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New Studies Report More Than Half of Organisations Audit the Quality of Back Office Processes and Performance

  • 21 June, 2004 11:38

<p>- Contact centre market research supports need for optimising customer service enterprise-wide, including branch and remote office environments -</p>
<p>Following the Asia Pacific launch in March of its back office performance management initiative, Witness Systems (NASDAQ: WITS), a global provider of performance optimisation software and services, today announced newly published research that further supports the market value of the company’s new eQuality Office offering. eQuality Office is designed to help companies audit critical business functions to better understand the inter-departmental impact back office transactions have on customer service and satisfaction. By taking performance management to back office, branch or remote office environments, companies can quickly identify process breakdowns, root causes for call volume spikes in the contact centre, and catalysts driving customer frustration.</p>
<p>Research reports from IT industry analysts - along with surveys conducted at last week’s Witness Systems Driving Innovation customer user conference in Toronto, Canada, as well as during the Customer Contact Solutions Conference in London, UK - reinforce the need for companies to identify the underlying motive for incoming calls into their contact centres. During both Witness Systems’ 2003 and 2004 user conference events, more than half of attendees reported that they already monitor the quality of back office functions, or have plans to do so in the next 12 months. Organisations today are finding that processing delays causing customers to call for status checks - such as with order fulfilment, loan applications and claims processing - and data entry errors driving customer changes, as well as billing mistakes and unclear information, are creating customer dissatisfaction. Unnecessary repeat contacts due to inadequate back office processes often contribute heavily to call volumes, which directly impact contact centre workloads and customer satisfaction.</p>
<p>Asia Pacific Companies Monitor Back Office Processes
According to recent research conducted by Sydney-based market research firm ACA Research into the BPO (back-office process outsourcing) market in Southeast Asia, the back office market is significant with more than 80 percent of major corporations shifting their business processes to external suppliers over the next five years. “Many organisations feel outsourcing back office business processes to third party providers is the best way to reduce internal operating costs, become more efficient and improve customer service,” said ACA Research Director Martin Conboy. However, he added, “There is a clear need for tools that will help companies manage service quality when outsourcing business processes, as the integrity of the customer service delivered is inexorably linked to an organisation’s business success.”</p>
<p>Reinforcing these findings, independent surveys conducted by leading industry analysts in the US support the value associated with monitoring back office transactions. Of clients surveyed by Robert Frances Group (RFG), executive IT business advisors, no less than 56 percent of respondents indicated that they audit the quality of their back office processes, revealing that “it is an important issue with managers; a high quality and efficient method is something they would desire,” according to Ken Landoline, RFG’s voice telephony business practice leader.</p>
<p>The RFG study identified the top reasons companies audit back office functions: to track adherence to policy, data quality and productivity, as well as fraud detection. The same research found that the types of transactions audited in the back office most frequently (in order of priority) were order processing, billing, payment processing, customer administration and claims processing.</p>
<p>Root Cause Analysis Prompts Back Office Monitoring
Another study conducted by the leading provider of research and analysis on the global IT industry showed 29 percent of the organisations it surveyed leverage quality assurance and recording to monitor and improve functions beyond the call centre, such as back office processes. In addition to recording for compliance, workflow analysis, process engineering and workload monitoring, 84 percent of respondents capture transactions for “root cause” analysis.</p>
<p>According to analysts directing the study, clients cited using the solutions for back office processing of orders, returns and exchanges, claims and applications processing, and finance processing, such as billing, payment and collections. They also reported that they audit various back office processes for quality of data, adherence to process, productivity and fraud detection. Other objectives included problem solving and root cause analysis, regulatory compliance, workflow analysis and management, process re-engineering, workload monitoring and balancing, screen navigation and training.</p>
<p>In addition, the IT analyst firm found of those that leveraged the technology outside the contact centre, more than 50 percent used it in more than one area beyond the contact centre. The analysts went on to report that there are many opportunities for the optimisation of enterprise processes today from front-line, customer-facing processes to the back office processes that impact the customer.</p>
<p>For more information:
Alba Oni
Witness Systems
+61 2 8907 0320
aoni@witness.com</p>
<p>David Matthews
Porter Novelli
+61 2 9463 7600
dmatthews@porternovelli.com.au</p>
<p>About eQuality Office
Witness Systems’ performance management initiative extends its eQuality contact centre and IP workforce optimisation suite to back office environments. Its eQuality Office offering is designed to help improve the quality and productivity of back office functions - such as order fulfillment, claims processing and billing - enabling companies to optimise customer service in the back office, as well as in traditional contact centre and IP environments. Leveraging the same eQuality software, users can identify and address specific root causes to determine reasons for call volume spikes and areas of customer frustration that originate from back office departments. For more information about the eQuality Office performance management initiative and Witness Systems’ eQuality software suite, visit www.improveeverything.com.</p>
<p>About Witness Systems
Witness Systems (NASDAQ: WITS) provides the contact centre industry’s first integrated performance optimisation software suite to help global enterprises capture customer intelligence and optimise workforce performance. The browser-based eQuality® software is comprised of compliance, high-volume and business-driven recording solutions for customer contact centres and IP telephony, as well as performance analysis and e-learning applications. The closed-loop suite enables companies to capture and retrieve, learn and train, and report and analyse customer interactions and back office transactions to develop staff, generate revenue, reduce costs, and achieve greater customer retention and loyalty. An integrated business consulting, implementation and training methodology provides services to support an effective, rapid deployment of eQuality that enables organisations to maximise their return on investment. For additional information about Witness Systems and its eQuality software suite, visit www.witness.com.</p>
<p>Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this release that involves Witness Systems’ expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. They are identified by words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and similar expressions. These statements are based upon information available to Witness Systems as of the date of this release, and the company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements believed true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. Some of the factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include fluctuations in customer demand and the timing of orders; the company’s ability to manage its growth; the risk of new product introductions and customer acceptance of new products; the rapid technological change which characterises the company’s markets; the risks associated with international sales as the company expands its markets, including the risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations; the ability of the company to complete and integrate successfully any acquisitions or investments it may make; and the ability of the company to compete successfully in the future, as well as other risks identified under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, and any other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.</p>
<p>Witness, eQuality and the Witness logo are United States registered trademarks of Witness Systems, Inc., protected by laws of the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.</p>
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