Our client is a global footwear design and distribution company with decades of experience delivering premium products to consumers. As a retail leader, they boast a portfolio of several high-profile brands, an in-store and online presence, and millions of loyal customers worldwide. Their peak season aligns with the holiday shopping season — lasting from October to early March. During this time, our client requires a significant ramp-up of over 400 remote temporary customer service representatives to support their call center and manage the influx of customer calls and increased product demand.
Our client initially contracted with a business process outsourcer (BPO) to support their workforce needs. The BPO struggled to source talent, lacked an effective onboarding strategy and was unable to procure the hardware required for remote workers to successfully do their jobs. Our client also had limited visibility into the quality and performance metrics of their customer service team despite the importance of this information to their business operations. During this time, their attrition rate surged to 50% — posing a significant risk to their customer experience.
For several years, Aston Carter partnered with this client to provide high-quality candidates and vendor on premise services through our staffing solutions program. Based on our track record of success, we were asked to take over the responsibilities of the BPO to help drive performance and achieve their targets during peak season.
After assessing our client’s needs, we recommended a managed solutions offering to help them more efficiently source, onboard and manage a high-quality workforce.
We began by addressing their most pressing issue: building the right team. Our fulfillment team successfully recruited and onboarded 470 customer service representatives within an eight-week period. We enhanced existing onboarding processes to ensure that every new hire understood key policies, procedures and expectations for the job. This proactive approach was crucial to setting workers up for success on day one.
We then turned our attention to maximizing day-to-day performance by sourcing and onboarding a managerial team. We hired a logistics coordinator, several team leads, a client engagement manager and a workforce administrator. In addition to providing valuable oversight and support to customer service representatives, these leaders ensured transparency and accountability with our client.
The logistics coordinator facilitated the distribution and eventual recapture of all assets, including laptops and headsets for all 470 new customer service representatives. Team leads worked directly with new hires to provide additional coaching, development and feedback as needed. To ensure adequate managerial oversight and accessibility, we provided one team lead for every 30 customer service representatives. The client engagement manager monitored real-time performance metrics to help ensure that the team achieved targeted goals. This data-driven approach offered the transparency and objective insights our client desired. Finally, the workforce administrator offered additional support and attendance management — monitoring workers in real time to ensure they adhered to their assigned schedules.
As our client’s trusted partner, we solved several major pain points — from sourcing and onboarding talent to improving retention and boosting employee performance.
Improvements to onboarding processes and high-touch managerial oversight led to a significant reduction in attrition among customer service representatives from 50% to 20%. We were also able to improve performance metrics — meeting and exceeding client SLAs, including First Call Resolution, Average Handle Time, Customer Satisfaction, Adherence to Schedule and overall Balance Score. In fact, customer service representatives were able to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds — a big contributor to our client’s overall balanced score of 96%.
With the help of our additional managerial support, our client was able to relieve some of the workload facing their internal customer support leaders and trainers — empowering them to focus their time and resources on other internal matters. Due in part to the performance management provided by our customer engagement manager, our customer service representatives typically outperformed the client’s internal team.
Thanks to the quality of the candidates we sourced, as well as the standards of training and development we provided throughout the duration of their contracts, our client permanently hired 10 of our temporary customer service representatives. This is part of a larger trend — for over three years, our client has not had to recruit any customer service representatives, instead converting top performers from our team into permanent hires.
While we initially contracted with our client to provide services during their peak season, the overall success of our partnership led to a three-year agreement during both peak and off-peak seasons. By understanding and quickly responding to their evolving needs, we continue to deliver talent and full-service call center solutions that drive performance and support their overall success.
"Aston Carter constantly challenges themselves to provide more, even when they have surpassed what has been asked of them. As our business has grown, they have ensured they are prepared to help us on the next leg of our journey. When a request is made, they quickly provide a strategy on how they will meet the ask. They are eager to understand how our business works so they can anticipate what to bring to the table next."
SENIOR CUSTOMER CARE MANAGER, GLOBAL FOOTWEAR DESIGN AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANY