This story is part of an ongoing series exploring how organizations are supporting remote work during the Covid-19 crisis. We hope these stories provide actionable tips and inspiration that organizations can use to make this transition a little bit smoother.
EmployBridge’s mission is to deliver a stronger workforce in areas like manufacturing, logistics, transportation, and more. Placing 400,000 associates annually to 12,000+ companies, EmployBridge’s success rests on the quality of conversations its coordinators have with candidates and their ability to remain productive.
We sat down with Dale Sturgill, VP of Call Center Operations for EmployBridge’s 300 U.S.-based agents, and asked him about best practices and strategies for maintaining business continuity with contact center AI despite the rapid shift.
EmployBridge’s success is built on the personal touch they deliver in every interaction. Dale described them as a “face-to-face company,” with that human-to-human interaction a cornerstone providing a great customer experience in interviewing and hiring.
Then came the rapid transition to a 100% remote call center. That meant moving what were once in-person interviews remote, a huge change for the business.
“As a company, it’s changed the way we do business. That personal touch that made us so successful, we’ve had to make changes. We needed to quickly strengthen our ability to do it all over the phone while maintaining that personal touch with applicants and customers.”
The success of that rapid transition relied on being able to quickly move their entire call center to work from home, then put the pieces in place to monitor and coach those agents efficiently and effectively. With the big changes also meant rethinking expectations, leadership methods, and reinventing company culture.
The backbone of their successful transition is built on speech analytics and the insight-driven quality management programs powered through it. Primarily handling outbound calls to pre-screen and, and with the shift, interviewing job candidates, EmployBridge focuses on ways to enable agents with key messaging and training to place the right people in the right jobs.
“We know that moving from a brick-and-mortar setting to an at-home setting, there’s going to be tons of changing components. Speech analytics gives us the ability to look and truly see how that transition has impacted our calls, supporting those applicants, and customers calling in.”
Dale walked us through three ways speech analytics supported their transition and maintained business continuity.
Armed with insights from speech analytics, how does EmployBridge rely on objective data and move the KPIs that are key to their business? It comes down to focusing on improving desired outcome, which in this case is their interview success rate.
“We’ve had to figure out new ways to implement processes to meet one of our most important KPIs. That KPI is people showing up to interviews.”
With that KPI set, EmployBridge can then dig into what was being said on every call. What are top performing agents saying on calls that lead to a high success rate of prospects showing up to interviews? What about those with a low rate? Having this KPI, EmployBridge can identify what training needs to be added, what messaging should change, and what issues need to be mitigated.
“That’s where the technology comes into play, going through thousands of interactions quickly. Are agents asking the right questions and finding the best people for the roles.”
Beyond what agents are saying, EmployBridge also cares about how their agents are having conversations. Looking at tonality-based sentiment analysis, Dale is able to see overall sentiment on every call each agent is handling, accounting not just for the words they use, but also their tone and volume. This is especially important for providing insights to better train agents on empathy.
“We want to make sure we’re passionate about the conversations we’re having. People are stressed out. We need to be the person that offers a way for them to eliminate some of that stress by offering them the opportunity to go to work. For example, are we using a good tone? If we’re passionate and emotional, they’re more open to attending that phone interview.”
For EmployBridge, understanding broad business trends are key to better enable agents in handling new queries and ensure operational efficiency at scale. With speech analytics, EmployBridge was able to quickly monitor new context around trends, uncovering critical information for building new processes and training programs.
“Our processes are changing day by day. Using Moments in Observe AI, we have measurements in place to ensure that from an analytics and system perspective, we can check those processes. And in turn, make sure we’re training and enriching agents, and looking at how we can do it better.”
Monitoring 100% of calls, EmployBridge can look at exactly what callers are saying, and how they are saying it. And with keyword search, they can look at all of the instances that any word was said across every call. That allows EmployBridge to put people’s minds at ease in some cases, and address situations in other cases.
“A couple of weeks ago we got a call from a regional partner. ‘COVID-19’ was being used in calls. But we were able to look at how it was used. By quickly getting transcripts and showing it was used, we could put minds at ease. The ability to be flexible and quick is key.”
“We have the ability to look at calls, make sure we’re saying the right things, and do it quickly. Our world is changing every day. We can do quality checks, pull moments, and ensure that regardless of process, quickly and easily look at thousands of interactions.”
With changing business trends come changing processes and messaging. EmployBridge leverages speech analytics not just to verify processes, but ensure that agents are saying the right things and feedback is driving change, on 100% of calls.
EmployBridge’s monitoring covers three major areas:
Getting into the weeds of 100% of calls is key to EmployBridge. Dale shared a specific instance of identifying a messaging gap and quickly mitigating it:
“One word can completely change an interaction. If we say to a prospect, ‘your interview is at 12:30pm,’ that’s very different from ‘your phone interview is at 12:30pm.’ We’ve had instances where we’ve had to go back and coach and make sure that we’re using phone interviews, so prospects don’t show up for a face-to-face interview.”
EmployBridge continues to place workers in new jobs and hasn’t let the transition to remote work impede that mission. Dale says they’ll continue to rely on their existing technologies to engage and coach their agents, and leadership will focus on compassionately motivating their teams to bring out the best in every agent.
“We have to find ways to motivate agents that are used to having people next to them and leadership in the same place as them. Not everyone’s built to work from home. It’s a skill set you have to get used to, even more so in the call center space. We love people. We love interacting and talking and the energy of it. Leaders, from a productivity standpoint, have to focus on motivating their staff.”
For more, read about how EmployBridge built an interactive, agent-driven quality program with Observe.AI. Also check out our Remote Call Center Bundle, with best practices and strategies from people like Dale on effectively and efficiently moving a call center remote while maintaining business continuity.
Joe Hanson leads content marketing at Observe.AI. Want to guest blog? Or maybe you have some expertise you want to share? Connect with him on LinkedIn.