SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

March 04, 2008 13:05 ET

Maximize Your Agents' Potential to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Optimizing Your Workforce: Increasing Contact Center Agent Productivity

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - Laggard and Industry Average firms will close the gap in terms of workforce optimization technology adoption over the next 24 months. Best-in-Class companies will be those firms that have focused on the integration of specific individual technologies, according to new research by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

Aberdeen's assessment is based on the adoption of several key workforce optimization technologies:

- Quality monitoring    - Analytics   - Performance metrics  - eLearning
- Workforce management  - Scorecards  - Outbound dialing

"In addition to technology adoption, firms will need to look at other areas to best optimize the contact center workforce," states Alan W. Hubbard, senior vice president of the Customer Service & Support practice. "These areas are process, organization and knowledge, with the most obvious being organization agent training and coaching." Aberdeen's report on workforce optimization indicates that 76% and 70% of Best-in-Class companies and Industry Average companies respectively have this in place. Only about half (49%) of Laggard firms have agent training and coaching in place. "Even with the right technologies," says Hubbard, "if an agent is unable to effectively utilize the features and functions at hand, it's like they aren't there at all; thus defeating the purpose of their implementation." Aberdeen's report has a great case study about a top contact center in the retail catalog industry. The case mentions the importance of training to reach ROI.

The report summarizes by stating that Best-in-Class firms look for integration that will allow them to capture the agent / customer interaction and provide feedback into the improvement process. It further states that Best-in-Class must follow through with the following in order to attain this goal:

--  Track call center performance across all channels
--  Provide outbound proactive customer service
--  Implement a workforce optimization suite
    

The report outlines the results Best-in-Class organizations have seen across several key contact center metrics and compares these results to those of Industry Average and Laggard companies. This research report is underwritten in part by Aspect Software, Inc, Black Box Corporation, and CRMXchange. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4578.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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