Takealot breaks daily calls record with help from QueueMetrics

2012-12-17
TAKEALOT.com, a South African retailer known for its standard-setting customer service, has again improved on its response times - without spending a cent on growing its agent pool.

The company credits Connection Telecom's call centre analytics solution, which allowed them to make subtle resourcing shifts within their pool of agents.

No live data on their calls

Barbara Nash, customer service executive at the brand that gave its customers same-day delivery on orders before 1pm, says TAKEALOT has always managed its call centre with efficiency in mind.

"Historic data showed we were averaging 98% of calls answered. It might have been possible to still improve on that, but in truth we were running blind. There was no live data telling us how many calls were dropped or holding at any given point", she says.

QueueMetrics to the rescue

About a year ago, Connection Telecom helped TAKEALOT implement a cloud-based PBX and call centre. This year, they decided to look for an analytics system that could:
  • harvest intelligence on-the-fly from the call centre application,
  • reveal any shortfalls and allow the company to remedy them in good time.


After extensive research, they decided on QueueMetrics

"Connection Telecom was giving us very good support, and their base solution offered quick and cost-efficient scaling of our call centre, as well as sophisticated manageability, advanced user features and the ability to add unified communications modules at will", Nash says.

Powerful analytics on hand

Rob Lith, Connection Telecom's business development director says QueueMetrics has been very successful at TAKEALOT. Extensive reports revealed many hidden opportunities and gaps in their call centre's capacity and workflow planning.

"QueueMetrics reports on 150 metrics, providing easy-to-read dashboards of complex variables like performance - which are affected not just by the number of calls handled, but also by the time spent on calls and waiting time. TAKEALOT's dashboards combine all those dimensions and more to get to the true state of a call centre's delivery against SLAs."

Effective planning opportunities

QueueMetrics also offers live viewing of call queues and caller IDs.

"Our previous tool only gave twice-daily reports. Now we can see if a call goes unanswered and call back immediately. That alone has an enormous benefit for our brand" says Nash.

She says live monitoring gives the business a thorough understanding of the peaks and troughs of traffic, which gives a call centre greater influence over resource planning. Before QueueMetrics, TAKEALOT averaged 250 to 300 calls per day, with a small 10-person call centre. As a result of workflow optimisation, call centre management has been able to confidently devote just enough resources at peak times, and still managed a new record for most calls in a day (600) at the recent Black Friday sale.

Other smart resourcing decisions followed - for example: rerouting some agents to answer emails rather than unnecessarily manning phones. As a result, email response times have come down from two or three hours to one, since implementing the system.

All-round benefits

"It is a vital tool for any company using telephony to generate revenue. We have had to iron out a few technical problems, but have always been able to address things with Connection Telecom. With a few more minor tweaks, it has definitely been worth the investment", says Nash.

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