Motor and household insurer finds a way to staff evening and weekend shifts without relying on in-house teams

Business challenge

Managing shifts, particularly finding people to work evenings and weekends, was a major challenge for the motor and household insurance company.

The operating hours for its contact center were 8.00 am to 8:15 pm during the week with shorter hours over the weekends. But the insurer’s main contact center workforce did not like working evenings or weekends, and many of them were on legacy contracts that did not require them to.

As a result, the insurer struggled to meet customer demand in the evenings and over the weekends, leading to high call waiting times and lost calls.

They tried to solve the problem using temp agencies but were unhappy with the quality of the people and the service the agencies provided. More importantly, the agencies were not willing to be accountable for the performance of the people they placed.

Firstsource solution

The insurer partnered with Firstsource to solve its persistent staffing problems.

Firstsource provides them with a fully flexible workforce that is specifically hired to work flexible and unpredictable shifts and guarantees operational performance with SLAs and service credits.

Here’s how it works. The client identifies the shifts where it needs more people – these tend to be the more unsociable hours, i.e. evenings and weekends – and provides two weeks’ notice to Firstsource to plug the gaps.

Firstsource then works on the hiring strategy, targeting people willing to work unpredictable shifts with regular evening and weekend work as per the client mandate – ensuring full transparency to everyone involved.

Employees receive two weeks’ notice of the days and times they are required to work so they are available for their schedule and typically work 35 hours a week (6 to 8 hour long shifts).

Business impact

The client is able to better match people to expected call volume patterns. The result: reduced call waiting times in the evenings and over the weekends, improved customer service, and superior customer retention and business growth.

  • The Firstsource team consistently outperforms the insurer’s main workforce on the majority of metrics. These include:
    • Actual time signed-on (ATS) which measures whether the associate is available when they should be
    • Productivity measures including average call-handling time and “not ready” time (when the associate focuses on admin work after completing a call and isn’t yet ready to take another call)
    • First call resolution – measured by whether the customer calls back on the same issue within 14 days
  • Often outperforms on “growth” measures such as sales conversion rates, renewal and retention rates, and policy add-ons such as breakdown insurance and legal cover
  • Matches the main workforce on call quality and NPS

With the  flexible workforce providing some benchmarking and informal competition, the client has also witnessed an uptick in the performance of their main workforce.

The client is delighted with Firstsource’s service capabilities, and over two years, the scope of the contract has grown from providing staffing for one operational area to supporting three others.

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