Industry Report Home Agent Adoption 2010 Screen Version

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Industry Report Home Agent Adoption 2010 Screen Version

  1. 1. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 By Daniel Willis B.A. (Hons), C.I.M. Printer Friendly Version
  2. 2. Table of Contents Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version 26 Future Adoption Plans 25 Impediments to Implementing an At-Home Program 24 Adoption Rates of At-Home Agents 23 Impediments to Successful At-Home Programs 22 Agent Profile and Abilities 21 Flexibility in Workforce Management 20 Cost Saving Realized through At-Home Programs 19 Language Diversity through Recruiting Reach 18 Scalability of the At-Home Solution 17 Geographic Benefit for Recruiting Reach in an At-Home Environment 16 Success Rate for At-Home Adopters 15 Percentage of At-Home Launches 14 Sectors Surveyed 13 Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 8 Overview of Findings 6 Participant Profile 5 Process 3 Background 3 Executive Summary
  3. 3. Background In 2005, consulting firm IDC reported that there were 100,000 agents fielding calls in an At-Home environment and consultants at Gartner Inc. were predicting that by 2007 10% of all call centers would employ at least some home-based agents. In 2007, a national poll by inContact showed that almost 50% of call centers were in fact doing so, but ICMI reported in 2008 that the number was more likely 20%.    Cloud 10, a Transcom company founded a unique At-Home model in 1995 and while the company experienced initial success with early adopters, the real explosion in At-Home as a delivery channel didn’t really happen until 2007. Today, our experience shows that at least 50% of all of our clients that we support from one of our fixed facilities are now migrating some work to our at-home channel. Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  4. 4. Background Transcom’s survey initiative set out to discover “ What is the real state of the At-Home phenomenon?” We wanted to find out: Is the adoption rate as high as the experts are suggesting? Of those that have adopted, is the program a success and if so, what benefits have been realized to expectations? Of those that had adopted and the program was not successful what factors contributed to this failure? Of those that haven’t adopted what factors are stopping them? Of those who haven’t adopted, how many are planning on implementing within the next 12 months? Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  5. 5. Process Our on-line survey was sent to over 2000 companies in North America representing 5 key industry sectors in May of 2010. The survey was available on-line for 10 days for key executives of these 2000 organizations to submit their response. A survey option included respondent anonymity and was designed to gather data from organizations that were not necessarily Transcom clients thereby providing a more objective analysis of the true state of the At-Home phenomenon. The following report provides the detail of each of the key questions along with a commentary by the author. In some cases the data is provided as an overall metric regardless of vertical and in other cases where there were significant variance between verticals, the data is provided separately. Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  6. 6. Participant Profile – Survey Pool Size We contacted 2594 individuals in 2089 companies in order to obtain a relevant sample pool. Our focus for the survey is the North American Call Center industry and more specifically there were 5 business verticals that primarily interested us. <ul><li>They are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telecommunications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer Goods and Services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When all was said and done, we had a response rate of better than 10% with 213 unique company representatives participating in the survey. </li></ul>Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  7. 7. Participant Profile – Job Titles Responding to our survey were management as well as executive team members, the bulk of which (75%) were from the operations side and the remaining from Sales (2%), Training (4%) and IT (19%). Directors made up 43% of those polled followed by Executives (VP and above) at 29% and Managers at 28%. Known vs Anonymous Our method of reaching out to anonymous individuals for polling was by way of social media (LinkedIn et al), word of mouth, website notices and email forwards. Additionally, we reached out by personal invitations to the subscribers of our quarterly newsletter. In all, 74% of respondents came from our subscriber list and 26% were anonymous. Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  8. 8. Overview of Findings Overwhelmingly, our survey data supports that organizations are embracing at-home agents and are realizing benefits far beyond what they had originally planned for. Executive Summary <ul><li>Of those surveyed: </li></ul><ul><li>46% had adopted an at-home delivery channel </li></ul><ul><li>Of those adopters, an overwhelming 90% found the program successful </li></ul>Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  9. 9. Overview of Findings Overwhelmingly, our survey data supports that organizations are embracing at-home agents and are realizing benefits far beyond what they had originally planned for. Executive Summary <ul><li>Of those surveyed, success factors included: </li></ul><ul><li>95% cited value in expanding the geographic reach of their agent pool </li></ul><ul><li>95% realized the advantages of added capacity in their customer care delivery strategy </li></ul><ul><li>88% cited the advantages of adding language capability </li></ul><ul><li>86% realized the cost savings they had expected and </li></ul><ul><li>95% realized the advantage of adding flexibility into their customer care strategy </li></ul><ul><li>90% realized the benefits of enhancing the skill set of the agents </li></ul>Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  10. 10. Overview of Findings Of those who found the program unsuccessful: Management expertise, technology and executive sponsorship where the top 3 reasons for failure. Executive Summary Of those where not adopters to date: Overall, 31% are planning on implementing an at-home program within the next 12 months. Across the verticals polled for this survey, adopters and non adopters were fairly evenly split at 46% and 54% respectively. This is consistent with the findings of the 2007 inContact report. Important for this report is this split provided a statistically valid number of respondents for us to draw our conclusions from. Specifically with respect to the successes or benefits of the program as well as what were the impediments to success. Our industry report provides this data as an overall metric. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  11. 11. Overview of Findings At the granular level, there was one key variance worth mentioning: Specifically, the variance between the technology and telecom sectors as compared to the others in Financial Services, Retail and Consumer Goods and/or Services when asked about how the experience matched the results expected. Executive Summary Our data indicates that these two sectors’ experience greatly exceeded expectations more so than the other sectors. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  12. 12. Overview of Findings Our hypothesis is that these sectors are more experienced in outsourcing in general and therefore have a clearer set of data points from which to evaluate success factors in an at-home environment as compared to a fixed facility model. Executive Summary End of Executive Summary Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version
  13. 13. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Survey Results All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Printer Friendly Version
  14. 14. Fast Facts: Individuals Polled: 2594 Companies Polled: 2089 Participating Companies: 213 All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Sectors Surveyed Industry Report Data based on 2089 companies surveyed across the US and Canada. Data from companies outside of these geographies were eliminated from this survey report. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version Business Category 10% 28% 27% 16% 19% Financial Services Retail Technology Telecommunications Consumer Goods and Services
  15. 15. Fast Facts: Transcom North America and Asia currently provides acquisition, customer care and technical support services to each of these key verticals. We provide our services from locations in the US, Canada, the Philippines and across our At-Home network in North America. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Percentage of At-Home Adopters Industry Report <ul><li>Data shows that only 46% of the organizations surveyed have implemented an At-Home model to date and 54% have no experience at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Data further shows some variance in adoption rates by vertical. Here are the percentages of adoption rates by verticals: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retail - 44% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Services – 35% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology – 46% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Telecommunications – 63% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer Goods – 46% </li></ul></ul></ul>Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals 46% 54% Yes No
  16. 16. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Success Rate for At-Home Adopters Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom currently hires At-Home professionals in 32 states in the US and in all provinces in Canada. Currently, we have 1600 At-Home professionals working in North America and that number continues to grow daily. Overwhelmingly, 90% of our survey respondents have indicated that their At-Home delivery channel was a success. Interesting to note that there was no variance between verticals – all equally found the At-Home experience a great success. Our experience in deploying At-Home solutions for our clients supports this data. When benchmarking our At-Home Key Performance Indicators with that of our fixed facility centers, we find our At-Home performance to be equally successful. Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals 90% 10% Yes No
  17. 17. Results indicate significant value in using the At-Home delivery model to recruit outside of a traditional fixed facility radius - providing organizations the ability to support customers locally, enhancing the customer experience. Additionally, geographic flexibility assists in Disaster Recovery and Pandemic Planning. Lastly, geographic flexibility provides the ability to recruit agents with different skill sets, educational levels and experience for a greater variety of call types. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: While Transcom provides services in 73 facilities in EMEA, Asia, LATAM and North America, this survey is exclusive to the North American Market. Geographic Benefit in Recruiting Reach Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation All Verticals Geographic Benefits 5% 71% 24%
  18. 18. Balancing capacity, customer satisfaction and costs are an ever growing problem for contact center executives. At-Home delivery models enable organizations to scale operations without the need for a huge capital investment in new facilities. Additionally, as organizations are looking to become more ‘environmentally’ conscious, At-Home channels support a ‘green policy’ for both the organization as well as the employees. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom hired, trained and deployed over 3000 At-Home professionals for one of our telecom clients recently for a special seasonal project in 10 weeks. Being able to ramp up without the usual brick and mortar issues means shortened timelines - often as much as 90%. Scalability of the At-Home Solution Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals Added Capacity 5% 66% 29% Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation
  19. 19. Servicing customers in the language of their choice in a familiar dialect is important to customer satisfaction and customer retention. As the need for Spanish, French and Asian language support continues to increase, finding cost effective delivery options is paramount. Data supports that a virtual At-Home hiring model enable organizations to have unlimited access to required languages and dialects deployed quickly and rapidly. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom implemented a Canadian At-Home solution for a company using multiple vendors to support their bilingual French requirements. This client of ours was able to both reduce the number of vendors needed and double the number of bilingual agent pool within weeks of deployment. Language Diversity in Recruiting Reach Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation All Verticals 12% 16% 72%
  20. 20. 86% of all At-Home adopters realized the cost savings they were expecting and in 14% of cases – more so. The need to lower costs is often combined with a desire to repatriate off-shore work domestically and At-Home delivery models make the grade. In addition, data suggests an 8 – 10% increase in first call resolution versus off-shore and a significant decrease in agent attrition. All this adds to the financial business case for an At-Home delivery model. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Depending on the scale of your operational needs, Transcom Home Agents can cost 20% to 25% less than their bricks and mortar counterparts. Cost Savings Realized through At-Home Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals Cost Savings 14% 72% 14% Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation
  21. 21. <ul><li>Flexibility is not only about scaling up and down quickly and cost effectively, it’s about managing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased compliance requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volatile call volumes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing call patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing call complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our survey data suggests that an overwhelming 95% accomplished increased flexibility when adopting an At-Home delivery channel. </li></ul>All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: While Transcom’s At-Home program offers significant flexibility, all our At-Home professionals are Transcom employees who are assigned fixed schedules to optimize performance and ensure employee engagement. Flexibility in Workforce Management Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals Added Flexibility 5% 62% 33% Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation
  22. 22. <ul><li>90% of respondents told us that the agent skill set in an At-Home delivery model either met or exceeded expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>The demographics of Transcom’s At-Home agents support this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average age is 10 years older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>81% have some college or higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average years in the workplace is 12.6 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>85% of inbound care agents have 5+ years of experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60% of inbound or outbound sales agents have 2+ years of experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18% of tech support agents have 2+ years of experience </li></ul></ul>All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: If you have a highly complex call process, or are in a regulated industry, you may have to cast a wide net to get the right agent for your requirements. At-Home professionals are more mature, better educated and more experienced than their fixed facility counterparts. Agent Profile and Abilities Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version 10% 77% 13% Agent Skill Set Below Expectation Meets Expectation Above Expectation
  23. 23. Recall that only 10% of those surveyed indicated their At-Home program was not successful. Managing a virtual workforce is very different than in a fixed facility environment – everything from training, coaching, and the actual management of the agents must be completely redesigned to ensure success. While technology today facilitates access for the remote agents, the security around this access is an essential component to eliminate risk. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom’s At-Home technology platform is not only PCI compliant but recently won the award for excellence in the Info Security Product Guide  for Best Deployment Scenario for Desktop Virtualization Solution and was a finalist for ComputerWorld/Storage Networking World (SNIA)- in Storage Virtualization and Cloud Computing. Impediments to successful At-Home Programs Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version Infrastructure/Process Technology Performance Attrition Quality Results Management Expertise Executive Sponsorship All Verticals 20 40 60 80 100
  24. 24. While the survey shows that 46% of all respondents implemented a program and of those, 90% found the program to be overwhelmingly successful, what is odd is the low percentages of At-Home agents versus more traditional fixed facility agents. We will be exploring more about this trend in our next survey however data suggests that, as the adoption rate continues to increase, the number of At-Home will actually exceed fixed facility agents over the coming years. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom’s At-Home program was founded in 1995 by executives in the contact center industry who deconstructed the fixed facility delivery model and reconstructed it to adapt to the unique needs of the At-Home professional. Adoption Rates of At-Home Programs Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Under 50 51 - 100 101 - 200 201 - 500 501 - 1000 Over 1000 Yes No
  25. 25. The reasons why 54% of organizations polled did not deploy an At-Home model are plentiful. Budget issues appeared in the top 5 reasons yet our survey showed that the cost savings was a primary reason for deployment in the first place. Additionally, call complexity also ranked in the top 5 reasons yet our data shows the At-Home professional to be more mature and experienced than a fixed facility agent. Lastly, lack of internal sponsorship and expertise are preventing organizations from implementing At-Home programs, which in and of itself does not preclude outsourcing. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom can help your organization achieve all of the benefits of an At-Home delivery model. Call us today to speak to one of our sales specialists. Impediments to Launching At-Home Programs Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version Budget Constraint Security Issues Call Complexity Infrastructure/Process Technology Issues Performance Management Attrition issues Quality Issues Lack of Expertise Leadership/Sponsorship 20 40 60 80 100 All Verticals
  26. 26. The most surprising result of the survey is that of the organizations that haven’t implemented a program to date, only 31% are planning on doing so and even fewer in the next 12 months. Implementation by vertical did vary: Retail – 38% will implement as will 31% for Financial Services 18% for Technology 50% for Telecom and 33% for Consumer Goods All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved Industry Report Fast Facts: Transcom currently has 60% of all At-Home professionals supporting inbound customer care programs. The balance support Tier 1 and 2 technical support initiatives. We are now seeing growth expanding to outbound acquisition and first party collection programs. Future Adoption Plans Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version All Verticals 31% 69% Yes No
  27. 27. All Data Copyright 2010 Cloud 10 a Transcom Company – All Rights Reserved For more information or to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, Please contact: Daniel G. Willis Corporate Marketing and Sales Transcom North America / Asia 80 King Street, Suite 300 St. Catharines, ON L2R 7G1 Canada t.905.323.3939 extension 35074 t.877.637.2615 toll free f.905.641.1456 [email_address] www.transcom.com/northamerica Indusrty Report Industry Report: Home Agent Adoption in the North American Contact Center 2010 Printer Friendly Version

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