Centricity, a new home warranty provider and leader in insurance services partnered with Sharpen in 2018 to replace their legacy Avaya phone system. The company came to Sharpen looking for a flexible cloud environment that could scale with them and reshape the way they work.
Centricity needed an omnichannel platform to help them communicate with customers through voice and email. They needed an integration to their Core and CRM, and they wanted better reporting to measure and improve more pieces of their contact center. And, with the intention to one day explore remote work or a hybrid model, Centricity needed a flexible platform that could support both their current and future needs.
Aaron Feinberg, VP of Operations for Centricity sat down with us to talk about how he transitioned his contact center staff to work from home. Turns out, productivity improved and agents were happier in their roles after making the change.
When Centricity signed on with Sharpen, they knew they needed accurate and improved reporting. And then when they had to swiftly move employees home and keep them productive, strong reporting became even more imperative.
Metrics became the main line of vision into a contact center where leaders could no longer see what agents were doing with a glance across the room. Centricity used data to improve agent performance and keep their remote teams engaged, too.
Centricity leaned into their data when they moved to a work-from-home model in 2020. VP of Customer Care Aaron Feinberg said while contact center leaders always used the data available to them, they didn’t analyze it or surface it to their team daily like they did with a remote team.
Here’s how Centricity used the power of their data to achieve higher contact resolutions, better customer satisfaction, and lower handle times:
Metrics like Service Level and First Contact Resolution are difficult for agents to influence. While they can adjust how fast they answer the phone or how well they help customers, they can’t change how many of their peers call in sick or how many times a customer reached out for help prior to interacting with them.
Centricity worked with Sharpen’s data science team to choose three, agent-controllable metrics to improve, starting with Active Contact Resolution (ACR). ACR measures the percentage of your agent’s interactions that don’t require a customer to call back within a given time frame, like 1, 3 or 7 days. Adopting this metric, Centricity scored agents on their percentage of successful interactions rather than on the customer’s interaction history with their entire call center.
Aaron said contact centers should still pay attention to other measures of success, like interaction quality and customer satisfaction. But, it’s important to separate these data points from your agent metrics. Your agents might do everything right and still have angry customers.
But when agents know they’re in control of their metrics, they work harder to improve them. Plus, it helps them understand their impact on the customer experience (which boosts employee engagement, too). Centricity’s story proves it.
Before implementing Sharpen Performance Tiles, Aaron’s team used features like pause codes and service-level reports to keep tabs on team performance. When agents started working remotely, contact center leaders pulled these metrics in real-time, surfaced them to their team, and talked about them on a daily basis.
And once Centricity turned on Performance Tiles, they gave agents even more visibility into their metrics. Performance Tiles sit front-and-center in every agent’s desktop and they update in real-time. So after every interaction, Centricity’s agents see how they’re reaching team and individual goals (or falling short). Agents have the data they need to proactively address performance.
Choosing and surfacing the right metrics is only step one. The real power of data is in how you use it. On top of using Sharpen’s real-time reports and Performance Tiles, Centricity ramped up coaching efforts to put their data to work. They held daily team huddles, had chat rooms for on-the-fly questions, and hopped on video calls to keep in touch with their team.
The team’s contact center leaders make sure the numbers don’t start and stop on a dashboard. Supervisors and managers review data with their agents daily. If the data looks great, they recognize the agent’s effort and praise their good work. And when they’re not hitting goals, supervisors have a conversation and work with their agents to resolve any issues.
Beyond coaching with data, Aaron’s philosophy is to coach on behaviors. Contact center leaders review interactions and look at certain agent behaviors that could have triggered a poor CSAT score or a customer callback. Supervisors and managers address these behaviors with their agents, and they give them specific and actionable feedback to change that behavior for the next interaction.
With agent performance steadily on the rise, Centricity’s leaders spend less time worrying about daily metrics and have more time to innovate.
To reach the next milestone in customer experience, they’re laser-focused on customer effort. They’re trying to understand how much effort their customers exert to solve a problem. And, they’re nailing down the tools they can use to better understand, then improve that level of effort.
One initiative they’ve put in place is building a team that’s focused on proactive customer service. A group of agents and supervisors monitor interactions for signs that a customer is having issues. If a customer calls back 4 times in a week, an agent will reach out proactively to see if they can help solve the problem.
Agents in this group also have a pin number they can hand out to customers. Customers can call back for help on the same problem (within a 30-day window) and they’ll reach the same agent – the one who already has context to help them solve the problem for good. The proactive service team has two core goals: reduce interaction volume and improve customer satisfaction. With CSAT scores already up 15%, we know the outcomes will only get better.
Aaron Feinberg, VP of Operations,