February 7, 2006 – Nextel Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTP) is the fastest growing wireless carrier and the exclusive provider of digital wireless communications services using the Nextel brand name in mid-sized and rural markets in 31 states. Their call centers employ 1,100 partners (employees) and provide inbound care, tech support, retention, fulfillment and activation services.
Being unable to access the backend data and customer support stats from their database was behind Nextel Partners’ decision to replace workforce management vendors. Reporting is key to improved bottom line results in their call centers. Their previous vendor did scheduling and forecasting, but their database was proprietary and data couldn’t be accessed without purchasing additional software. They needed to have the ability to mine the backend data and customer support statistics, including accessing reports regarding partner performance, scheduled hours versus actuals, call metrics and handling time. They were also looking for increased customer support as well as compatibility with their switch.
Nextel Partners did an initial three-month launch to a small test group and were able to focus on the differences from their previous vendor and work out any bugs. Pipkins was able to work one-on-one with them to address individual needs.
The interface is very Windows-esque, which made it easy to navigate. Their partners went through two training sessions; prior to the launch and another a few months after having some experience using the system. Since implementation, their use of the system functionality has significantly increased – from forecasting to adding new options for swaps and trades through the WAVE (Web Agent Viewing and Empowerment) module. It previously took managers anywhere between one to five days to accept a partner request. This task is now accomplished in hours or less.
The ability to choose vacation online and get an instant response is a popular feature and has resulted in increased agent satisfaction. The new reporting capability allows supervisors to standardize reports. Previously, their workforce team was spending 80 percent of their time processing time off requests. They now spend between 10-15 percent, which allows them to focus attention to other areas.
Having access to the backend data has allowed Nextel Partners to do things they previously were unable to do. For example, they now have the ability to tie Pipkins’ data to their payroll system, which allows for verification that the time reported in payroll matches the scheduled events. They can also look at forecast to actuals in more detail in order to see events relative to what actually happened.
Because they use an outsourcing service for a portion of their call volume, Nextel Partners needed to incorporate the data from outsourcers with internal data. Pipkins was able to accomplish this task in an extremely short time and in a very usable format by writing a daily import script. All company metrics, both in-house and outsourced, are now in one place.
Nextel Partners has been able to wrap workforce management data into their suite of custom reports, which has enabled them to push accountability. Call metrics data can now be put into Excel, which enables managers to analyze and act on data much quicker. This allows them to set goals. The data can also be used for coaching and monitoring, which increases effectiveness and productivity.
“Pipkins has been very flexible in meeting our needs” says Marc Giordano, Director of Operations Support. “Giving us the ability to generate reports from our database has had a significant impact on the way we do business. At Nextel Partners we strive to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction and Pipkins helps us achieve our goal.”
About Pipkins Inc.:
Pipkins Inc. (PIPKINS), founded in 1984, is the leading supplier of workforce management software and services to the call center industry. Its Vantage Point product enables managers to solve the complicated operational issues in today’s multi-faceted call center environment. PIPKINS’ systems forecast and schedule more than 100,000 agents in over 300 locations across all industries worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, visit www.pipkins.com.