Case Study

Amway Australasian Contact Centre

The project involved

·        Definition of the contact centre and associated requirements

·        Development and issuing of a Request for Proposal to over twenty vendors

·        The installation of new PBX hardware – an upgraded Nortel Meridian in Sydney and an Alcatel PCX 4400 in Auckland

·        Agent softphones

·        A private trans-Tasman network for voice and data.  Voice is compressed and carried over frame relay circuits.

·        Implementation of Robohelp for knowledge management

·        Design of revised, standardised processes and associated computer modifications

Amway was responsible for hiring and training over 50 new staff, for the communications strategy (both internal and external), for building design and fitout and for transitional arrangements.

The contact centre is open for 18 hours each weekday.  On a busy day, over 3000 calls are received, approximately half of which are orders.  Average call length is in excess of four minutes.  Orders can also be placed via Amway’s a2k websites and an IVR system.  Increasingly this is the preferred method for placing an order, meaning that customer service queries will form an increasing proportion of the contact centre’s workload.

Agents within the contact centre are multi-skilled and although they are encouraged to answer the caller’s query at first call, they are able to transfer the call to specialists within both Australia and New Zealand or to raise an electronic escalation.  Calls from Australia and New Zealand are separately identified and, based upon customer selection, prioritised as to reason for call.  Over time, specific skillsets will be improved to reduce call lengths in each of these queues.  The online knowledge management system, KIA (an acronym for Know It All), holds details of Amway’s 2,000 products, current promotions, frequently asked questions, urgent updates and breaking news and processes and procedures. In response to caller demand for greater levels of specialisation, skill-based routing was introduced seven months after intial live running.

The contact centre ran live on target, only four months after the project commenced and less than two months after the vendor selection was made.

Future plans include automated fax processing, a Contact Management System, screen pop, outbound campaign dialling and further process improvements, with a view to reducing average call length by over one minute.

The success of this project is thought to be the first time that a major New Zealand contact centre has been established to answer calls primarily from overseas.

© Binet Business Consulting and Amway of New Zealand 2002
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