For a leading Nigerian Financial Institution, the contact center is a vital part of its customer-focused operations. The inbound side takes around One hundred and fifty thousand calls a month, while the outbound team makes over 30,000 calls per month. The outbound calls are a combination of sales activity and customer support follow-up calls. To sell successfully, reaching a targeted number of customers at a time convenient to communicate effectively is the best way to close the sale.
The Company has been using the On-Premise Avaya (contact center) since 2012. While that delivered reliability and a range of features, particularly for the inbound operation, the companies felt they needed to outsource the infrastructure while giving their distributed contact center operators the ability to have equal access to inbound calls and customer information from a managed service partner. This facilitated their move away from On-Premise to IP-based cloud telephony for internal and outbound calls
“We were working in a single location and at the mercy of a single point of failure. Our Sales Agents were not able to respond effectively to local needs, while our customer data was disconnected from our customer service agents.”
– VP Business Development
The way forward was clear. In addition to improved performance and processes, they needed more information, insight, and process automation.
Our goal was that regardless of location, call quality would have no impact on customers and most of them have absolutely no idea that the person they are speaking with could be sitting in one of 4 offices distributed across the country.
Dialing up Revenue Figures Having the newly implemented Dynamics 365 CRM into the organisation it was imperative to integrate D365 CRM with the IPOCC call centre to enhance the customer 360-degree experience inbound and outbound.
While the Company’s existing approach was generating respectable sales figures, the sales team increased engagements by 15% month on month after the integration of D365 CRM. Staffing numbers stayed the same, but performance was significantly increased.
While the Company’s existing approach was generating respectable sales figures, the disconnection between sales and customer service was glaringly obvious. Customers were told to repeat, several times, biodata that existed with the sales teams, while sales account managers were unaware of the series of issues experienced by their customer accounts.
The Company identified that a targeted 60% improvement in contact rates would lead to a proportionate increase in revenues – however, contact had to ensure 360-degree visibility. Staffing numbers would stay the same, but performance would significantly increase.
With the fully integrated IPOCC and Dynamics 365 CRM the Company doubled its right party contacts. Agents are now on calls more than 4 hours a day and are more productive during this time. They also have greater insight into their performance. That’s having the desired effect in terms of sales productivity targets and customer service KPI measures.
Avaya IPOCC was one of the solutions that was considered, others had similar capabilities. However, aside from the benefit of integration with the Company’s CRM platform, what stood out for him was “the quality of the people we were working with.” – Head of Customer Service “In initial discussions, it was quickly apparent that the Company will require an Avaya business partner assistance. “They went straight to Avaya for support, and that proved an excellent decision. Avaya appointed a Netcom as the dedicated project manager and gave the partner all the technical advice they needed.”
The solution involved deploying Avaya IPOCC both in the Netcom cloud and its separate disaster recovery site, as well as integrating it with several key IT systems used by agents. Interfaces were customized and a phased transition was devised.
“With the IPOCC from Avaya, we’ve almost doubled our customer engagement rates over the past 3 months. Agents are now on calls more than 4 hours a day and are more productive during this time. We also have far more insight into their performance. That’s having the desired effect in terms of sales and support productivity targets and aligning that to SLAs and KPIs.” – Head of Customer Service
Working with Netcom Africa on previous projects has benefited the Company’s sales and customer service team. Internet connectivity was extended via MPLS to branch HQs and the network topology for the organization was modified across its branch network in Nigeria. As a result, the Netcom team already had a tangible understanding of the digital GAPs and their scope.
At the heart of the solution were Dynamics 365 workflows and a customer data model, hosted in Azure on a SQL 2019 database, which combines CRM, Contact Centre, and Power BI-powered dashboard and analytics.
Netcom is developing more strategies around Avaya customer engagement solutions and CRM integrations to extend operations and make greater use of cloud-based IP unified communications. Having invested in a cloud IP-based IP contact infrastructure, Netcom is able to offer distributed contact centers across Nigeria, through a number of interconnections with local telephony operators.
“We’re connecting to more customers, increasing contact center staff productivity, now, we’re looking to take on new mandates and set ourselves up for more diverse propositions.”
– Head Business Development
Netcom Africa is the sole Avaya Cloud infrastructure partner in Nigeria, with over 17 years’ experience in offering data center services in Nigeria, its innovative team has a track record of success, in designing and building IP-based unified connectivity solutions for all kinds of business environments.
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, but serving customers internationally, Netcom Africa is recognized as a leading Avaya cloud solution provider and is committed to helping clients realize better-connected experiences.
Netcom Africa accelerates project implementation for client solutions by drawing on a portfolio of repeatable patterns, APIs, configuration templates, and workflow processes when implementing Avaya IPOCC solutions.
We changed KPIs to focus on conversion, as leads were pool-based instead of individually assigned.
Managers have gained from the solution, as they have far more information about both overall team and individual agent performance.
“We have so much more insight, and control. We understand performance. We can prioritize leads; schedule calls based on customer insight data and capture incorrect numbers. We are also able to identify agents who have the will to perform, but maybe not the skills, and train them proactively to improve their success rate.”
Crucially, the Company has seen increases in agent productivity, and call volumes have not come at the expense of customer service. “Our goal was that IP telephony and a distributed customer center would have no impact on customers. We didn’t want to be connecting through to customers, without being able to engage them holistically” – Head of Customer Service. “That’s working seamlessly. The vast majority of customers have absolutely no idea we are answering their calls from 4 locations spread across the country.”
Other improvements to the Company’s contact center have had a positive impact as well, particularly on the inbound side. “Agent has become an integral part of customer conversations,” Head of Sales. “We use it to track the information customers enter in the IVR [Interactive Voice Response] system, so when they connect to an agent, we already have a good idea of what the inquiry is about.” This seamless transfer of customer context from IVR to agents has a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Customers do not have to repeat the same information and the agent can start addressing their needs more efficiently.
The Company is also utilizing the Avaya IPOCC Portal to improve its telephone self-service options, allowing customers to confirm recent transactions and top-up loans without speaking to an agent. Again, this has led to more rapid fulfillment of transaction-based inquiries. Future engagements with Netcom include WhatsApp integration into our IPOCC platform.
Netcom’s work has been very well-received since the project Go-Live. Feedback from the Contact Centre and Sales stakeholders on data visibility – has been very positive.