City of Vancouver’s Information Services creates work/life balance with Calabrio Workforce Management
Resulting in improved agent satisfaction and greater consistency in customer service quality
Rooted in the value of strong community, in 2009 the City of Vancouver established its 3-1-1 line as an easily accessible point-of-contact for the people who call the city home. Residents call the three digit number to request information, non-emergency services, share concerns and give feedback. Citizen Service Representatives provide high-quality service to callers in up to 175 different languages, 365 days per year.
The city anticipated that call volume would continue to grow as the population increased and more citizens learned about 3-1-1. The city was also looking at establishing a work from home program for contact center agents.
The City of Vancouver’s biggest challenge came from its greatest attribute—providing employees with work/life balance while managing the call volume growth rate. The City of Vancouver needed a flexible solution that could not only handle an increased call volume with a high level of service, but could also inspire employees to work more efficiently. “By being efficient, we can help keep tax rates low while still providing great service to the citizens of Vancouver,” said Marc Dubé, Team Manager (Workforce).
The City of Vancouver turned to Calabrio Workforce Management in 2009 to plan for the future. With the ability to accurately schedule the right resources at the right time to answer the forecasted call volume, management is able to effectively balance employee satisfaction while providing exceptional service for their growing caller base. The Calabrio Workforce Management solution enables the City of Vancouver to provide more consistent service. Each employee is trained to be a generalist so that every caller receives the same level of service. “We are very much moving towards a McDonald’s model, where Big Mac tastes the same no matter which city you order it in,” Dubé said.
By September 2011, the call center had grown from 12 agents taking 165,000 calls the first year to over 80 agents handling 820,000 calls per year. By using Calabrio Workforce Management to accurately predict call volume and schedule employees, the City of Vancouver has seen improved quality-of-life for its employees while successfully accommodating outstanding growth. This approach brought great results, including a 0% agent turnover rate over a period of 16 months from June 2011 to September 2012. “We really try to fit work schedules into people’s lives instead of fitting people’s lives into the call center schedule,” said Dubé. “This approach lends itself more towards longevity of people staying with the company than pizza days and social events.”
Additionally, management uses the metrics provided by Calabrio Workforce Management to coach employees on adherence and time management. With the data in black and white, they are able to praise those who are exceeding expectations and help those who need improvement. “When I started meeting with employees, I was initially surprised at how many thanked me for going over their metrics, because they wanted to make sure that everyone else is working as hard as they were,” Dubé said.
As a result, there was a 8% increase in adherence levels within one year. “In a call center, we measure time in seconds. If I can get 10 more minutes per day of productivity out of someone multiplied by all our agents, then I can save money by not hiring another employee,” Dubé said.
AT A GLANCE:
SEATS: 80 seats across 2 locations
VOLUME: 820,000 calls per year
PRODUCTS USED: Calabrio Workforce Management
To provide employees with work/life balance while managing the call volume growth rate.
With Calabrio WFM, the City of Vancouver has seen enhanced work-life balance, achieving 0% turnover over a period of 16 months from June 2011 to September 2012, while accommodating outstanding growth.
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