The pros and cons of home working has been discussed in great depth over the last few months, for obvious reasons. While mobilising workforces has been a sudden, enforced step for many businesses, there are some early adopters for whom this is the norm. Founded by Roddy Forfar in 2009, Scotland’s first home worker-based call centre, Aquarius, recognised over a decade ago what some companies are only now realising – that people can meet their KPIs and deliver outstanding results all from their homes. The secret to remote operations is the combination of great people and great technology as Roddy Forfar, Managing Director at Aquarius explains.
The home working call centre challenge
“Running a business and delivering on over 250 client campaigns with many remote workers requires several crucial elements. Firstly, your people are very different to those you find in a traditional call centre and it’s important to get these hires right. You need to recruit people that want to work from home and want the flexibility. They need to be self-starters who won’t miss the buzz of a call centre.”
And then there’s the physical set-up. Aquarius carry out an inspection of each new employee’s home working set-up. Ensuring each person has everything they need from a health and safety point of view as well as the right technology is part of the company’s success.
The day to day (from home)
“Our team of 25 handle up to 1,000 customer calls and emails each day. We represent the customer experience (CX) for every single client and as such, we need to have the right technology to support our staff and provide a seamless journey for their end users. That’s why Awaken Intelligence has always been my partner of choice when it comes to call scripting, email integration and dispatch intelligence. They have been with us since we established the business and we utilise Synergy, having migrated from their previous Scripting 4.5 software, in the creation of 300+ scripts for our customers every day. When you have tight SLAs to meet you need to have a phenomenal and dynamic web-based scripting platform that the entire business can rely on 24/7,” commented Roddy.
Aquarius’ client campaigns vary from housing associations to railway companies and accident repair providers to name a few, across the UK. While the customer engagement varies from business to business the scenario often involves having to escalate or triage different contractors to resolve the customer query. Aquarius utilise Awaken’s Synergy for the initial call or email handling as well as Dispatch which enables agents to quickly assign jobs to contractors with the key information to ensure the customer’s query is resolved as quickly as possible.
“Thanks to the flexibility of scripts in Synergy the customer issue is quickly elevated, and Dispatch helps us to escalate the requirement to the right contractor. It’s a seamless bit of workflow that helps us to all meet our SLAs while ensuring that the customer data is accurately shared in one hit, rather than having to re-enter multiple times across a variety of disparate systems – which would cause a huge problem and dramatically slow down the resolution time,” added Roddy.
Onboarding (from home)
The flexibility in Awaken’s technology has also helped Aquarius to evolve its onboarding process in the current remote working environment. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic Aquarius would train all new starters on-site at its office in Edinburgh however, now all onboarding has to take place via video conferencing with short training videos based on each customer type for the campaign in question. The Synergy scripts help to guide new agents through the process with its natural language and voice analytics support so that Roddy and the team can quickly identify any areas where further support may be required as the agent gets up to speed.
“There are many challenges placed on businesses at this time and where customers continue to demand even more, we’re able to intelligently remove many of the stresses and worries that they and the organisations servicing them are experiencing. There’s no doubt that Awaken’s technology plays a crucial role in driving a frictionless and timely resolution to much of the support we provide,” concluded Roddy.