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“Our Net Promoter Scores tell us that members appreciate the option and recognize that we really are striving to help them… We’ve saved our members over 83,000 minutes of hold time.”

Anthony Curtis, Business Operations Manager for QSUPER's Member Services Division

Company

As one of the largest superannuation (retirement) funds in Queensland, Australia, QSuper manages more than $55 billion in funds for its 530,000+ members—members who deserve the same great service they’ve experienced for more than 100 years. QSuper recently relocated its Member Services team to a new state-of-the-art facility in the suburban hub of Nundah, which is about 15 minutes north of the Brisbane head office. Across multiple channels, customer contacts exceed 400,000 annually.

53-second reduction in Average Speed to Answer

Abandon rates dropped to 3.4%

Challenge

Recognized by the AusContact Association as a 2014 Contact Centre of the Year (81-150FTE), QSuper’s commitment to Member Services is unrivaled. The company strives to acquire and retain highly skilled employees who are dedicated to providing a great member experience.

Call volumes can be tricky to manage: staffing for the peaks invariably results in inefficient and costly downtimes, and long hold times mean members become frustrated and hang up before ever reaching a Member Services officer. Those voice abandons turn into repeat callers, making it even more difficult to staff appropriately.

Those abandoned calls do more than affect staffing; they also indicate a potential problem with customer satisfaction. According to MetricNet, when abandon rates reach 7 or 8%, customer satisfaction begins to be affected. Most experts recommend that call centres keep their abandon rates under 5%.

“Our abandon rate on our primary inbound line was above the recommended percentage for customer satisfaction,” said Anthony Curtis, the Business Operations Manager for QSuper’s Member Services Division. “Hold times were directly impacting member satisfaction, and we needed to figure out how to reduce abandons and manage our contact volume more effectively.”

Solution

The simplest way to reduce abandon rates is obviously to employ more agents, but budgetary considerations can make that an irresponsible option. After exploring many options, a technology partner introduced QSuper to an innovative solution for managing call volumes—a solution that doesn’t require over-staffing or extensive integration.

VHT Conversation Bridge™ offers intelligent callback solutions with context for customers on multiple non-voice channels. By interfacing with the existing call centre environment, Conversation Bridge allows customers to choose a callback rather than waiting on hold. Conversation Bridge does more than just offer a callback to customers waiting on hold. By capturing relevant information about the caller, the agent is more informed when the customer is on the line. Conversation Bridge integrates seamlessly into the existing contact centre environment to quickly make a positive impact. Not only has QSuper seen a reduction in its abandon rate, the company has also seen a reduction in its average speed to answer (ASA).

“After implementing Conversation Bridge, our agents are more productive, and our centre is operating more efficiently,” Anthony said. “Abandons have dropped significantly to just 3.4%. And surprisingly, our ASA has decreased by 38%. Happier members have resulted in more optimal member interactions.”

Currently, 28.2% of members opt for the callback, Anthony said, and the centre expects that percentage to increase as members become more accustomed to the option. The callback option has been available in the U.S. for many years, so customers are familiar with the feature, but in Australia, the feature is less common. Across its customer base, VHT has found that customers will opt for the callback 48% of the time.

“Our members are pleasantly surprised by the callback option,” Anthony said. “Our Net Promoter Scores tell us that members appreciate the option and recognize that we really are striving to help them. With Conversation Bridge, we’ve saved our members over 83,000 minutes of hold time in the first period.”

The Conversation Bridge callback option is part of an overall strategy the centre has implemented to improve the member experience. In just three months, NPS scores have increased by almost 4%.

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53-second reduction in Average Speed to Answer

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Abandon rates dropped to 3.4%

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83,000+ minutes of hold time saved

Real Results

While the Conversation Bridge solution is currently installed for the ASAP Callback™, QSuper recently began the process of adding Scheduled Callback™ for voice as well as the web. Adding the functionality to the website will make it easier for members to enroll and make changes, which is very important as QSuper continues to expand its reach beyond the government employee base. QSuper expects installation to be complete by the end of the financial year.

“We’re looking forward to expanding the presence of Conversation Bridge across more channels,” Anthony said. “The member service impact along with actual cost savings from removing calls from the queue makes it an easy decision.”

VHT tracks more than 500 million customer service calls per year. Of those calls, 20% are offered a callback option, and an incredible 50% of those customers choose to receive a callback rather than wait on hold. On average, VHT customers recover an average of 100,000 abandoned calls per year and reduce average speed of answer (ASA) by 30%.

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