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Barclays five-second cut adds up to £1m savings

Barclays has improved the effectiveness of its contact centres by deploying a performance management system to enhance management reporting.

The bank said the system, Aimcall from Aim Technology, was saving 8,000 working hours and £450,000 a year through improved agent performance.

Barclays said the availability of more current performance data on agents has helped it achieve an average five-second reduction in call handling time, which the bank said equates to an annual saving of £214,000, or more than £1m over five years.

The bank has four dedicated contact centres - for personal financial services, Barclaycard, collections and its Woolwich banking operation - which employ 5,000 staff between them.

Prior to Aimcall, call staff performance was measured by collecting data from different sources, which was then entered manually into spreadsheets and databases. The process meant the resulting analysis was out of date and often of little use to contact centre agents by the time it was made available.

Aimcall gives individual agents in the contact centres access to their scorecards, which include call data, workforce management and sales statistics. It also lets team leaders access and analyse agent data more quickly, enabling them to review performance with agents on a weekly basis, rather than the monthly review that was possible previously.

With the system, individual coaching to target specific problems and take remedial action is also made possible. For example, agents who are narrowly missing targets can far more easily see where there is room for improvement, either in terms of call handling efficiencies or better directed sales techniques.

The system has also made improvements at the strategic level.

"Contact centre information is now fully integrated within each of Barclays' business units," said Wyn Lloyd-Jones, who is in charge of the team implementing Aimcall.

"We have achieved a massive reduction in the 'cottage industry-style' approach to management information that previously characterised the organisation."


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