How Centrica Manages Remote Agents with Automation

Centrica deployed automation in their contact centres long before the pandemic shifted the way the world works. When Centrica had most of their agents working within their contact centres, the Intelligent Assistant technology improved operational efficiency and increased the velocity of agent development activities.

The company launched its business contingency plan in March, and by the start of April, they successfully transferred 1,000 agents to a work from home model. Their offshore chat team in India as well as their overflow team in South Africa both went into lockdown, which meant their UK team had to field those inbound inquiries as well. By mid-April, Centrica had more than 7,000 work from home agents.

The rapid move to a work from home model presented new challenges for the company: working from home was new to most agents, and they felt like they were no longer physically part of a team. Team leaders were of course also virtual and while customers were generally tolerant, they still had the same expectations of service.

The resource planning team knew that business continuity and communications were essential and continued to leverage the Intelligent Assistant technology to send updates and communications directly to their newly remote agent population.

Leveraging Intradiem, Centrica was able to ensure the wellbeing of their agents. They delivered a wide range of content within rule tolerances while monitoring contact centre conditions. For example:

  • Screen Breaks
  • Best Practice Home Working Advice
  • Wellbeing Advice to Suppress Loneliness
  • Training and Communications
  • Business Updates / Incident Management
  • Customer Updates
  • 1:1 Meetings and Coaching Sessions
  • Moving Agents Between In and Outbound Queues

Additionally, they leveraged the solution to prompt Team Leaders to check in on available agents and communicate with them online – another great idea for staying connected with their agents.

“With Intradiem’s technology, we have delivered 20% more training sessions regularly than we had delivered prior to moving agents to a remote workforce. Keeping up with agent development and engagement is critical during these trying times. Intradiem makes it easier for us to manage agents while working from home.”

Rohit Kohli, Head of Resource Planning, Centrica

In order to keep up with service level requirements, Centrica used Intradiem to send overtime offers to agents not already on their shift or those coming to the end of their shift. Team Leaders send instant messages to agents’ screens that are prominently displayed to catch their attention.

These actions help to promote healthier KPI’s (e.g. ACW) as it became more challenging for Team Leaders to manage and help keep up with service level requirements.

With automation, Centrica can manage their work from home agents and deliver activities that keep them connected and encouraged, all of which leads to better-engaged agents, better-improved customer experience, and – by automating manual processes – reduced operational costs.