Developments supported by the new platform have reduced the number of inbound calls by 29%, enabling the Farm Source Service Centre to move six fulltime equivalents to higher value-add roles.
Combined with broad benefits delivered by cloud services – including simple licensing, continuous upgrades, and seamless feature enhancements – Fonterra’s Service Centres can flex and adapt call centre technology with minimal development and support costs. Recent service additions include call-backs to suit farmer schedules, webchat, screen shares and co-browsing.
Smarter resourcing improves agent productivity
Fonterra’s Service Centre managers now work more proactively to support resourcing requirements, call flow changes, agent onboarding, and queue management, driving efficiencies across the service centre.
Specifically, managers use agent and call arrival data to make smarter rostering and scheduling decisions, confidently redeploying contact centre staff to other parts of the business as call volumes ebb and flow. Managing this task is easier too, with rostering that once took two weeks of work now completed in just two hours a month.
On the training front, richer information ensures Fonterra team leaders identify struggling new hires for additional training. Agents themselves directly benefit from more information and control, trading shifts and lodging leave requests online. The net effect has boosted agent adherence to schedules by 10% and reduced calls overflowing to a third-party provider by 21.8% over the past year. Agents also said improved work-life balance made them happier in their jobs, easing the load on Fonterra workforce analysts. Building on these successes, the Service Centre has introduced a work-from-home policy to encourage more flexible working arrangements to further improve work-life balance.
Cloud agility beefs up business continuity
Newly nimble in the cloud, Fonterra’s contact centre operation handles unforeseen events with ease. A flood event in the South Island of New Zealand demonstrates the adaptability of its platform.
When rain bucketed down and calls from both farmers and internal stakeholders spiked, Fonterra was able to ringfence calls originating in the South Island, managing them in a single high-priority queue manned by the company’s most experienced agents. Additional self-service options diverted inbound calls to an after-hours provider, freeing up agents to assist farmers with urgent needs.