AlertTrace was one of the first companies in 2020 to develop and commercialize a contact tracing system. Without precedent, businesses around the world sought contact tracing technology to safely return to the “new normal” and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while they restarted their business operations.
Orders for AlertTrace’s contract tracing system surged. Large organizations such as the US Navy, Air Force, Warner Brothers, and Boeing were ordering devices in the middle of 2020 as fast as they could be produced. Customer support calls were being handled by the company’s leadership team and a small customer service department, but they quickly realized more people were needed to support their growth.
For a new technology entering the market, or any high growth company, predicting customer contact demand can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. How many agents would they need? When would these clients call with questions about their devices? What kinds of questions would they ask?
AlertTrace had trouble finding an outsourcing partner that was able to deliver all three:
1. Flexibility to handle an unknown and fluctuating number of calls
2. Custom agent certification to handle and resolve technical support issues
3. Pay per use cost structure (i.e., per call, per minute, etc.)
ShyftOff offers midsized businesses flexible, US-based contact center services for a cost that is comparable to offshore. Their innovative platform is designed to help businesses staff for unpredictable and volatile contact volumes without having full time agents sitting idle when volume is low.
Each agent is uniquely certified to support each client’s calls. Unlike a shared agent model or reception service, ShyftOff agents are deeply knowledgeable on a client’s business and products, they have the required system access, and are empowered to resolve the callers’ issues.
ShyftOff is the primary customer support service for AlertTrace customers, which includes high value businesses and organizations such as US Navy, Air Force, Boeing, and many other large, enterprise clients.
ShyftOff agents are deeply knowledgeable on the AlertTrace product and are certified to support customers with technical and administrative issues. When customers have difficulty with their products, ShyftOff agents can troubleshoot both the physical devices and backend software to pinpoint the issues.
Agents help AlertTrace customers navigate technical features of the product, including bulk data uploads, product activation, assigning devices, and all other features in the product.
New Customer Onboarding
It’s common that customers have questions when they receive their product in the mail. Often the caller is a leader at a client company responsible for implementing the AlertTrace technology at their place of work. It’s important to the customer that we get it right!
ShyftOff agents specialize in this new customer onboarding experience. They are able to walk the caller through all steps of implementation including the unboxing, initial setup steps, product activation, and steps to distribute the devices correctly.
After the setup is done, ShyftOff agents can also walk the customer through the supporting cloud applications by showing them around the app and stepping through analysis of the product’s data features.
In some cases, agents are getting on video conference calls with new customers to walk them through the process.
When an agent is technically proficient to handle troubleshooting inquires and has the charisma to handle a new customer during their first interaction with the product, it seems natural that they would also be able to handle more administrative, customer service questions.
Often customers call with general questions about the product, maybe they need replacement devices, or maybe they are looking for a status update on their shipments. ShyftOff agents have full system access to provide the information to the customers and adjust as needed.
Throughout the initial pilot with AlertTrace, sales calls were being handled outside of ShyftOff. As the agents demonstrated expertise and competency, AlertTrace approached ShyftOff to add additional sales support, further expanding the partnership.
The agents’ deep technical knowledge of the product and functionality makes them highly effective in arming prospective customers with good information and the right internal contacts to close the sale.
ShyftOff has a demonstrated ability to handle and resolve a wide array of customer contacts for AlertTrace while being flexible and responsive to changing demand. And there are also significant cost advantages to ShyftOff’s model.
Did you know that almost half of a contact center’s cost comes from non-productive activities? The hourly cost of an agent waiting between calls, paid vacation, breaks, etc. all add up to be 40–60% of a contact center’s cost. This is true to for nearshore and offshore centers too.
ShyftOff’s cost efficiencies come from the platform’s specially designed processes, economic incentives, and call delivery infrastructure that make it possible for workers to flex up and down throughout the day, charging clients only for the calls that are handled.
We go into a lot more detail in a recent article titled “Case Study: Reduce US Contact Center Cost by 15% with ShyftOff” where we take an analytical and data-driven look at the efficiencies of operating a flexible model for enterprise clients.
These cost savings are even more significant for small and mid-sized companies who are looking for a dedicated, US agent contact center experience.
We looked at the 3 alternatives AlertTrace had when choosing to partner with ShyftOff and measured their relative cost savings. We found that ShyftOff’s US-based operation costs AlertTrace roughly the same as moving this work to the Philippines.
Traditional outsourcing partners that do not leverage ShyftOff’s platform have limited flexibility in their operations and pricing. Typically, dedicated US agent models are ideal when volume is predictable, consistent, and abundant.
However, midsized companies typically pay a premium for dedicated US agents. This is mostly driven by a higher likelihood and incidence of idle time between calls.
ShyftOff estimates that AlertTrace is saving between 30–40% by partnering with ShyftOff instead of a traditional outsourcing partner in the US.
Internal contact centers can be excellent for creating a unique and strategically imperative culture, controlling the customer experience, and driving quality. However, this option presents the less flexibility and is nearly the same cost as outsourcing.
This option did not meet the needs of AlertTrace, but assuming they pursued this path, it would require significant infrastructure deployment and operational expertise to run as efficiently as an outsourced partner.
ShyftOff estimates that AlertTrace is saving between 15–20% by partnering with ShyftOff instead of insourcing their contact center operations.
Offshore contact centers are an effective and common way to provide dedicated contact center support for a lower price. The drawbacks are typically related to language and cultural barriers, which can affect the customer experience.
The Philippines is a popular destination for offshore contact centers, and in my opinion, offer the highest quality for the lowest price, but still does not compare to speaking with a state side agent.
ShyftOff estimates that AlertTrace is spending roughly the same amount with ShyftOff in the US as they would with an outsource partner in the Philippines.
Choosing an outsourcing partner that is right for your business is an important decision to sustain your businesses growth and success. ShyftOff aims to be a strategic partner in delivering a high-quality customer experience with unmatched flexibility and cost savings to small and midsized businesses.
Early success in ShyftOff’s innovative customer experience model opens opportunities to further expand strategic partnerships. If you’re interested in learning more about whether ShyftOff’s model would be helpful to your contact center, please let us know.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and will continue to share updates on our growth.