Dimension Data in the UK collaborated with the university to analyse, plan, and develop a progressive solution for its contact centre. This would provide short-term interventions and, more importantly, prepare for the upcoming busy period. It would also deliver a better user experience for those calling into the contact centre.
Our experts in customer experience (CX) were asked to carry out a one-day on-site assessment. This engagement helped identify a support ‘triage’ in April. It also defined a long-term approach — with a focus on workforce and capacity planning, as well as protecting service levels in the future.
Dimension Data soon became a valued partner to the university during a time of transformation. Starting in April, we provided an interim workforce management consultant and director at the contact centre. This team would see the project through until completion. It included day-to-day management, as well as coaching and upskilling. We also assisted in the recruitment of a full-time workforce manager, and developing a new workforce system for the university.
During this time, real- and near-time actions were put in place to increase contact rates with students. This involved a ‘leave buy-back’ incentive programme to bolster resource availability. It also included interactions with contact centre agents and other back-office teams. We also worked at optimising resources ahead of peak periods.
While the university had a long-term recruitment strategy in place, we helped refine this plan. The university needed a stronger view of its skills across all business areas, so it could recruit the right talent in time for the pressures looming in August and September.
Just as important as the recruitment plan, was a grade-of-service recovery plan. In the event of service degradation, the contact centre still had to run as efficiently as possible. Employee productivity and a better student experience were always top of mind for both Open University and Dimension Data. This plan included actions that the operations manager in the contact centre could take; it also assigned thresholds against each service level.
We were also asked to create a specialised, proactive outbound campaign in order to deflect inbound contact volumes.