Case Study

Real-Time Operational Insights Enable Proactive Management and Performance Visibility at 2degrees

Executive Summary

Launched in 2009, 2degrees has made a significant impact on the New Zealand telecommunications industry. Initially launched as a mobile network provider, the company has built a national 3G and 4G network and has significantly lowered the cost of mobile for Kiwis.  In early 2015, the company acquired Internet provider Snap to become a full service telecommunications provider. 2degrees needed full operational visibility across its systems and wanted to optimize the efficiency of its Customer Care operations. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise, the company has seen benefits including:

  • Superior level of customer service
  • Real-time operational visibility
  • Enhanced employee performance management
    • Management lacked visibility into agent performance
    • Needed to monitor service levels and track issues
    • Only had access to historic information; needed real-time insights
    • Cumbersome, manual reporting processes
    • Volumes of data from disparate systems and platforms 
Business Impact
    • Full business visibility made possible with real-time operational insights
    • Customer satisfaction boosted by proactive call escalation
    • Business efficiency enhanced with effective employee performance management
    • Increased employee engagement achieved by individual performance visibility
Data Sources
    • All key systems across the organization, including: interactive voice response system; automated call distribution system; system and customer relationship management system
    • Impact 360
    • SharePoint
    • NanoRep
    • Ability
    • Frontrange

Why Splunk

Although 2degrees’ 240-seat call center, also known as its Customer Care team, was equipped with sufficient staff and systems to cope with peak demand from over one million mobile customers, it was difficult for management to see performance from more than one perspective, monitor service levels and identify issues in a timely manner to assist customers at a high level. To track the Care team’s overall performance and that of its individual agents, data had to be pulled from more than a dozen different IT platforms and correlated for analysis.

Moreover, while 2degrees had automated some processes, the company was only able to generate historic reports. Obtaining real-time information was difficult. The information was also fragmented, which meant managers could only see a drop in service levels, but not necessarily the reason behind it. In addition, it took several days to generate an individual agent’s performance report, making it challenging for supervisors to assess the efficiency of their employees and determine performance-based bonuses.

2degrees initially deployed Splunk Enterprise in 2011 to support network administration. In early 2014, Splunk solutions partner GKC began working with 2degrees’ Care Management team to apply the Splunk platform’s capabilities to meet the specific needs of the Care Center and its complex IT infrastructure. With changes in project scope along the way, GKC completed system integration and delivered a set of largely visual Splunk information dashboards in February 2014, covering overall Customer Care Center operations, organizational management and individual performance. 

Real-time operational visibility and proactive call escalation

The operational performance of the entire Customer Care team can now be viewed within a single Splunk dashboard, enabling managers to make timely decisions as situations develop that could affect performance. For example, if the Center becomes busier than expected, managers can see the number of calls being abandoned and act to increase the number of agents available later in the day in anticipation of customers calling back. They also have insight into the customer’s identity—whether it is a high-value business customer, a retail customer or a prospect—and step in to reroute the call, if needed. This helps the team better serve its customers and keep customer satisfaction at an industry-leading high level.

Enhanced agent performance management

With real-time visibility into all aspects of the Center with the Splunk platform, operations team leaders can now monitor individual agent performance over any given time period and quickly respond to development trends. For example, they can drill down into the detail to see when a call is taking an unusually long time or when a customer has been languishing on hold, and proactively offer assistance to the agent involved. This enables managers to have an immediate impact on employee performance via real-time coaching.

Individual agents can now track their performance through their own dashboards where key performance indicators are always up to date. They can also see their performance relative to their team average and that of the entire Customer Care team as a whole. Having access to this information has proven to be an effective incentive for agents to remain engaged while handing 80 to 90 calls per shift and striving towards the goal of error-free operation.

“Splunk software puts all the information we need at our fingertips and makes it easier to drill down to identify the root cause of problems, enabling us to respond faster.” 

Tracy Leighton, Head of Service Assurance and Planning, 2degrees

In-house reporting tracks operational changes

2degrees’ business is continually evolving due to developments in the market environment and the potential for future acquisitions. As a result, operational changes can happen rapidly within the Customer Care team and reports need to be generated quickly. These include a variety of reports related to operations efficiency, customer enquiries and the frequency of interactions with different types of customers.  With three team members trained on the Splunk platform, the reporting process is now handled in-house.