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itel’s Industry Leading CX Delivery Helps US-based Global Retailer with Channel Leading CSAT

November 17, 2022

What started out as a pilot project for one of the largest, U.S.-based global retailers, soon became an ongoing partnership with itel. With our reliable staffing and training model, we achieved the number one spot for CSAT in 2022, consistently remaining in the top quartile in overall performance out of 14 customer experience vendors.

This leading U.S. retailer, and e-retailer, has always sought to diversify their vendor portfolio, and initially approached itel because they needed greater operational capacity for their seasonal peaks and business continuity. In October 2021, we launched operations for the brand in Honduras with 150 inbound and outbound, digital and voice, full-time equivalents (FTEs) for their customer support channels. The team supported this client’s e-retail operations and high seasonal volumes by tracking online orders, processing refunds, and answering product inquiries.

Though operations were scheduled to be ramped down by 40% in January 2022, this peak headcount turned into a steady-state headcount due to three key factors, itel’s staffing capability, performance, and quality.

To manage erratic call volumes that fluctuate monthly, a unique trait of the retail industry, we invested in staffing at a higher level than requested by the client. This helped to balance any natural attrition and shrinkage, and ensure a ready pool of agents that we could tap into at any point. As a result, we were able to quickly and efficiently ramp up operations based on the client’s needs. By cross-training agents and temporarily reassigning them to other non-competing accounts during lower volume periods, we were easily able to bring them to peak staffing when required.

Despite being a relatively new vendor, in our first month alone, we reached top quartile CSAT, while meeting the required staffing levels and interval key performance indicators (KPIs) required by the client. Within two months of launching operations, we were able to elevate our CSAT performance and become channel leaders, keeping the top three spot in both CSAT and average handle time (AHT) throughout the year.

Impressed with itel’s stellar performance, this client awarded us a larger share of business in August 2022 and increased agent headcount to 300 steady-state FTEs, but only on the condition that we maintain their high standards for both CSAT and AHT. Proudly, we were able to meet and even exceed expectations, securing the top spot across the client’s entire network of 14 vendors.

The Goals:

  • Launch initial pilot program of 150 inbound and outbound, digital and voice, full-time equivalents (FTEs) in Honduras
  • Increase agent headcount for peak seasons to 230 FTEs, then eventually 300 steady-state FTEs
  • Maintain high client standards for both CSAT and AHT
  • Flexibly ramp down during seasonal lows in January without compromising the ability to ramp up when peaks resume

The Approach:

  • Invest in and recruit strategically to meet unexpected volume increases
  • Find right-fit candidates faster and with more accuracy using an intelligent recruiting process
  • Cross-train agents and maintain a steady pool of talent
  • Ensure higher ratio of tenured performers to new hires
  • Individualized training and development programs

The Results:

  • Consistently reach a 90% to 95% graduation rate and a healthy attrition rate between 7%-8%, which means we can ramp for seasonal shifts in as little as 90 days
  • In the first month of operations, achieved top quartile CSAT and rose to being the channel leader by the third month
  • Maintained the #3 spot for joint CSAT & AHT across client network of 14 vendors
  • Awarded an added 30% increase over 2022 peak season numbers and expanded into 2 new itel regions, Guyana, and Jamaica
  • As of October 2022, the joint scores of all three itel geos secured the #1 spot for CSAT

Our secret to winning this client’s trust is our ability to keep an ongoing pool of tenured and high-performing agents (70-80%), who are top scorers in both CSAT and AHT. This allows us to maintain KPI standards during seasonal ramps by mitigating any performance “lag” caused by new hires.

Our extensive in-house training programs and intensive nesting process also give us a quick speed to proficiency for new agents, allowing us to quickly ramp to the required numbers and have trained agents ready to take calls in as little as 90 days.

Monthly calibration sessions to review performance metrics and ensure alignment between teams has resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership.  In fact, this client was so pleased with our performance metrics and hands-on approach, we were awarded another 30% increase over the 2022 peak season numbers, which allowed us to expand their CX operations into two additional itel geos, Guyana, and Jamaica.

This leading retail client can now ramp up operations consistently and reliably for peak holiday seasons, with the flexibility to address sudden volume fluctuations throughout the year. They also benefit from a dependable customer experience management partner that continuously delivers, and even exceeds, its KPI goals.

Deliver the best customer journey while confidently navigating seasonal peaks. Contact Us to learn more.

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