Boost the Quality and Performance of On-Premise and At-Home Agents with VPI EMPOWER software

Customer: Qualfon

Industry: Outsourced Teleservices

State: CO


Business Profile

Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, and serving its clients since 1997, Center Partners has handled more than 100 million customer interactions, outsourced by top brands to their contact centers. This extensive experience and consistent focus upon the collection and analysis of measureable customer interaction data is a testament to company’s commitment to providing the highest level of customer satisfaction. Center Partners is the first outsourcing service provider to achieve certification with J.D. Power and Associates in 2012 for providing an outstanding customer service experience. While deeply gratified by this prestigious recognition, Center Partners management sees this achievement simply as the byproduct of a well-run organization that understands the value in treating every customer as the most important customer they have.


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Center Partners contact centers handle a variety of interaction types, including Inbound Consultative Sales, Customer Service, Technical Support, Fraud Prevention, Customer Loyalty, Outbound Campaigns, Order Entry/Fulfillment, IT Helpdesk and more, via a combination of on-premise and at-home contact center agents. Currently, the company serves the needs of ten different clients, including some of the most prestigious US corporations.

At one time, the requirements and service level agreements of the various clients were quite comparable. Consequently, Center Partners’ processes were more or less standardized for serving all clients’ needs. Today, given the hyper-competitive nature of many of their clients’ businesses and the need for a strong focus on genuine representation of each brand, requirements differ from one client to another and often fluctuate within the needs of each brand. In order to meet the specific needs of each client and provide the best contact center services possible, Center Partners must be internally flexible and have the right technologies in place to enable them to adapt quickly and easily to any requirement or situation.


The pursuit of internal agility ultimately led Center Partners to the award winning VPI EMPOWER Suite, which was implemented to record, monitor, evaluate, coach, and optimize agent interactions even as standards and goals for their quality and performance fluctuate. “The ability to deliver a rich feature set that makes real-time visibility into our contact center operations possible was one of the main reasons we went with VPI, as was its ability to adapt to our varying needs and conditions,” said Tracy Flanigan, quality coordinator and project manager at Center Partners. Flanigan managed the implementation process of VPI EMPOWER at Center Partners.

Since its clients set the standards for performance and Quality Assurance (QA) monitoring, Center Partners must adopt and implement these standards for internal monitoring of their different contact center groups.

Each group is lead by an account director who is responsible for meeting the performance targets of the brand they represent via continuous performance monitoring and fast remedial actions. Internal monitoring is supplemented by external monitoring by clients themselves. Center Partners gave their clients direct remote access to the VPI interface for pulling and playing back the calls – their access rights are limited to the calls of their brands only, for their own QA and feedback purposes. Their findings and recommendations then impact the ever-evolving Center Partners’ processes and QA standards, as they should in a relationship that is based upon true partnership.



Significant Benefits

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New Quality Assurance Processes Designed for Improvement

One of the clients – a major brand name in the cosmetics, skin care, and body care industry - is by far the most sophisticated in terms of requirements and software tools in use by the Center Partners’ team. All VPI applications are engaged in serving this client. Other Center Partner divisions are in the process of gradual adoption of proven best practices of this top-performing team, such as the advanced use of the VPI QUALITY evaluation tool.

The frequency of evaluations of agent interactions is driven by the overall QA score achieved in the preceding month – lower score results in more frequent QA. This provides the appropriate assistance to the agent in need, so that he or she may achieve the performance standards that are in line with the team and client requirements.

More specifically:

  • 92% or higher monthly QA score merits four evaluations per month per agent in the following month
  • 85-91% QA score merits six evaluations per month per agent
  • 84% or lower QA score requires ten evaluations per month per agent, plus a remedial plan for the duration of one month, which also sets the deadline for measurably improved performance of the agent

A supervisor develops an ACTION PLAN for each low-scoring agent that includes additional evaluations beyond the required ten, but these evaluations do not count towards the monthly score. They identify knowledge gaps as a focus of customized coaching and/or training. Agents are also invited to perform self-evaluations on the same calls, for the calibration purposes. This is a great method for agents to firm up their understanding of requirements and ways to achieve the goals.

“I really like that VPI’s application provides to-do lists for QA analysts,” said Flanigan, describing another aspect of the QA automation inherent to VPI QUALITY. “That’s the coolest thing ever – they can just come to work in the morning and the calls are all lined up in each analyst’s interface and ready to be evaluated. Much better than having to waste time and hunt and peck for coachable calls!”

The tickers are dynamically changing their metric values based on real-time data feeds. They also provide for fast and easy access to more information via hyperlinks. For example, agents can click on their QA score to view their completed QA evaluation and playback the associated call.

Supervisors can click through the tickers to view reports. “The team loves the convenience that the real-time tickers deliver – they are among my most favorite VPI applications!” remarked Flanigan.

The Value of Real-time Tickers

Center Partners uses VPI’s tickers on a daily basis, for agents, supervisors, and managers to monitor real-time status of performance metrics. Specifically the following views are implemented – toggling between the views is as simple as clicking on different tabs:

Examples of Supervisor tickers with custom views on two tabs – Center Partners can customize their selection of metrics.

Examples of Agent tickers with custom views on three tabs – agent results are shown in comparison with the team.

  • ACD Metrics – service level, productivity, occupancy, queue, hold time. Agents monitor their individual metrics that are shown in comparison to the team or floor. Supervisors monitor the metrics for their team.
  • Managers have access to overall company data.
  • QA and Coaching Metrics – number of evaluations in queue and finalized, QA scores, assigned coaching.
  • Sales and Save Metrics – save rate, conversion rate, sales such as number of successful sales and dollar value of the completed sales compared to goals – by day, week, and month

The tickers are dynamically changing their metric values based on real-time data feeds. They also provide for fast and easy access to more information via hyperlinks. For example, agents can click on their QA score to view their completed QA evaluation and playback the associated call.

Supervisors can click through the tickers to view reports. The team loves the convenience that the tickers deliver! “Tickers are among my favorite VPI applications!” confirms Flanigan.

Ensuring PCI-DSS Compliance

Center Partners initially used tickers for agent-driven tagging of start/stop events within calls that marked the boundaries of sensitive, regulated information within calls. VPI recording system used these markers to identify the call section that is not to be recorded, so that only the remainder of the recording can be accessed for playback and QA evaluation. Center Partners evaluated the calls that entailed credit card payment processing much more frequently than other call types, to monitor the proper adherence to the process.

“When used properly, manual method of PCI event tagging works flawlessly for scrubbing the call recordings,” said Tracy Flanigan. “But there is also a room for human error, which we wanted to completely eliminate.” This propelled Center Partners to the second phase of PCI-compliant recording implementation – automated identification of the start and stop of sensitive data flow. With the use of VPI’s Fact Finder tools, the system now tags the credit card payment events (without collecting credit card data) based on automated triggers from order and payment processing application screens being accessed and used by agents during their calls. “This method is more reliable and that’s rather important to us, due to the liability inherent in our service to 3rd party clients,” explains Flanigan.

Insights from Consolidated Reports

Center Partners chose to incorporate data from other applications into VPI database for consolidated real-time and historical reporting. Managers now only have one place to look for performance data and agents are always on the same page as their supervisors. This helps with focusing everyone on what really matters.

Data is collected from:

Web-based New Order Application

VPI collects Customer ID, Order Number, Total Order Value, Order Type, Tracking Code, and monitor for sensitive PCI-DSS actions. Based on this data, the system calculates Conversion Rate metric (New Orders divided by Calls) and Average Order Size (Order Amount plus Shipping and Handling divided by the Number of New Orders.)

Web-based Quick Order Application

VPI collects Customer ID, Order Number, and monitors for sensitive PCI-DSS actions.

Web-based Order Management Application

VPI collects Customer ID, Order Number, Continuity ID, Program Name, Shipment Frequency, Customer Status, Reason Code for the change, and monitor for PCI actions. The system automatically monitors if the Program, Shipment Frequency and Status changes. Based on this data, the system calculates a Save Rate which is when an Order is Active and has a Reason Code starting with “Saved” divided by the number of Orders that were “Saved” or “Deactivated”.

Significant Results and Benefits

Center Partners has demonstrated a strong commitment to monitoring and continuously improving performance. The company has gone above and beyond in its quest to provide its clients with the ultimate in contact center services. As a trusted, experienced leader in servicing the needs of brand-name clients, Center Partners has proved itself to be a visionary in its forward-thinking, proactive approach to surpassing the complicated needs of today’s highly competitive businesses, while also managing increasingly tough legislative demands for compliance and liability.

VPI EMPOWER played a pivotal role in Center Partners’ business strategy. “VPI solutions integrate well into our environment to help us solve our complex, evolving needs,” Flanigan concludes. ”They give us consistency in managing quality and reduce the complexity of our reporting. We no longer have to go to different places for different reports, it’s now all in one place!”

As for the future, we plan on adopting more features of VPI EMPOWER suite of applications, and will be also expanding its use in other divisions, to help us continue to improve the way we run our business.”