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Customer Success Story
Market Leader Profile
Market Leader offers a free service to help consumers find their home's current market value and determine a suggested listing price.
Business Challenge
Market Leader's biggest contact center challenge was generating timely, comprehensive reports.
Solution Overview
VPI PERFORMANCE to provide agents with the tools to measure their performance against set targets and make improvements as needed.
Significant Benefits
Saved nine hours per month on manual reporting; saved more than 30 hours per month tracking leads and verifying time sheets; saved six hours per month on report preparation; reduced abandoned calls by 50%; increased revenue by 22% in test group
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Market Leader Increases Productivity with VPI PERFORMANCE

With 80 percent of Market Leader's employees being in the contact center, it is the heart of the organization. The company needed to streamline its reporting processes and empower agents to track their performance and make their own improvements. Here is how VPI helped Market Leader go from manual mess to high-tech success.

I don't know of any other product that can real time kick an agent in the butt and say hey, we need you on the phone.
- Bruce Allison
Market Leader

Business Profile

Market Leader offers a free service to help consumers find their home's current market value and determine a suggested listing price.

Market Leader provides real estate agents, agent teams, and brokerage companies with subscription software and advertising products that enable them to generate a steady stream of prospects, as well as the tools and training they need to convert these prospects into clients. The company also provides consumers with free access to the information and tools they need throughout the home buying and selling process through its national consumer real estate sites. These websites enable Market Leader to provide its customers with access to millions of future home buyers and sellers while providing these consumers with free access to the information they seek throughout the home buying and selling process.

Challenge

Eighty percent of Market Leader's personnel are employed in the call center, which is clearly the heart of the company. Bruce Allison, Call Center Operations Manager, was brought on board with the mission of making the Market Leader call centers the most efficient and productive in their industry.

Allison determined that a major obstacle hindering call center productivity was the inability to generate timely and comprehensive reports. Creating performance reports and calculating incentive earnings often meant hours downloading call statistics into Excel then sorting and reformatting the information - a lot of work to get the reports they needed. ACD was manually merged with data from the sales automation system and payroll to figure out how much revenue each agent was generating so incentive payments could be accurately calculated.

Management wanted a one-stop way to get the reports needed by both executives and the call center and much of that data has to come from outside the ACD. The solution had to work with Market Leader's existing Avaya Call Management System (CMS). Allison also wanted the AEs and Customer Success Coaches to be able to self-manage their responsibilities as much as possible. To do this, they needed to be able to access real time information from multiple sources without having to waste time logging in and out of multiple applications.

"We needed to get the right information to the right people at the right time," said Allison.

Solution

Allison had heard some good things about VPI (Voice Print international), a provider of integrated interaction recording and workforce optimization solutions for enterprises and government organizations, and a dedicated Avaya DevConnect Gold Partner. VPI provides VPI PERFORMANCE, a contact center solution that provides many of the features of analytics, performance management, CRM and messaging.

VPI PERFORMANCE gives employees the information they need to measure their own performance against set targets and make immediate improvements. The performance analytics module takes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and makes them timely and relevant to call center personnel in three ways: a customizable dashboard, consolidated reports, and scorecards. The messaging module promotes efficient communications across the call center through personalized messages displayed on dashboards.

In early 2005, after talking to some very satisfied VPI customers, Allison and his management team decided to proceed with a pilot test. In addition to seamless integration with Market Leader's Avaya CMS, Allison and his team were impressed with how VPI's implementation team was able to work with the software to deliver the precise reports that management needed. The solution provided each agent with real-time dashboard visibility into their performance metrics. They no longer had to spend valuable time figuring out where they stood and were better equipped to self-manage their own performance improvements.

Allison noted, "Before VPI, we had agents with calculators on their desk and little mini-spreadsheets they would build where they would go into their phone stats and try to plug in data to calculate where they were at. It was a very manual process."

The VPI solution also includes daily agent scorecards to the desktop, consolidated manager and executive reports and secure, internal-only messaging systems for real-time communication.

Significant Benefits

Market Leader piloted the VPI solution for four months. At the conclusion of the trial, they observed substantial improvements in the time it required to prepare reports and in call center effectiveness. After accessing all of the data, management at Market Leader concluded that the VPI solution would add three percent to annual revenue. From a financial perspective, the project made tremendous sense and Market Leader went ahead with the full-scale rollout.

In addition to direct improvements in cost savings, revenue growth, and KPI performance, Allison noticed some other wins. Agent morale visibly picked up as they now had the tools and information to increase their incentive earnings. The built-in messaging system led to more timely communications between supervisors and agents.

"We use this to alert people to meetings or immediate incentives," explained Allison. "The message pops on the screen immediately. The real-time messaging has been a huge win for us."

As agents and executives found new uses for the technology, the VPI team worked hand-in-hand to build special applications. Once area that needed attention was collections. If an agent behind in his subscription accounts returns a collections call, then goes into queue with a long wait period, he will likely drop out and not call back. Prior to the implementation of the VPI solution, collection agents had no visibility about how many calls were holding in queue.

With VPI PERFORMANCE, agents get a dashboard view of calls in queue, but Allison wanted the agents to know how many agents were currently available to take the calls. VPI added this data point and also configured this number to change from yellow to flashing red when agent availability drops to zero, signaling a high probability of abandonment. This prompts agents who are doing other things, like email and wrap-up, to jump on the phone to make sure that all calls are answered.

"I don't know of any other product that can real time kick an agent in the butt and say 'hey, we need you on the phone'," said Allison.

Market Leader also realized a host of additional productivity and financial gains, including:

- Saved nine hours per month on preparing manual reports

- Saved 15 hours per month verifying time sheets

- Saved 15.5 hours per month reporting tracked sales leads to Account Executives

- Saved six hours per month preparing special sales reports for the marketing department

- AEs gained 40 minutes per day to spend generating new business

- Revenue climbed 22 percent for the test group over the control group

- Certification sales rose 13 percent for the test group over the control group

- Helped reduce abandoned calls by 50 percent and increase collections as a result of lower abandonment

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