Case Study: Contact Centre Performance Turnaround

Rapid performance improvement for a contact centre in just eight weeks, with abandon rate dropping from 79% to 6% and operational effectiveness increasing by >30%.

1. Client Benefits

  • Following an intensive eight-week improvement project, a range of performance and service measures within a poorly-performing contact centre were significantly improved.
  • Abandon rate reduced from 79% to 6%.
  • Average call duration reduced by 34%.
  • Call structures developed against which advisors were trained and coached in order to unlock a better customer experience and productivity improvements.
  • Contact centre advisors were able to handle a much larger number of calls.

2. Introduction to Project

  • A contact centre, delivering customer service for a leading UK telco, was perceived to be severely underperforming. Four call attempts out of five resulted in the customer abandoning.
  • The resulting customer engagement and experience was poor and threatened both revenue growth and profitability.
  • Two Atlantic Insight partners were responsible for project management and providing planning & modelling support to an initial three-week study.
  • Study established that supervisors gave minimal coaching support to their team members.
  • Sickness absence was extremely high.
  • Average Handling Time had little focus, and was significantly above its target.
  • Supervisors and advisors observed spending much time performing administration, which brought minimal benefit.
  • The existing KPI definitions were not useful in driving good performance.
  • Many flaws were identified in the forecasting and planning processes, including inaccuracies in the reporting of the actual number of heads/FTEs employed.

3. Solution

Following the study, over 100 quick-win improvement actions, both large and small, were identified and placed into a project plan for an eight-week improvement project. The most significant were as follows:

  • Planning – introduced basic resource planning processes to establish a reliable comparison between required staff and actual staff.
  • Call routing – changes were made to ensure workload was delivered to the correct destination.
  • Reporting – Daily and weekly agent reporting was simplified to four key measures, which helped supervisors determine urgent coaching needs. Automation improved timeliness and focus of reports.
  • Process & Quality – The quality elements of each call type were identified and documented, so that supervisors had a best-practice structure for observation and coaching.
  • Supervision – administration performed by supervisors was significantly reduced, and active management principles were performed by supervisors.
  • Coaching – Super Users were deployed, and made available to assist advisors and help reduce call handling time.
  • Sickness - a robust return-to-work process was introduced, backed up with an incentive scheme, which reduced sickness significantly.
  • Training - the training needs of advisors, supervisors and super users were established, and a training plan was devised and started.

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