in performance improvement – not only encouraging effortless conversations with our customers but also ensuring that we can keep on increasing our service agility. Applying the functionality of the mplsystems desktop to our streamlined processes is making a real difference – we’re becoming much more efficient at allocating jobs, we’re completing those tasks quicker, and our front-end staff are much more knowledgeable. We’re also starting to see some real KPI improvements.” Lee Dobbins, General Manager, Balfour Beatty Workplace NOC
The resulting system is designed to make best use of Balfour Beatty Workplace agents’ time and skills, automating workflow and simplifying the contact handling by drawing on client information from the asset database tool. When a client calls the operations centre, the agent screen is populated with relevant case history, a customised script, any SLA details, business procedures and status of all jobs associated with that contract. The agent does not need to access different applications during the course of the call and can quickly transfer the job through to planners for service scheduling.
“Implementing a highly flexible intelligent desktop has helped develop Balfour Beatty Workplace’s pool of agents into a network of client experts, transforming service levels and ensuring that the company can support our clients with end-to-end accountability across both contact and field service operations,” explained Lee.
In addition to integrating contact centre, agent desktop and analytics for Balfour Beatty Workplace, mplsystems is also working on a project to streamline NOC processes even further with the addition of smartphone and tablet-based mobile customer service apps to enable clients to book their own appointments and monitor service status. “Now that we’ve built an integrated customer service infrastructure based around our intelligent desktop, it makes sense to extend that functionality further and provide our clients with real benefits in terms of speed and ease of use. Our goal is for customers to be able to submit jobs and check their status with just four key presses from login,” concluded Lee Dobbins.
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