Digital Transformation | Hybrid Cloud | IoT

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Web-Based Training Delivers Business Impact


There's a touchy little secret about call centers: their employee turnover is atrocious; it can reach as high as 26 percent per year, according to one expert's estimates. As a result, companies strive to ease the stress of their customer service agents.

Continental Airlines, the fourth largest airline in the U.S. with $14 billion in revenues, realized that by deploying VoIP technology with personal computers, it could route reservations calls to agents' homes. This not only reduced the need for call center real estate, but it also gives reservations agents the ability to both telecommute and time-shift their work. Today, almost 1,100 agents work at home.

Turning To Videoconferencing Technology
Unfortunately, even good ideas sometimes have bad side effects. Continental found that they could easily keep employees up-to-date on staff issues with regular teleconferences. But for training and evaluations -- activities that required visual interaction -- agents still had to get into their cars and drive to a call center location.

Continental solved the problem by turning to technology a second time, implementing the WebEx hosted system for improving communications with its remote employees. By using hosted WebEx Meeting Center sessions, supervisors can easily update small groups of employees on policy or process changes. They can also schedule one-on-one training sessions.

"Using WebEx, supervisors share their desktops to show agents how to use a specific feature on our reservation program," says Leslie Colbert, Continental's director of training and communication. "WebEx gives all of our agents direct and frequent contact with management."

Saving Time and Fuel
Continental estimates that it's saving more than 10 million miles of car travel, 9 million pounds of emissions, and about 500,000 gallons of fuel annually. The airline is also implementing WebEx eLearning for new hires.

Overall, it's benefiting both internally and externally. "WebEx helped us create an incredible remote worker program which aids us in our recruiting practices," says Colbert. "Our telecommuting program is now a huge draw for potential hires."

That's a double advantage for Continental. At the same time it's increasing employee satisfaction, it's also gaining a better reputation for being environmentally sensitive.

If you haven't already embraced Web collaboration tools in your organization, consider it as an appropriate New Years resolution to boost your team's productivity.