The challenge: Test conventional wisdom on the nature of work that can be handled offshore
Conventional wisdom says it’s safe to handle voice customer support offshore only when conversations are simple, with more complex interactions needing to be handled onshore.
Our client, a telecoms and media company, offers their customers media streaming and broadband services. Firstsource was already handling customer support for media-streaming offshore. While more complex broadband support – billing enquiries, home moves and technical support – was handled onshore.
The provider operates in a competitive market – finding cost savings while maintaining customer service standards is imperative for them. The question for everyone was: could more complex broadband customer support be handled effectively offshore?
The solution: A pilot to test offshore potential
This initiative began with a pilot of 12 associates based in Bengaluru, India, handling broadband billing enquiries for customers in the UK. Firstsource recruited associates who demonstrated:
- Higher-quality conversational skills: better English, better accent, more articulate
- Better aptitude: able to think on their feet
- Prior experience in broadband
The pilot was subsequently expanded to include home-moves. These are more complex, and involve screening to find out whether broadband is available in the customer’s area. Then, there is the most demanding part – the installation conversation.. This requires associates to imagine what the customer’s new house looks like and engage in conversation to get the right information to book an engineer visit.
The results: Data shows more complex conversations can be handled offshore
The initial pilot of 12 associates matched the NPS performance of onshore teams within six weeks. As the program expanded to include home-moves, the offshore team matched onshore performance in just two weeks. Hiring associates with experience in broadband was critical as their speed to competence is much faster.
Based on this servicing success, the team was expanded from 12 to 40 FTEs over two years.
The team now outperforms the onshore team:
- +70 NPS on billing enquiries
- +80 NPS on home moves
- Higher scores on compliance and quality, which sometimes reach 100%