As a leading provider of Internet services, Web hosting and software, EarthLink is always looking for ways to thrive in a competitive ISP market and simultaneously deliver outstanding customer service to its global network of customers.
At one time, EarthLink ran quite a complex contact center operation, outsourcing the vast majority of customer service to partner operations in more than 10 cities in countries like the U.S., India and the Philippines. These centers answered inquiries ranging from dial-up and high-speed Internet services to Earthlink (News - Alert) Extras such as home networking and security.
However, in a maturing market, EarthLink sought better ways to reduce costs and consolidate customer service operations while simultaneously maintaining high-quality standards. To gather insight, EarthLink began looking into speech analytics as a method of achieving a balance of improved contact center operations and delivering exceptional customer service.
Upon a thorough search and evaluation of leading speech analytics companies, EarthLink tapped Nexidia (News - Alert) to rapidly sift through and analyze vast amounts of voice data that would eventually provide business and customer insights and drive change in agent performance. Nexidia’s ability to offer a hosted model would also allow EarthLink to quickly leverage any findings to identify areas of opportunity that could produce the best outcome.
Several initial trials were conducted to measure key performance indicators, such as reducing internal call transfers, decreasing excessive customer credits granted by agents, and reducing a certain call type with high average handle time. This initial evaluation alone identified a total of $650,000 in cost savings and pinpointed several customer service areas needing improvement.
Once Nexidia’s speech analytics system was deployed enterprise-wide, EarthLink then focused on monitoring compliance requirements to guarantee items, such as disclaimers, were properly communicated to customers; identifying and enhancing issues related to call transfers, repeat callers and call escalations; and improvements focusing on agent training.
Thanks to Nexidia’s analysis, EarthLink experienced vastly improved internal productivity and resource allocation, resulting in a whopping $460,000 in savings; a $125,000 in savings associated with the drop in use of hold/mute by agents; a better ability to pinpoint inappropriate agent behavior; discovered more than $60,000 in recoverable costs due to processing errors during a trial period; and saw a 10 percent decrease in monthly quality costs by charging monetary penalties to partners not meeting the company’s monthly QA expectations.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell