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Rigorous BT Advise Contact testing mitigates risk at each stage of countrywide U.S. contact center transformation project
If you’re in charge of contact center technology for a major company, you need to be really sure any solution you put in place will work. So, for the vice-president facing the task of completely refreshing a major U.S. financial institution’s customer experience platform, it was vital to be spot-on from day one.
The new system had to operate countrywide and cater for customer channels of the future. Placing integrated Genesys software at the heart of the design, and with zero tolerance for outages, the vice-president needed an independent assessment of the project to pick up even the tiniest of issues.
The answer, both highly imaginative and purely practical, was to turn to a company that runs one of the world’s largest Genesys platforms. With all that hard-won knowledge and experience, a BT Advise Contact team was perfectly placed to help.
One guy on the BT Advise team was a rock-star – he kept the band in tune – while the others were rock-solid. Having an independent third party do the testing is really valuable, because you know they’re working for you and not for the company doing the implementation.”
- Vice President Contact Center Technologies Major U.S. Financial Institution
Zero tolerance for errors and outages
As call center technologies reach end of life, rip-and-replace can be the only way forward, especially if you have several suppliers and their technology roadmaps aren’t clear. At one major U.S. financial services institution, its call centers were the very lifeblood of the business. To acquire fresh capabilities for the future, it chose to create a next-generation virtual Genesys Customer Experience Platform.
That task was risky and complicated. The institution was satisfied the market-leading functionality of the Genesys software suite would support both current business needs and emerging customer channels, such as mobility and social media. It also appeared flexible enough to cope with whatever might come next.
“Having engaged Genesys for the implementation, we sought expert independent consultancy to validate the solution design and test the new platform. Our business model means there’s no tolerance for service-affecting errors or system outages,” says the vice-president of contact center technologies at the financial institution.
The institution talked to other Genesys users to find who had the foremost industry reputation with the application. The answer was unanimous – BT – a company with one of the world’s largest Genesys platforms in its own customer service operation. Everything pointed to engaging the BT Advise Contact team in the U.S., working alongside the BT CRM consultancy practice from Canada.
Distinctive keep-the-customer-talking contact center
The financial institution offers an unusually broad product range. And it has a distinctive way of targeting investors with the wealth profile for diverse portfolios and complex products. Instead of using an IVR to minimize customer conversations and maximize self-service, for instance, it employs highly-trained, accredited operatives. Unlike most industry practice, their goal is to keep customers talking to unearth up-selling opportunities.
Thousands of agents in contact centers and branch offices across the U.S. serve corporate customers, investors, and high net-worth individuals. It was critical that the new platform should enable smooth cross-channel integration, including voice, IVR, web chat, email, and voicemail. The Genesys Customer Experience Platform was seen as offering the most mature skills-based routing to lead customers to the right agent, first time. This was combined with NICE call recording, Genesys Workforce Management and SIP-based telephony solutions.
Carefully structured testing program
BT Advise is the professional services and consultancy arm of BT Global Services and BT Advise Contact brings together the company’s contact center experts. That the BT team also had first-hand experience of the Genesys platform meant that it was perfectly placed to provide intensive scrutiny and insight to meet the financial institution’s exacting standards.
BT began by conducting a validation exercise to thoroughly review the next generation contact center design, architecture and infrastructure. Run over an intense two-week period, this captured over 600 questions, comments and observations of which 21 were classified as critical. These were subsequently investigated and resolved.
The validation stage was followed by a comprehensive testing program, designed, developed and executed by the BT Advise Contact professional services team. The test program took almost five man-years’ of effort condensed into a 10-month period, encompassing functionality, performance, and capacity, to availability and business continuity; taking the solution through from development to quality assurance and into the full production environment. At every stage issues were logged and tracked to resolution using an incident reporting application.
In order to avoid any possibility of contention the BT consultants worked and acted as an intrinsic part of the financial institution’s team. “The BT professional services people really lived up to their name in every sense,” confirms the application engineering director at the financial institution. “They really handled themselves well; always very respectful, using very well chosen language and with all the necessary tact to sort the situation out.”
The BT Advise Contact team carried out more than 16,000 tests and uncovered over 1,000 issues: some minor, others highly significant: “We found someone had simply copied over the configuration from one data center to another, so the back-up was pointing to the wrong data center,” says the vice-president. “It just wouldn’t have worked. There could have been huge problems without that BT end-to-end testing.”
Comprehensive approach assures success
Following a period of parallel running, the Genesys solution is now operational for a number of agents and, as the rollout continues, the BT Advise Contact expertise value has become very evident.
“I don’t know where you could find people like this outside of BT,” says the application engineering director. “Their experience along with the volume of work, the speed of work, the quality of work, the accuracy of work, and the comprehensive reporting meant the whole engagement was very high quality. Overall this is the best professional services engagement I’ve ever been associated with.”
Customer service is always at the top of the firm’s agenda and with the contact center platform in full production the financial institution sees it as a solid, reliable and adaptable foundation for future business success. As to the contribution of BT Advise Contact, the company is most impressed. “The whole thing was well-scripted, well-organized, and, logistically, very well done indeed,” concludes the vice-president.
- BT Advise Contact team with BT CRM consultancy practice