Everise, a next-gen Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company, recently partnered with Microsft to transform the customer experience (CX) across all touchpoints for its clients. To deliver an experience that matches expectations of its customers, the company empowered its agents with the tools and intelligence they need to succeed, as well as the flexibility to work from anywhere. Everise chose Microsoft 365 to meet its goals, because of the productivity, security, and mobility features it offers. Today, Everise provides crisis-resilient, anywhere/anytime support to some of the world’s top B2C brands with the help of its globally dispersed teams.
Focusing on providing services that transform customers into fans, and products into passions, Everise adopted a strategy that blends the flexibility of work-at-home with the stability of a brick-and-mortar office to empower its employees to work from anywhere while continuing to deliver a consistent performance. To ensure that its agents can provide outstanding customer experiences even as they work from home, Everise needed a collaboration and communications platform that provided versatility and improved security.
“In the past, we used different communication platforms, which failed to fully meet our needs. We needed a platform where agents can communicate within the organization and get responses quickly,” says Alvin Laggui, director for operations at Everise’s Manila experience center.
With the help of Softline, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, Everise successfully adopted Microsoft 365 and moved to the cloud. Now, it uses Microsoft Teams to create a more secure and high-performing work-at-home environment.
“Microsoft Teams has helped us coordinate seamlessly. We are able to do our daily catch-ups, set weekly business reviews, and even touch base with managers, all in one platform,” says Laggui.
Structuring Teams to mirror face-to-face coaching
The Teams environment also helps with organizational management. “With Microsoft Teams, we are able to mimic a brick-and-mortar location and have the same level of engagement,” says Michael Stevens, director for IT Business Systems and Microsoft Teams lead at Everise. Using channels and sub channels within Teams, employees can create an online environment that mimics different call center floors with teams for each line of business. Agents interact and help each other in real-time, much as they would if they were seated side by side, as traditional contact centers were designed.
“The structuring of different teams is proving to be very effective,” says Michael Friggle, a work-at-home manager at Everise. “Each supervisor has taken ownership of their own sub channel, as it used to be when they were in brick-and-mortar offices.”
Advantages go beyond management structure; Teams allows for real-time coaching. “During a call, one of the agents needed assistance. So, she started a chat with her supervisor, shared her screen, and was able to provide a great customer experience with the help of her supervisor’s virtual guidance,” Friggle says.
Shortly after the company’s transition to the cloud, COVID-19 arose, affecting normal operations. With the scalability of Azure, Everise was able to transition 4,000 desktops and 8,000 agents to a work-from-home environment within 72 hours. “In disruptive times like these, companies investing in home-based talent and technology are transforming their resilience to achieve growth. Everise has made these investments, which empower our people to connect and engage, ensuring we are able to quickly adapt to meet the needs of our partners,” says Sudhir Agarwal, founder and CEO of Everise.
As of today, the company has expanded from 15 physical experience centers to 10,000 micro-experience centers based in the cloud. Most importantly, its resilience is translating to growth, as the company is currently recruiting thousands of remote workers from places where it did not previously have a physical presence.
“Our ability to source, recruit, hire, train, engage, and performance manage a large global workforce in a work-at-home environment has turned out to be a real competitive advantage and we think it will continue to be going forward,” says Dave Palmer, Everise president.
Creating meaningful work-from-home experiences
While remote working gives flexibility to employees, it’s not without its issues.
“One of the biggest challenges of working from home is staying connected with colleagues,” says Peter Tapia, operations manager at Everise. “But Microsoft Teams solved that issue for us. We use channels to constantly reach out to team members. It’s helping us to connect with people who are not seated with us in the same building.”
Cheryl Coppens, senior director of the Home Experience (HX) solution at Everise, agrees. “I have never met either Peter or Michael in person. But my emotional connection with these guys is pretty strong. Our relationship and trust were built because we had this incredibly effective communication tool. We wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have Microsoft Teams,” she admits.
Everise is focused on enhancing customer experiences and improving employee experience. To boost employees’ camaraderie and team spirit, the company introduced gamification via Teams. “We play games and have a different theme every month,” Friggle shares enthusiastically. “This month’s theme is Game of Tones—a play on Game of Thrones. We have different houses under each supervisor, and houses compete with each other for the throne, or the prize.”
Working from home is providing benefits that also improve the customer experience.
“We have discovered that employee retention is significantly higher in our work-at-home environment. That translates into more experienced, better-trained people, which improves customer satisfaction,” adds Palmer. “We’ve also found that the efficiency of employees in a work-at-home environment is significantly higher. All of these factors have aided our ability to increase the employee experience as well as improve delivery and satisfaction for our clients.”
Today, the Everise team continues to look for new ways to reap more benefits from its Microsoft solutions. As Coppens says, “I don’t see us not exploring the various apps and capabilities within Teams. We are trying to engage our partner organizations who are still on Skype to try Teams. We also plan to utilize the intelligence of the cloud to enable powerful insights.”