GE Appliances Modernises its Contact Centre with Calabrio WFM and Amazon Connect
TO WFH IN ONLY DAYS
COST PER CALL
At a Glance
Company GE Appliances
Products Used Calabrio WFM + QM
About GE Appliances
One of the largest appliance companies in the U.S., GE Appliances manufactures appliances under several brands and boasts a long history of cooking innovation: it created the first self-cleaning oven and over-the-range microwave; it launched the first suite of WiFi-connected appliances; and it was the first U.S. manufacturer to build appliances that work with voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Contact centre grows efficiencies in spite of pandemic-spurred volume increase and shift to remote work.
Appliance support tends to be highly seasonal in nature, making contact centre forecasting and scheduling a challenging opportunity without a strategic, well-executed workforce management (WFM) plan modelled in advance. That’s exactly what was happening at GE Appliances — and for a variety of reasons.
Existing contact centre leadership, for example, lacked deep WFM expertise. Reporting in pockets was confusing, insufficient and at times inconsistent due to the many different reports built over time by many different people using many different operational definitions. And inconsistent WFM alignment between separate contact centre business units prevented optimised, unified operations — each business unit director, for instance, manually completed his/her own staff modelling.
Then COVID-19 hit, and GE Appliances’ contact centre volumes skyrocketed by 50% above its typical monthly volume of two million — an increase that far exceeded the forecast and budget. To top it off, leaders had only two weeks to shift all 800+ contact centre-based employees to working remotely, from their homes.
GE Appliances paired Calabrio with Amazon Connect for an instantly scalable, user-friendly, cloud-based WFM solution that gives contact centre leaders the flexible, dynamic call routing and instrumentation they need to effectively manage a remote workforce.
Now, a singular forecasting and scheduling methodology measures the accuracy of volumes and handle times in order to ensure the right number of agents are scheduled to deliver the required service level in each business unit.
Additionally, Calabrio Quality Management lets leaders hear the voices and view the screens of remote agents, so they can immediately coach or engage with agents in real-time. And Calabrio Dynamic Scheduling lets leaders easily execute a significant amount of overtime and undertime whenever needed. As a result, agents can sign themselves up for additional shifts — or decide to end their shifts early — based upon if more or less help is needed on any given day.
Without the ability to identify and deliver high-schedule adherence, we would’ve been totally destroyed by COVID-19. Yet, despite moving everyone from brick and mortar to work from home within only two weeks, our adherence actually went up!”
Aaron Jacobs –
Director of Workforce Optimisation + Analytics
Despite the unforeseeable, unimaginable challenges posed by COVID-19, it only took days for contact centre leaders to seamlessly transition all agents to working from home — a move that didn’t impact customers in any way. In fact, the shift was so seamless, some internal stakeholders didn’t even know it had already taken place.
GE Appliances also optimised its contact centre operations in the most cost-effective manner while improving the company’s overall customer experience. As a result, cost per call decreased by 15%, adherence grew by 20% (to its current rate of 90%+), the cost of hiring went down when attrition shrank by up to 25%, and the contact centre workforce only had to grow 20-25% — to 1,000+ total — in order to cover the unexpected 50% call increase caused by COVID-19.
Now, GE Appliances can flexibly scale its contact centre up or down as needed, and expand its hiring pool since it’s immaterial where agents live. All in all, leaders can prove significant cost savings — the equivalent of 2-3 teams of full-time employees — for a 12-month time period.
Long term, thanks to more-efficient agents, the contact centre has the opportunity to become a profit centre — rather than a cost centre — for GE Appliances.
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