Financial Services Company Delivers Positive Change to Customers with Contact Center Outsourcing
September 05, 2012
Over a year ago in 2011 TransUnion, a provider of credit bureau and financial information services in South Africa, embarked on project to outsource its contact center operation. As a result, it transitioned its contact center associates to its outsourcing partner’s employment and took them from four disparate centers to one quality location supported by innovative technology. The company’s goal was to achieve efficiencies without losing the inherent knowledge in its contact center associates.
Ultimately, this change was even completed without upfront capital investment by TransUnion and within the security of a seven year contract in which its new partner, Merchants, is financially motivated to deliver continuous improvement.
Head of Business Development at Merchants Kevin Teasdale told Call Center Focus that this is evidence of a new approach to contact center outsourcing. According to Teasdale, clients are looking to outsourcers to provide the contact center infrastructures that will maximize their performance.
“There’s no question that we were looking to reduce duplication and operational cost,” said TransUnion’s Group Operations Executive, Elize Adams. “More than that, we were looking for a step change in our ability to deliver for customers and grow our business. We were looking for a partner that would create a natural home for one of our greatest business assets – our people. They are not just ‘folks who answer the phone’ but valuable, knowledgeable associates who deliver complex business processes in a highly regulated environment. They don’t just provide a service, they are the service.”So, TransUnion recognized that the evolution of best practice, innovation and customer expectation in has made contact center management a complex business discipline. The decision to outsource came from the recognition that, though this discipline was vital to its business, TransUnion’s core competencies lay elsewhere.“We were looking for a partner that could create a physical environment in which our people could flourish, empower them with technology and mastermind the refinement of operational processes that would maximize their productivity. And, most important of all, we wanted to build an operation that would not only meet, but exceed our customers’ expectations,” explained Adams.
A study of TransUnion’s employee demographics revealed that staff members were traveling long distances to work, often during unsociable hours. The new location has reduced travel times, while providing enhanced facilities – from meeting and training rooms, to spacious work areas. In terms of TransUnion’s ongoing pursuit of operational excellence and customer centricity, the most important step has been the introduction of new customer management technology and an integrated telephony solution, which have been applied in the new center across the entire business. The technology gives agents a 360° view of the customer and allows them to work across multiple channels.
“We’re now able to route all customer interactions – whether phone, fax or email – on the basis of our agents’ skills,” said Adams. “That means we can make sure our customers get the particular help they need immediately. It has also delivered fully integrated interaction recording, which allows managers and quality assessors not only to hear, but to see what is happening on every call.”
TransUnion sees the implementation of the new technology as a stepping stone on the journey towards improvement. The transfer of staff from TransUnion to Merchants was governed by section 197 of South Africa’s Labor Relations Act. The Act defines the need for a clear consultation process. However, TransUnion feels that the dedication shown by organizations to open communication has exceeded the requirements of the law and has resulted in enthusiastic acceptance of the change.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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