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Leading with innovation

Thu 1 Dec 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Innovation does not need to be about the latest bells and whistles. There are in fact time when it should simply be about decision makers, planners and analysts thinking laterally. In the current business and economic landscape it can be more important to be looking for the best solution for a company and client, while remaining flexible enough to adapt and evolve. Palmerston North City and Horizons Regional Councils ability to do just that resulted in them becoming joint recipients of the 2011 Initiative of the Year award at the Manawatu Contact Centre Awards. The award recognised the efforts of the two Councils in establishing a 120 seat call centre to receive and process Red Cross missing person enquiries in the wake of the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake. Horizons accepted a request to provide the service and teamed up with Palmerston North City Council and established a 90 seat call centre, across three sites within three hours of receiving the call for assistance. This request came at a time when PNCC was already taking calls for Christchurch City Council and Horizons was supporting and Emergency Management response to the earthquake. As call volumes grew, the call centre was expanded to 120 seats. Meanwhile Courier Post had excellent results when it adopted one of New Zealand’s first distributed contact centres Having about 36% of its contact centre team able to work from home, has reduced the company’s property and infrastructure costs, while customer service levels have increased significantly. The company has noted work satisfaction among content centre staff has improved, while CourierPost has a far more flexible workforce to draw on. At the same time, a new text-to-speak interactive voice recognition system has resulted in cost savings with automated self-service bookings increasing from 50% to 76%. This has resulted in 1000 fewer calls a day to the CourierPost contact centre team, enabling them to focus more on higher-level customer requests where they can add greater value. "The project has been a real success – our staff are happy, we’ve got improved customer service levels – that is a great outcome for the business,” says Mark Gibson, CEO, Express Couriers Over 2012, Telecommunications Review will continue to look closely at innovation and trends in the Call Centre industry. Don’t miss our February issue.

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