Magazine Article | October 1, 2003

Real-Time Information Improves Call Quality

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By implementing a real-time digital recording solution, an outsourcer was able to monitor 30% more calls and improve call quality by seven percentage points.

Integrated Solutions, October 2003

Living up to customers' expectations is critical to any business. To an outsourcer like StarTek, Inc. (Denver) it is not just a priority; it is the company's mission. So, its inbound contact centers QA (quality assurance) specialists monitor each customer service call to determine how close the call conforms to that client's standards. Using a manual system made this and many other processes difficult. That is when StarTek turned to Verint Systems Inc. (Melville, NY) for a recording solution that would offer reporting capabilities and integrate the quality assurance processes of 10 of its call center locations.

Eliminate Disparate Systems
StarTek's manual system consisted of QA specialists tape recording calls, listening to the recording, scoring the call on a paper form, and then entering it into a database. Without a centralized product, the recording and tracking tools were not consistent (e.g. some sites were using Excel, while others were using Access). This made it difficult to compare and review progress. The inability to save recorded calls over a long period of time also proved to be a challenge, due to storage limitations.

By implementing an automated system, StarTek wanted to improve call quality. "With the manual system, we were able to report a score, but we were not able to dig any deeper to find out what specific area needed to be improved," says Faye Victora, director of training and quality at StarTek. Another requirement was the ability to create an interface that would allow StarTek clients to listen to calls using StarTek's automation. Reporting capabilities also played a role in StarTek's final decision. It was important for them to track progress and identify reasons for low scores.

Integrate Existing Call Systems
To eliminate the problems related to a manual system, StarTek chose Verint's ULTRA Intelligent Recording Solution. Although it was not necessary to upgrade StarTek's current switches to access this system, StarTek decided to upgrade its Aspect switch and chose the Avaya switch for its two new centers. Integration also had to be performed to obtain a fully integrated solution for StarTek's needs. "Verint had to fully integrate StarTek's switch platforms - ACD [automatic call distributor] and PBX [private branch exchange]. We needed to be confident that Verint would continue to integrate with our future growth requirements," says Victora.

StarTek set a goal when the installation began in March 2003, to have all systems integrated at all eight locations by the end of the second quarter. However, during the implementation, the outsourcer added two new locations. "It would have been very difficult for other companies. But, Verint provided veteran installers to partner with our project launch team. We anticipated some glitches, but there weren't any," says Victora. Despite the addition of two new sites, StarTek still achieved their installation deadline.

At each site, StarTek completed a preparation list to ensure a smooth installation. This helped when Verint arrived to install and test ULTRA. A StarTek training team also participated at each site to train end users on the live system. After installation and training, the senior project manager reviewed the implementation and released the system for use. The last install of the 10 locations was completed in July 2003.

Call Quality Improved By Seven Percentage Points
With ULTRA, StarTek gained the ability to monitor call quality according to individual client specific needs, using a call evaluation tool. "In the first 90 days, StarTek saw an overall improvement of about 7 percentage points in quality scores. And, now a single QA specialist can monitor up to 75 CSRs [customer service representatives]," says Victora. StarTek can also listen to 30% more calls with this system.

Tape storage problems have been eliminated, because digital recordings of phone calls are either saved to a WAV file or burned to a disc. With improved reporting capabilities, StarTek has the ability to print reports nationally. Thanks to a consistent solution among all of its sites, StarTek can examine all categories for improvement both by site and project wide. According to Victora, success has been measured in efficiency and customer satisfaction. "We have increased the number of calls monitored, allowing more feedback to occur for the CSR, which improves our quality scores," says Victora. Due to satisfaction with the system, StarTek is looking into adding 100% call logging, storage, and retrieval capability from Verint.