Client Success Story

Voice and chat agents deliver fast and high-quality telecom support with <6% attrition

HGS reduces costs, empowers agents, and makes happier customers for a top, multi-brand cable provider

Since 2017, HGS has provided a top-10 largest telecommunications organization with customer inquiry assistance regarding billing, tech support, sales, and retention.

This major provider of high-speed internet, digital TV, and phone services started its HGS partnership with English and Spanish voice support from a brick-and-mortar contact center in El Paso, Texas.

Later, when the challenge of a global health crisis caused the brand to urgently shift everything to virtual, HGS was fully prepared to persevere.

Today, a 100% remote team of highly trained universal Customer Service Reps (CSRs) handles this multi-brand company’s calls—and recently added chat volume—from 200+ individual homes across the United States.

With each new challenge along the course of this leading telecom’s expanding business, HGS has run, jumped, and climbed the way to success. Here’s how we accomplished each feat and achieved the grand prize of a long-lasting and valued client partnership.

“Whether mountain or molehill, our client knows that HGS is the flexible BPO partner fit to take on any challenge that comes our way.”

– Senior Vice President, Global Account Management, HGS

Course Challenge 1

Supporting multiple brands with the same CSR

From 2017 to 2019, the client’s core business requirement was voice support in English and Spanish for a single brand. But as the client acquired additional brands, HGS encountered their first challenge: how to deliver an outstanding customer experience across multiple brands. HGS implemented an intensive five-week “super queue” cross-brand training, covering every tech, billing, sales, and retention customer inquiry across all brands of the business.

As a result, each highly skilled universal agent contributes to an overall improved customer experience, with shorter wait times and a consistent transfer rate of less than 3%.

Course Challenge 2

Transitioning 200+ agents to remote work

Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the client’s HGS CX team worked at our El Paso facility in Texas. But when the 2020 lockdowns began, a virtual solution became critical to business continuity.

With the motivation to move in-center agents home as quickly as possible, we transitioned more than 200 agents to a 100% remote environment within 45 days through our mature HGS Work@HomeTM model.

Course Challenge 3

Lowering chat AHT by ~20%

As the pandemic persisted, the client’s in-house team suffered. They were missing 57% of their chat work, and each chat was nearly a 20-minute interaction. Using best practices from other clients with similar chat programs, HGS onboarded a chat team of 23 fully remote associates in November 2020.

Climbing their way to the top, our team now meets 95% of all chats with an average of 16 minutes per interaction—a 20% gain in efficiencies versus the previous internal team’s average handle time.

Course Challenge 4

Partnering to attract and retain talent

Back-to-back calls from customers concerned about rising cable bills or an internet outage requires highly talented CSRs. The current commercials and corresponding associate wage rates were not permitting sufficient applicant draw and associate retention.

In 2020, the client agreed to contribute a large investment in the partnership. In return for the client’s agreement to higher per-call rates, HGS largely redirected the funding toward associate pay. This change in compensation led to full new hire classes and reduced attrition, driving increased call handling capacity.

In 2023, HGS reduced agent attrition to 4% – 6% over three consecutive months. As of June 2023, attrition is tracking at 2.9% – which is unheard of in the telecom industry.

Course Challenge 5

Meeting the client’s 16.5% increase in call volume

In mid-2021, we learned that the client expected 17,000 more monthly calls during the rate change period of November through January. Facing significant hiring challenges like many companies in the U.S., HGS leveraged its global footprint to offer options outside of the U.S.

Preferring U.S.-only delivery, the client had declined prior nearshore and offshore proposals. However, HGS’s creative proposal to leverage a Canadian option offering experienced telco/cable reps earned a yes from the client. This solution allows HGS to scale capacity and meet the client’s anticipated high volume.

Course Challenge 6

Migrating chat offshore to reduce costs by 48%

While reducing attrition and maintaining the same speed (AHT) and quality (NPS)

In the first half of 2023, HGS migrated management of all 35,000 monthly chats from the onshore to our delivery centers in Jamaica. An onshore team of subject matter experts, trainers, and operation managers worked in Jamaica to transition and launch the program.

The results:

    • 48% cost reduction
    • 85% throughput
    • 3 weeks training
    • Lower attrition than onshore
    • Same average handle time (AHT) as onshore
    • Same Net Promoter Score (NPS) as onshore
HGS Contact Center agent

Beyond the finish line

Leveraging AI, automation, and analytics to continually meet rising customer and agent expectations

As this major telecom continues to grow, HGS is committed to providing the right balance of talent and technology to represent all four of its brands – as well as any future acquisitions.

HGS is currently working to bring its generative AI capabilities for automating call summaries, customer sentiment analyses, and agent empowerment to all of its clients. For complex calls and chats, our goal is to automate activities in the background so that agents can make the most of their real-time customer interactions.

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Through flexibility, adaptability, and transparent communication, our dedication to this partnership is best demonstrated by our NPS. We received a high promoter rating by both the client’s Vice President of Shared Services and Senior Vice President of Customer Care.

Overall, when new obstacles arise, this valued client can always trust that HGS will collaborate and propose innovative ideas to conquer any challenge in our path.

What are your company’s course challenges?

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