If you've ever been involved in a Call Centre operation then you’ll probably be familiar with the acronym ACD, or automatic call distribution. ACD software has revolutionised the front office, enabling operations to handle large volumes of inbound calls more effectively. The concept is simple yet extremely effective – distribute incoming calls to Contact Centre agents with the right skills and quality levels. The result is an enhanced customer experience, greater efficiency and higher productivity across the operation.
The back office is essential to service delivery, they interact with a high volume of customers and more often than not are the biggest cost base in an organisation. Even though the back office is of key importance in the customer journey the value back office delivers is often overlooked – cost base is typically high and satisfaction levels low and subsequently the back office get a lot of blame internally. But bizarrely this view is often deemed "as good as it gets".
The reality is that the back office can be radically changed and deliver real competitive advantage with the right investment.
ACD has driven impressive efficiencies and performance for some time in contact centres. At dhp we have developed a system called Nexus designed to bring similar benefits to the back office. Our software has been designed by former operations managers to deliver the support front line managers and staff in the back office environment need to provide solutions to the problems they face.
It's based on the familiar core concept of distributing the right work to the right people in a controlled, measurable and functional format. It automates many aspects for greater efficiency and productivity, delivering savings for the operation and an improved experience for the customer.
The challenge with back office is its complexity
Customers require more! There are multiple channels in the back office – paper, image, emails, SMS, telephone to name just a few. Processes and tasks range from simple admin to complex calculations, which all need to be completed by operations staff with a multitude of different skills and competencies. In many operations, this back office environment is unstructured and uncontrolled, resulting in inefficiency and low productivity levels.
Is your back office operation correctly structured?
Do you have a centralised system where all work is received, itemised, categorised, tasked and allocated to the right people with the right skills?
Is there clarity and understanding around the volume of received workload in man-hours, what’s outstanding and what’s been completed and where the priorities are?
Do you have proactive forecasting and visibility around work trends?
Are you empowered to determine how much resource is being utilised to manage current workload?
Is there transparency of capacity and load balancing at busy times and quiet times?
Do you have a documented philosophy and approach to quality control underpinned by measurement and unique attribute checklists for each task/process?
Do you have accreditation to best-practice for your management team to ensure a consistent approach?
Do you have defined and consistent measures for efficiency, productivity and quality in order to benchmark back office performance against industry standards?
Do you have heat maps to determine the task, people and process hot spots in your operation that are causing problems?
Improving efficiency and productivity in your back office with NEXUS
NEXUS enables your back office operation to collate all its work items from any number of channels, automatically compiling them into a centralised system. Tasks are then ordered by type, level of importance, and estimated completion time. NEXUS automatically assigns work based on priority, capacity and skills. NEXUS enables you to track all your processes and tasks from end to end, so you can drill down and identify issues in your back office to improve your internal operations and enhance customer service levels.
Improving performance in teams
Just as ACD has revolutionised call centres, NEXUS has revolutionised every operation it’s been implemented. The solution is tried and tested, and delivers return on investment beyond expectations. But it’s important not to be over reliant on technology. You need to get the balance right. Regardless of the software you’re running, your people remain your most valuable asset, and you need to ensure that they remain in control. This applies doubly to your managers, as they are the key drivers of performance in your teams.
NEXUS provides your managers with the data they need to drive performance and improve efficiency. It frees up managers’ time by automating work allocation, tracking and monitoring, and ensuring the right people with the right skills are doing the right work. This allows your managers to focus on their teams. So they have both the capacity and the real-time and predictive data to plan and forecast effectively. They have the time and the tools to motivate their teams and make positive change for continual improvement. NEXUS enables your managers to progress from working flat-out to maintain operations, to focus on improving efficiency and performance, with a tight focus on hitting targets and achieving company goals.