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PFSwebOAISYS Case Study:  PFSweb

Founded as Priority Fulfillment Services, PFSweb began providing its clients with worldwide distribution, call center and back-office services in 1991. The company issued an IPO in December 1999 and today remains one of the few public companies in this sector. The company’s character is expressed in an ever-changing corporate culture in transformational strategies and in new and compelling offerings for customers.

Today, PFSweb has approximately 1,500 employees on three continents and is a leading global one-stop-shop partner for international e-commerce initiatives. Its European contact center has more than 30 agents covering six languages for 18 corporate clients. The center handles more than 19,000 customer calls and 19,000 emails per month.

The Challenge

PFSweb’s European director of client services, Gillian Townley, identified a need to record contact center calls to monitor quality and ensure brand consistency for the company and its corporate clients who rely on PFSweb agents to represent their brands. There were no tools in place to record or monitor calls, so the company was relying on the contact center agents themselves to adhere to processes and branding guidelines. Townley’s objective was to improve the quality of customer service, improve brand representation, use historical call recordings for training purposes, and be able to share recordings and reports with their corporate clients.

From a compliance standpoint, PFSweb required a call recording solution that would verify that agents were not storing customers’ personal data and that they were following all certification rules. Also important to PFSweb was dispute resolution, allowing them to quickly find and share call recordings to resolve issues.

Townley investigated call recording solutions used by other companies to determine the features and functionality needed for PFSweb’s contact center. She and the contact center manager viewed product demos from four different solution providers. She said, “Quite quickly, we knew that OAISYS Tracer was the right choice for us.”

The Solution

Easy and intuitive for the agents to use, OAISYS Tracer makes accessing and retrieving call recordings simple and efficient. In addition to capturing the call audio, Tracer is enabled to record and view live agent desktop screen activity.

Transparency with its corporate customers is a key objective for PFSweb, one with which Tracer helps them achieve with ease. Tracer is set up as a shared contact center, which enables PFSweb’s corporate clients to access and listen to call recordings to ensure that their brands are being accurately represented.

Using Tracer, PFSweb records 100 percent of calls and uses Tracer to filter a select percentage of these calls into the work queue folders, which allow contact center managers to score a relevant number of calls per agent per month, depending on the contract. These calls and scorecards are discussed on monthly calls with their corporate clients to help ensure that PFSweb’s agents are providing the high level of branded service expected.


Key Benefit #1: Enhanced Business Insight
According to Townley, Tracer empowers PFSweb to provide its corporate clients with a transparent and complete overview of how their brands are being represented in the PFSweb contact center. Having the recordings and being able to easily monitor and share them also helps the contact center manager quickly identify communication issues, provide feedback on both exemplary and problem calls, and improve training for new and existing agents.

Key Benefit #2: Proactive Resolution of Customer Disputes
Tracer has also given the executives a better understanding of the pressures the agents face when there is an aggressive or abusive customer on the telephone. Using Tracer’s Chat function, the agent can immediately alert a supervisor while still on the call. Having the Chat function has enabled agents to receive help before the issue escalates, without the caller being aware.

Key Benefit #3: Improved Alignment of Agent Goals and Performance
When agent and supervisor evaluation scores are similar, the agent is more likely to understand and perform to company expectations. However, when an agent’s self-assessment scores are higher than the supervisor’s, it is likely he or she could benefit from additional training, using his or her own calls as examples. When employee scores are markedly lower, it may be a sign of a morale or motivation problem that would benefit from additional coaching. PFSweb found that being able to listen to their own calls has helped agents self-assess their performance and identify areas where they shine and where they need improvement.

The Bottom Line

PFSweb has realized across-the-board improvements to its quality monitoring program, obtaining deeper insight into customer interactions that have enabled more effective personnel development and agent training measures. Call center supervisors and agents work together to facilitate preemptive resolution of customer disputes before they can escalate into more serious issues. Self-evaluations have enabled PFSweb agents to analyze their own call handling performance and play an active role in quality improvement.

According to Townley, “OAISYS Tracer is an affordable, intuitive call recording solution that has made a big impact on the way PFSweb’s agents represent their clients and has enabled them to deliver proven results to their corporate clients.”

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