Call Center "Owns" a New Culture

DB&A consulting case study telecommunications

The small business segment is an important national and global force, as well as a vital revenue producer for corporate giants such as BellSouth.  Small businesses represent a significant portion of BellSouth’s multi-billion dollar revenue, which caused great concern among top executives when the small business call center in Kentucky began experiencing a significant slowdown in customer consultations. Committed to identifying the reasons behind this slowdown and finding a solution, BellSouth’s leadership reached out DB&A.  The analysis and consulting engagement completed at the call center highlight the importance of an organized and proactive front-line management team and demonstrate the impact effective communication can have on productivity.

Before the start of the consulting engagement with BellSouth, DB&A completed a two-week analysis of the call center experiencing the slowdown.  This assessment identified several areas for improvement in the management culture and operations of the facility.

  • Strong resistance to selling processes from Call Specialists
  • Corporate attitude discouraged confrontation
  • Managers excused ineffective behaviors
  • Limited amounts of accountability from managers

As the Analysis Team concluded the assessment, it became obvious that, as a group, front-line managers wanted to learn how to manage correctly, but didn’t know where to begin.

DB&A’s management consulting engagement with BellSouth focused on improving the management culture while moving the call specialists from an “order-taking” role to a “selling” role.  To accomplish these goals, the Project Team worked side-by-side with front-line managers, coaching them on general leadership principles and implementing the following management tools:

  • Eight leadership development workshops customized for the call center managers
  • Performance data collection and analysis
  • Improved follow-up procedures
  • Weekly team huddle meetings
  • Visual communication boards

 

During the course of the project, the call volume at the call center decreased, but due to the work accomplished by DB&A’s Project Team, the average revenue-per-call increased by 25%.  To sustain the results of the engagement long-term, front-line managers at the call center changed their recruiting practices. They began to seek candidates who were suited to its new environment, enjoyed a consultative role, understood BellSouth’s goals, and could totally support customers by proposing relevant new products and services.

Company: BellSouth
(acquired by AT&T)

Operational Improvements

  • 25 percent increase in revenue-per-call
  • Increased daily communication
  • Improved quality of calls due to established best practices
  • Improved recruiting

“It’s clear that DB&A has the ability to effect change in an organization. We were committed to that change, but they gave us the tools to make it work. It was their understanding of our people, plus their philosophy of ensuring that their clients ‘own’ the solution and resulting success, that made change a reality.” ~ Assistant Vice President, BellSouth Small Business Services