“COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges for our both our customers and business model. Within a matter of days we had to transition hundreds of agents from a call center environment to remote work. With Pathlight we were able to instantly bring our in-office experience digital and increase communication and productivity across the frontline— it has been an integral solution for us to make our organization successful while working remotely.” — Chris Eisdorfer, CEO of ECE Contact Centers

About ECE

Founded in 2008, Extraordinary Customer Experience (ECE) is a Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) that is laser-focused on delivering industry-leading service experiences. ECE has six contact centers in multiple countries and thousands of agents who work with rapidly growing high-tech companies. Leaders at ECE recognized that the key to providing best-in-class service is to ensure their agents are supported, self-motivated, and high-performing— they partnered with Pathlight to achieve this goal. Pathlight was their solution to streamlining communication, saving time, transforming data work, democratizing management, and driving productivity.

“Back in March, when we were first working from home, there was a big communication problem. Pathlight became the way for us to connect with our team leads and now we only rely on Pathlight. Without the dashboard and mini goals that we use for coaching, I don’t think we could survive working from home.” — Mary Joy Llorente, Agent at ECE

Challenge #1: Communication

COVID-19 created a huge communication gap for ECE when it forced hundreds of their agents to transition to remote work— they struggled to gain alignment and maintain productivity. Large-scale announcements, such as org structure changes, shift schedules, and performance expectations were more frequent than ever before, but the in-person communication they previously relied on was impossible.

Working from home also presented challenges with communication between team leads and their agents. The inability to troubleshoot issues in real-time, answer agents’ questions, and hold coaching sessions also impacted productivity. Organization-wide updates and individual communications alike became obstacles, and there was no log or record of any that took place. ECE needed a solution to help them stay connected, stay on track, and document everything along the way.

“The only way for us to connect with our team leaders is through Pathlight. The frontlines rely on Pathlight; it’s a good thing because we can look for answers ourselves and we don’t have to rely on our team leads.” — Mary Joy Llorente, Agent at ECE

Solution

ECE team leads turned to Pathlight and the platform quickly became their one-click megaphone for large-scale announcements as well as their tool for problem-solving, providing feedback, expectation and goal setting, and more. Their hundreds of remote agents in real-time so agents were no longer wondering, “Who is my new manager?” or  “What are my goals for this month?”

Pathlight became the communication channel for team leads to “open their doors” and take questions to assist struggling agents. They started daily work-from-home threads to answer queries; these threads served as both immediate solution hub help agents in need of answers as well as an official log of issues that agents could return to later. Important conversations like this, as well as 1:1s and other meetings, were not only held, but permanently documented, all in Pathlight.

ECE sends an average of 500 messages per week and has created 1600+ agendas since working from home began in March. Thanks to Pathlight, hundreds of ECE agents and team leads were able to communicate effectively while working remotely and were therefore able to focus on their goal— providing the best possible customer experience.

“Our team leads and agents were flying blind so to speak, which made understanding their performance and quickly taking action to improve impossible. Team leads were not able to coach their agents effectively and efficiently— getting a sense of productivity while remote would have been very difficult [without Pathlight].”  — Chris Eisdorfer, CEO of ECE Contact Centers

Challenge #2: Managing Performance

ECE, like many contact centers, found it challenging to get the full picture of individual and team performance. Understanding and managing performance has always been a challenge in the data-heavy realm of customer support, even when agents work together in an office. However, this common hurdle became almost impossible to overcome when ECE’s workforce was suddenly distributed and subsequently disconnected due to COVID-19. Understanding performance is critical to identifying problems early, finding and teaching solutions, and ultimately driving success.

Before Pathlight, it was not possible for an ECE agent to know how they were performing across all of their critical KPIs in real-time. Team leads spent countless hours tracking metrics across multiple platforms, such as Stella, Lessonly, Zendesk, and Teleopti. They had to manually pull reports and then consolidate performance data to understand individual performance— the data was shared just once per week with ECE agents. Due to this long process, issues were often identified too late and opportunities to get ahead of performance issues were missed. Getting real-time performance data, all in one place, was critical to driving productivity in a remote work environment.

“It’s hard when you have too many platforms to pull and present data from. Before Pathlight we used to extract raw data from all the reps and then we’d have to segregate that data manually. Each team lead had their own way of doing it, which led to discrepancies. There was no centralized way of doing reports— it’s easier if you just have Pathlight.”                — Matthew Cornelio, Team Lead at ECE

Solution

Pathlight became absolutely critical to managing remote performance— utilized by 100% of ECE team leads and agents every day— it is the singular aggregated source of truth for performance. The automated, real-time data and visualized metric snapshots were placed in the hands of every single team lead and agent. For the first time, team leads were able to see agent performance all in one place and provide coaching in real-time all while working from home. Agents could log on in the morning and see exactly how they were doing without ever speaking to their team lead. They became more self-sufficient and proactive. With Pathlight, agents had just as much visibility into their performance, in real-time, and could now control their own destiny.

“Pathlight saves us lots of time. I used to spend four hours a day pulling reports, now it’s roughly two hours. The mini goals are useful because agents have to do so many things every day, but they really just want to see how they’re doing— the mini goals show their progress. Agendas have all of our coaching sessions, so there’s no sifting through messages. I can review everything right there.” — Matthew Cornelio, Team Lead at ECE

Before Pathlight, half of a team lead’s day would be lost to manually pulling, sorting, and analyzing performance data. With Pathlight, team leads diagnose performance issues in just 15 minutes and know immediately where they need to spend their time to ensure their team is successful and hits goal. The Pathlight platform saves ECE team leads 5+ hours per week. Now team leads spend their time starting answering questions, coaching their agents, and driving results. Team leads also utilize the Pathlight “Mini Goals” feature to set performance expectations and short-term goals.  With Pathlight, team leads can focus on what matters— growing their agents and growing the business.

Conclusion

In the wake of COVID-19, ECE needed immediate solutions to drastically improve communication and performance management across the organization. They had no way of communicating large-scale announcements, answering agents’ questions, or providing individual feedback. ECE also lacked a singular method of tracking and analyzing their disparate sources of performance data. Pathlight offered a solution to all of the challenges they faced and improved efficiency and productivity along the way.

With Pathlight serving as ECE’s one-click communication tool they were able to adjust to remote work more easily, inform and coach their agents from afar, and document everything in the process. In regards to managing performance, Pathlight lightened the load of ECE team leads by consolidating data sources and automating data work. The platform saved them many hours per week, eliminated discrepancies, and allowed them to focus more on helping their team and hitting their goals. Pathlight is both ECE’s main communication platform and single source of truth for performance.

“Pathlight was able to integrate and put real-time performance data in the hands of all our agents and team-leads quickly. The biggest benefit, whether we are in a remote work environment or not, is that everything a supervisor needs to be successful is located in one place with performance data being updated every 15 minutes.” — Chris Eisdorfer, CEO of ECE Contact Centers