In today’s highly competitive financial services sector, firms are under immense pressure from multiple sources. Customers demand ever-higher standards of service, shareholders want a reduction in operating costs plus growth and return on investment, while regulatory bodies call for strict compliance with rapidly evolving legislation and guidance. Meeting the demands of each set of stakeholders can seem an impossible conundrum, and it can be tempting to break down the challenge into component parts, then address each in turn. Yet taking a holistic approach can be far more effective. By tackling operational issues, enhancing productivity, improving efficiency and taking greater control over workflows, you can deliver step-change improvements across your entire organisation.
“Change brings opportunity.”
Identifying the key pressures that are driving operational change
- Reduce operating costs without impacting service delivery
- Generate additional operational capacity to facilitate business growth
- Gain tighter control over throughput
- Manage regulatory issues and TCF concerns
- Ensure management and front-line staff are fully engaged
By taking greater control of your operations, each of these objectives can be achieved. There are three key areas to investigate when identifying operational problems
As the number of customer engagement channels continues to expand, so monitoring and managing workflows through each becomes more complex. Often we see CC and BO are not under pressure at the same time due to flow of work. So workflow monitoring must break down activity into voice, post, email, web chat etc. If you don’t have a clear picture of workloads in each processing team, it’s impossible to maintain efficiency.
- Do you know how much work was received yesterday?
- How do volumes and type of work change day by day?
- Do you have defined times for each task and are tasks identified at the correct level of granularity?
- When were task times last measured, and how did they compare to targets, is best practice being shared ?
- What does a “fair days work for a fair days pay” really look like?
“The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance.”
2. Effective task allocation and distribution
The ability to co-ordinate workflows is a critical success factor in any operation, yet in many organisations this is a major source of inefficiency, with poor quality outcomes adversely affecting customer satisfaction.
- Do you know how workflows are coordinated within your operational areas?
- Are you confident this method allocates tasks to the appropriate resource?
- Do your people have the right skill-sets to deal with tasks efficiently?
3. Forecasting and planning
Whether you’re running a voice or back office operation, the ability to accurately forecast short and medium term volumes is of course critical to matching resource with customer demand. Get it wrong and customer response times rocket while satisfaction levels head the opposite way. And matching resource with requirements is of course a prerequisite for an efficient operation.
- How accurate are your existing forecasting models?
- Do you have the operational flexibility to respond to forecasts?
- Resource allocation isn’t simply about the number of staff – do you have the right skills in the right places?
Tackle these three areas and you’ll not only deliver enhanced operational efficiency, you’ll also achieve improved customer outcomes, more engaged staff and fewer compliance concerns.