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William Pattison, CEO of Mindpearl explains how a follow-the-sun philosophy has helped to maximise workforce optimisation.


“I made a conscious decision to put people above all things, and it paid off commercially as well.”

I believe to be successful at achieving maximum value from outsourcing, we need to invest in retaining key skills within the industry.

For many years, European organisations typically outsourced to India and the Philippines. Intent on maximising the labour arbitrage, they employed a low-cost workforce in a low-cost location. So prevalent as to be a cliché, this practice was not without its disadvantages: the time difference proved problematic, often necessitating employees to work antisocial hours. If people are on permanent night shifts, you will see high attrition. This has been found by a lot of call centres on the Indian subcontinent.

A follow-the-sun philosophy for workforce optimisation
There’s no reason why you can’t balance your calls between different centres, provide a superior work environment and minimise the overnight shifts. Happy employees, equal happy customers!

By utilising strategically located locations and cloud technologies we have being doing this seamlessly for the last 18 years.

We were one of the first outsource contact centre providers to adopt and deliver a true ‘follow-the-sun’ solution. 18 years later, we can attest that it works.

It allows for multi-site support on a follow-the-sun basis. This means there is load-sharing of volumes across sites to facilitate both 24/7 coverage, cost efficiencies and business continuity.

We’re optimising our workforce, not running a chicken ranch
We decided long ago, that we don’t want to run a chicken ranch and we realised technology can only take us so far. So we try our best to mould shift patterns to employees’ needs. This gives us greater scope to employ top-quality employees and retain them.

How it’s done
Activity can be directed by skill, agent availability and/or cost. Technology enables us to re-route a customer contact to different geographies and time zones effortlessly.

Calls are queued in global virtual queues allowing call volume support from any location instantly.

Clients with multiple language requirements and/or extended hours of operation are serviced through balanced use of multi-site facilities with capabilities of sharply increasing available resource during emergency situations, holiday season demand and other disruption occurrences.

Advantages of this virtualised, follow-the-sun working environment for workforce optimisation

 

  • An engaged, highly skilled workforce
  • Workforce optimisation
  • Low attrition
  • Greater direct control
  • Higher levels of responsiveness and uptime
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to relocate agents
  • IVR systems reprogrammed in minutes
  • Increases in customer satisfaction
  • Efficiency
  • Revenue generation
  • Enhanced global BCP/DR approach

In my 25+ years in the contact centre industry, I have experienced every area of the contact centre first hand. When I became CEO of Mindpearl, I made a conscious decision to put people above all things, and it paid off commercially as well. I have always felt and continue to believe, if you find the right people and treat them like you would have liked to been treated if you were a call centre agent today. Customer satisfaction will take care of itself, irrespective of your contact centre location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: William Pattison | 08 April 2014
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