Public Pention Plan Partners with Eventus Contact Center Consultin Experts to Improve Operational Efficiencies
DENVER CO – Contact Center executives strive to balance two competing objectives: providing excellent service and reducing operating costs. In an environment where operational efficiencies are key to providing cost effective service, the executives running a contact center for one of the nation’s largest public pension plans had a significant challenge improving operational performance to more efficiently service current workers and future retirees with an outdated organizational structure, cumbersome processes, and inefficient technology. To help them, they hired the contact center consulting experts from Eventus Solutions Group to shore up their contact center to improve organizational alignment, operations, and member service.
After years of not setting aside enough money, State pension funds are looking at a $1 trillion shortfall in what they owe workers in benefits, according to an analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. State retirement systems were able to increase investment returns in fiscal 2014, but the gap is expected to top $1 trillion in fiscal 2015, the last fiscal year with full results. According to CNBC and the Pew Charitable Trust, only a small percentage of public pension plans have set aside enough money to fund employee benefits fully.
While many states have both reduced benefits for newly hired workers and/or not increased plans for current workers, they cannot reduce benefits those workers have already earned. As a result, they have to find ways to decrease their respective shortfalls by reducing programs, utilizing legislation to increase taxes, or reducing ongoing costs through improved operations, all which can be challenging exercises for a government agency.
To help this agency optimize their contact center to lower costs and increase operational performance, Eventus assembled a project team comprised of contact center operations, organizational design, technology, and agent productivity and process experts to review business goals, governance, operational performance, and technology areas. The team quickly created a preliminary project plan and timeline to meet all the objectives and requested and reviewed volumes of client organizational and operational data.
Eventus placed their consulting team at the site so they could work side-by-side with state personnel as teams completed daily operations activities to better understand the organizational dynamics, use of technology, and day-to-day management practices. The Eventus team completed focus groups with key personnel and workshops with critical business functions to better understand how and why work was being completed. The result was the discovery of critical findings and a comprehensive understanding of the “Current State.”
Eventus determined the workers are generally happy, have a great sense of teamwork, and enjoy the work environment. However, a significant number of workers were doing some activities that, while important, were not directly contributing to the efficiency or service level increase of the organization.
Also, some processes were not efficiently designed, contributing to increased costs and reduced operational readiness. The Eventus team also discovered communication gaps primarily related to the current organizational design.
After the gaps had been identified, the Eventus team developed over 70 recommendations to improve the service environment, contact center infrastructure, and performance outcomes. Also, Eventus identified five targeted projects specifically focused on improving governance, staffing processes, work project prioritization, workforce management, and agent key performance indicators & performance management. Based on the assessment’s financial analysis, the projected projects were anticipated to generate over $1.1m in costs savings over a 3-year period. These cost savings would contribute directly to the bottom line.
“With state agencies continually trying to balance costs while improving customer experience, Eventus’s approach enables companies to efficiently and effectively achieve significant improvements quickly without sacrificing critical internal resources,” said Craig Tobin, Eventus Solutions Group Managing Director.
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.