After Selecting iQor Over Several Gartner CS Magic Quadrant Leaders, U.S. Utility Nearshores Customer Service to Trinidad With Integrated Digital Services That Lower Costs and Maintain High Efficiency and Quality Scores
- Customer Care (Inbound Voice)
IndustryEnergy & Utilities
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
In this case study you will discover the benefits of iQor’s strategic solution expertise that, in collaboration with the client, employs a proven framework for the transition of omnichannel support to ensure long-term success.
The strategy first looks at the opportunity to optimize automation and human support. Once identified, the solution prioritizes and allocates resources effectively. New program implementation (NPI) team members—experts in cloud-based omnichannel solutions, automation, process, proficiency, and security—script a plan to ensure resources are used in the most efficient manner possible. The digital-first mindset promotes better decision-making, optimizes resource allocation, and aligns with the client’s overall goals and objectives. In this solution, the goal was to increase competitiveness, improve customer satisfaction, and increase our client’s profitability.
A U.S. utility with a strong commitment to customer satisfaction divides its inbound customer service operation evenly between their in-house team and iQor, their first and only business process outsourcing (BPO) partner.
The utility selected iQor after conducting a rigorous evaluation and due diligence process that included several BPOs recognized as Leaders in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Customer Service.
Initially, all of the client’s in-house and iQor customer service agents worked in the United States. When salaries and attrition in the U.S. rose substantially during the pandemic, the utility faced significant cost increases across the board.
Our client views iQor as a strategic partner. As such, they asked us to offer recommendations to reduce the cost of service delivery. We reviewed various strategic options, including automation, offshoring, and nearshoring. The utility preferred to maintain their contact center as a domestic operation. After discussing the benefits of transferring business processes to a nearby country, and looking at ways to automate service, they agreed to consider nearshoring part of their contact center operations to Trinidad.
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a single nation comprised of two Caribbean islands. Trinidad is an increasingly popular nearshoring location for BPOs and their U.S. clients for very good reasons.
- English is the official language.
- Skilled bilingual agents are available to support both English and Spanish speakers.
- The workforce is digitally savvy.
- The government provides free elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education. The educated workforce has the requisite technical and communication skills and infrastructure to support BPOs like iQor.
- Trinidad is below the hurricane belt, a strategic advantage over other Caribbean islands that are at a higher risk of severe storms.
- An agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, InvesTT, provides guidance to companies considering expansion into Trinidad that plan to employ a sizable number of Trinidadian workers.
iQor employs more than 2,000 FTEs in Trinidad during peak seasonal support.
Strategic Plan to Successful Nearshoring in Trinidad
iQor managers developed and presented a strategic plan for the gradual transition of part of our client’s contact center to Trinidad. The plan spelled out how the utility would save millions of dollars each year while continuing to provide their customers exceptional customer experiences. The utility signed off on the plan and iQor began to execute it.
Our client’s commitment to providing excellent customer service was the guiding principle throughout the methodical transition process.
iQor invested in training and automation tools that were focused on establishing a competitive advantage:
- Five weeks of classroom training.
- Three weeks of nesting—a period when agents handle calls part of the day and receive training based on a recorded sampling of their customer interactions the rest of the day.
- Workflow automation that streamlined call center processes by automating manual tasks such as call logging, data entry, and status updates.
- iQor’s proprietary interaction analytics tool, VALDI, uses artificial intelligence to analyze call recordings and extract insights that can improve call center operations and customer service.
iQor is exploring options to introduce self-service portals that provide customers with a secure, convenient way to access information and resolve issues without the need to interact with a call center agent.
iQor tracked automation opportunities and maintained quality throughout the nearshoring transition process. Managers designed the digital-first roadmap with generous time intervals between one team’s nesting and the beginning of the next team’s training to make sure each team received as much training and coaching as they needed.
As the business transitioned, iQor invested in automation tools and talent, while aggressively looking for opportunities to minimize a 1:1 transition of resources to enhance our client’s profitability.
In One Year
$3 Million Savings
In the first year of operation, our client’s customer service delivery costs in Trinidad were $3 million less than they would have been in the U.S. through the application of automation and people.
Comparable Efficiency and Quality in the U.S. and Trinidad
In partnership with the client, these contact center measurements in the U.S. and Trinidad rapidly achieved parity and have set the stage for further expansion.
- VOC – Voice of the Customer
- AHT – Average Handle Time
- ATT – Average Talk Time
- ACW – After-Call Work
- Shrinkage – Agent Paid Non-Call Time
- ATS – Adherence to Script
The utility is so satisfied with the work of iQor’s Trinidad digital technology, agents, supervisors, and leadership team, they’ve expanded the scope of our partnership to include revenue recovery and back office support, with a similar focus on strategic solutioning.