Business Process Outsource (BPO) Service — Travel Industry

Designing an empowering agent app for customer service transformation

Summary

How a revolutionary agent desktop experience increased employee and customer satisfaction and boosted the bottom line.

Our client, a travel Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company in the travel space, had recently grown their operation and were preparing for increasing demand as the travel industry began rapidly growing again.

 

They needed to onboard and train new hires resulting from both pandemic-related employee attrition and recent operational expansion. Chaotic airline industry disruptions, new government-mandated ticketing protocols, and their disparate internal systems further compounded the challenge.
 
Working collaboratively with our client’s global travel team over an eight-month period, we developed a new digital application that served as an agent cockpit, transforming the experience of the agent and enabling superior service to customers.

Services

“Practically everything about the travel agent’s job — from the complexity of the travel planning process to the expectations of the customer — has changed… except for the tools they use to do it.”

The evolution of a customer support center

Challenge

Reimagine and redesign the agent experience for a customer service transformation

Our client was feeling the effects of a one-two punch as they grappled with record-level turnover (and the loss of experience and historical knowledge that goes with it) while also managing rapid new employee hiring and onboarding. Additionally, they needed to be able to effectively scale to meet increasing demand in an increasingly complex servicing environment. However, our client’s model for agent onboarding, training, performance, and progression had not evolved to meet these new demands and was limiting their ability for rapid growth.

 

Additionally, the digital platforms agents used to service customers were composed of a multitude of disparate data inputs. Agents needed to refer to and shift across numerous sources of information when on a call with a customer, which increased cognitive load, decreased productivity, and ultimately led to a poor experience for both the agent and customer.

 

For this client, the notion that customer and employee experience are inextricably linked came into sharp focus and it became clear that the only way to better meet customer needs at scale would be to make it easier for agents to do their jobs. They needed to increase agent efficiency, but also develop an agent experience that would encourage and enable empowerment and increase job satisfaction.

Solution

Reduce friction, boost capability, and ensure scalability

We created a new digital application for agents that consolidated the 11+ disparate tools agents had previously been juggling into a single view, streamlined workflows, and introduced automation. This new application empowered agents leading to faster call handling, fewer errors, and a better experience for both agents and customers. And, the desktop platform architecture framework was designed to allow an immediate MVP rollout and will scale as new features are introduced.

 

To do this, we applied our design thinking methodology to iteratively develop a solution that would reduce friction, boost capability, and ensure scalability. Through service blueprinting and customer journey mapping, we performed an end-to-end assessment of their current state recording all critical moments throughout the agent experience. We engaged stakeholders across teams and departments to surface and identify concerns and bottlenecks, and through these conversations, we facilitated internal alignment on strategy and approach.

 

By leveraging a lean design thinking methodology meshed with an agile development process, we went from ideation to launch in eight months.

Outcomes

Increased efficiency, realized savings, and an optimized experience

An immediate 13% boost in efficiency was realized on the first day of launch. Agents spent less time shifting between systems as they were served the right information at the right time. This not only reduced system load but cognitive load as well, allowing the agent to more seamlessly navigate conversations and proactively assist customers. As the quality of the conversations increased, there was a corresponding decrease in the time it took to reach a resolution. Average handle time was reduced by 4.4 minutes, saving an estimated $2.8 million per year. And, within the first three months of using the new application, agent errors were reduced by 34%.


By empowering the agents with the information they needed at critical moments in the customer’s journey, the agents were able to immediately address a customer’s issues without having to ask the customer to provide details that had been provided previously in other interactions. This not only improved the customer experience but the agents’ as well. Within the first 30 days, agent job satisfaction increased 230%.

0 %
boost in efficiency
1 %
reduction in error rate
$ 1 M
annual cost savings
Tallwave staff members collaborate on crafting an efficient agent experience for our BPO client.
The process of reinventing the agent experience began by defining and mapping each moment of the client servicing workflow through an end-to-end assessment of the entire process. We accomplished this by immersing ourselves in the agent experience through extensive research, which included 10 days of collaborative workshops, 38 client stakeholder interviews, and over 30 hours of direct observation.
Crafting an efficient agent experience for our BPO client involved defining the customer journey and removing points of friction.
Through service blueprinting and customer journey mapping, we were able to accurately identify and address points of friction throughout both the customers’ and agents’ experiences. These insights guided strategy and informed product design.
Tallwave staff members collaborate on crafting an efficient agent experience for our BPO client.
Identifying all these opportunities helped this client turn chaos into clarity. Our deeply immersive and highly collaborative approach allowed us to facilitate internal alignment on strategy, execution, and goal.
An agent works on a modern dashboard that best services client needs.
In addition to a new desktop application for agents, our solution also included strategies for modernizing our client’s call center operations like intelligent call routing and modern voice response. By leveraging data points to anticipate the customer’s intent and routing logic based on agent performance data, our client can deliver customers to the right agent for servicing.

Continual innovation, revolutionary transformation

Working collaboratively with our client, we ensured the agent desktop platform architecture would allow continual rollout of improvements and new features, including an upcoming Agent Learning Hub. 


This revolutionary training experience will provide a dynamic learning environment allowing agents to self-guide upskilling and training based on individual need and performance. Incentivization and automation will not only encourage and enable individual growth but will drive scale in key skills needed in the call center.


Upleveling the employee experience has a direct impact on the customer experience. By empowering its agents with critical knowledge and information, our client is now able to deliver a seamless, personalized experience with empowered travel experience consultants.

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