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UK National Contact Center Awards

Tonight, Monday 21st September 2020, we are so proud that one of our customer’s Contact Centre’s General Managers, Louise Smith, is up for the UK National Contact Centre 2020 Awards in the Resource Planning/Workforce Management Manager category.

Our COO, Fiona Coleman, nominated Louise for the award. Read about the amazing job Louise has done for Jet2 and Jet2holidays.

Louise Smith brought her experience and knowledge to a rapidly growing company who’s contact centre was experiencing growing pains.  It’s not an easy job to fix technology issues, process issues and cultural issues, but her empathy for people, her energy and drive brings out the best in those working with her and for her. She creates an amazing team, not just within her team but across an organisation and with the supplier organisations who are working with her. She gets the best out of everyone, and that in turn helps the employee experience and keeps the customer experience as outstanding.

Louise said:

“I love working for a company that puts the customer at the heart of everything they do, and Jet2 are a perfect example of a company who really do that I nominate – this is evidenced though the amount of returning customers we have and the excellent feedback we receive. Another one of Jet2’s Values is to “Take responsibility” so to be in a position where the work we do can directly impact the service we deliver to our customers and/ or increase our staff engagement, by adopting a forward-thinking approach and embracing new technology gives me such a sense of satisfaction.

“The contact centre is often the first point of contact a customer has with us and as you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, we want to ensure that the customers have a memorable experience with us for all the right reasons.”

Fiona nominated Louise Smith for this award because she is one of the most visionary people in our industry who is at the centre of her organisation’s transformation.

The background to Jet2’s transformation is really interesting and QStory are privileged to be a chosen supplier to support them on this transformation journey.

Jet2holidays had unprecedented rapid growth over the past 7 years. Employee numbers have grown from 2,484 in 2012 to over 12,000 in 2019. The contact centre had expanded to multi-site (including Leeds Head Office, Manchester Airport and the Balearic Islands during peak months) but the contact centre technology and procedures had not developed at the same rate.  It operated more like “an office that took calls”.

There was little large contact centre experience and operational knowledge, many decisions were made on “gut feel”.  There was lack of visibility on the long and short range forecasts, capacity, intraday level demand and meaningful MI.  They were under resourced due to lack of foresight.

Louise Smith was brought in 19 months ago to transform the Planning, Real-Time and MI departments.  When she arrived there were 4 real-time analysts and 2 forecasting and scheduling analyst.  Louise transformed the operation with:

      “Right sizing” the operation to meet SLAs and deliver Jet2’s VIP customer service

      –    Moving service level from 100% to 90/10 within BAU conditions and consistently met this

      –    Applied operational rigour, with a detailed forecast model, robust capacity plans, intraday visibility leading to better discipline and management, daily, weekly and monthly operational framework meetings were introduced.

She explored and assessed the technical landscape and invested in new technology to support not only her team, but also operations.

Louise has built a full and competent planning, real-time and MI Team. Going from 6 to 18 heads. She has implemented a Real-Time Automation solution to support the growth in her department and also to support the operations team leaders and agents, including home-working agents.

The company’s home-working strategy has grown their number of homeworkers by 58% to 322 agents from Scotland right down to the South East of England.  The objective is increase this further.  The homeworker strategy helps recruit the best quality applicants, gives staff flexibility which in turn has encouraged a committed and engaged workforce.  But important to the successful management of the homeworkers, Jet2 needed technology to support the dispersed workforce, allow team leaders to connect and engage and give the agents a sense of belonging to the organisation.

The Operations team at Jet2 drove the candidate interviewing and on-boarding using new technology and tools to support learning and sales techniques, but Louise also had an important role to provide the planning and scheduling of all the workers to ensure the customers received the VIP service.

Louise selected a real-time automation solution (from QStory) that enabled the business and home-working team leaders a reassuring level of visibility and insight into what their teams are doing (which up to the point of implementing this solution was a blind spot for the organisation). It also gave staff (not just the homeworkers but all the operational staff) increased flexibility in their workday which the organisation hadn’t previously been able to offer.  Team Leaders’ roles were also transformed with touch of the button technology to book coaching and training to suit their schedules, their team members’ workload and still protecting the service level so customer’s still get Jet2’s VIP service.

Additionally the real-time automation solution gave Louise’s real-time team the tools to add value to the operation by spending their time actually analysing performance and recommending strategies for improvement instead of just being task administrators. The resultant visibility on performance goes from the individual KPIs’s for an agent, Team Leaders’ team performance, Departmental performance and operational performance.  Louise has transformed the whole operation’s approach to data reporting and management.

Key highlights and savings (in hours and £s) in summary:

    1. Employee engagement and flexibility has increased with over 23,000 break moves/matches, 1.400 shift moves in 5 months amounting to a saving of over £33,000 had this been done manually. Both these services were unavailable to staff, so the new flexibility greatly supports employee wellness and gives them a greater work/life balance.
    2. Late attendance recorded has halved from before using the new real-time automation tool and after it was turned on.
    3. Adherence improvements of up to 21% in a 5 month period
    4. Automation of manual tasks such as absence coding, holiday approvals and reporting has transformed Louise’s team’s jobs and saving hours of time.

For more information on how QStory supported Louise and her team on this transformation journey contact us.

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