Marianne L. Pedersen is Customer Service Manager at a large Danish bank, Arbejdernes Landsbank, and she knows about everything that goes on within her area of responsibility.
That’s because she’s an experienced leader after many years in the banking world. It’s because she’s “not an Excel person, but a people person” as she puts it herself; someone who cares deeply about the comfort and well-being of customers and employees alike. And it’s because she uses Zylinc Advanced Statistics as an integrated part of her daily work.
“Zylinc Advanced Statistics provides great insight into how efficiently we work, but also into what we’re able to potentially achieve. Numerous times, the statistics have helped me make informed decisions and adjustments that have had tangible, positive effects.”
“With Zylinc Advanced Statistics we’ve also been able to fully automate all workflows around reporting of statistics. For example, I get a report with numbers and graphs about the previous 24 hours in my inbox every morning, and I use that to verify if everything has worked as planned,” Marianne L. Pedersen explains.
Trends and transactions
“If there’s anything that I need to look further into, I have Zylinc Advanced Statistics’ browser-based user interface running on one of the three monitors on my desk.”
“There, I can quickly analyze everything from overall trends down to individual transactions in the handling of a call. For example, I can quickly view how many seconds a customer waited in a queue, or how long it took to transfer a call.”
“Our deputy manager also regularly gets automatically generated reports, and even some of the customer service agents in our contact center have asked to receive regular reports about their own performance, because it motivates them to be able to view how well they perform.”
“We’re the ones who talk!”
Arbejdernes Landsbank’s contact center in busy Glostrup, west of the Danish capital Copenhagen, uses a Zylinc telephony solution, employs around 30 people, and is open seven days a week. The agents answer all sorts of questions about customers’ day-to-day financial situations, but when it comes to advice about investments, pension, etc., they pass inquiries on to highly specialized colleagues.
As Marianne L. Pedersen says: “We’re the ones who talk! In the contact center, we’re to a very large extent the bank’s voice towards the customers.”
Tactical and strategic benefits
The contact center gets more than 500.000 calls per year, and it’s an increasingly busy place: In the past 12 months, the number of calls has gone up by 25%, so there’s a great demand for being able to work efficiently – here and now as well as strategically.
Marianne L. Pedersen mentions a small statistics-based adjustment that had an immediate effect on customer waiting times:
“Before we got Zylinc Advanced Statistics, we used a basic statistics solution that we were fairly happy with. But with the basic solution, we could only view data down to a resolution of one hour.”
“With the higher data resolution of Zylinc Advanced Statistics, however, we became able to view information in smaller chunks of down to 15 minutes. The improved granularity gave us the power to analyze and optimize further:”
“For some time, we’d had an annoying peak with longer waiting times on weekdays around 2 pm. Even though we’d hired in part-time agents to help out, we hadn’t been able to get rid of the peak.”
“When I analyzed the situation in Zylinc Advanced Statistics, I immediately saw that we could use the part-timers better if we asked them to clock in and out 15 minutes later. We did, and guess what? The peak immediately went away!”
“That’s how small a change it took to get real results: just 15 minutes! It’s a great example of how the higher data resolution of Zylinc Advanced Statistics made us see things that led directly to improved customer experience.”
On a strategic level, Marianne L. Pedersen uses Zylinc Advanced Statistics when she communicates business cases to the bank’s top management:
“I use Zylinc Advanced Statistics to show facts and trends instead of merely asking for more people, more stuff, or more money.”
“The evidence, the ability to objectively show facts, that’s inherent in statistics is something that C-level managers appreciate.”
“With Zylinc Advanced Statistics we also get the ability to monitor the effect of our management decisions, once we’ve made them.”
Employee development and performance appraisals
Employee development is another area in which Marianne L. Pedersen actively uses Zylinc Advanced Statistics:
“It’s an important tool in my regular talks with our employees, during their induction as well as in their later continuous professional and personal development: What makes this employee stand out? What motivates them? Together, what can we do better?”
“The statistics also helps us when it comes to professional back-and-forth: Is it positive, for example, if a contact center employee is able to handle a very large amount of calls? Or is it a negative thing if the average talk time of an employee is high? It all depends on the given circumstances.”
“When we’re able to look at trends, and zoom in and out on particular periods of time, the statistics help us have such professional discussions based on real facts from real situations. That’s highly valuable when it comes to assessing each individual employee’s strengths and development potential.”
Complaints from customers are rare at Arbejdernes Landsbank, but they of course occur in any high-volume contact center, including Marianne L. Pedersen’s:
“We take all complains seriously, because with every complaint there’s an opportunity to improve. On the other hand, we also know that psychological factors can lead to perceived bad experiences. A minute of waiting time, for example, can feel like forever if the customer is in a rush. We also sometimes find that the customer can’t quite remember who they spoke with when they had their bad experience.”
“With Zylinc Advanced Statistics, we can handle each complaint objectively: How long did the customer really wait? Which agent handled the call? Did the customer get transferred or put on hold at any stage of the call?”
“That ability to be specific – with exact timestamps for every event during the call – is invaluable when you’re going to re-establish a good connection with the customer and at the same time be able to learn from whatever we could have done better.”
Strip away myths and uncertainties
Statistics provide great insight into what has happened, but statistics can equally well make you wiser on things that didn’t happen:
“Take the Covid-19 lockdown in the first half of 2020,” says Marianne L. Pedersen. “Everyone expected that it would lead to us getting far more calls while the bank’s physical branches were temporarily closed, but that didn’t happen. It was a myth that everybody expected to come true, but our statistics have effectively stripped that myth away.”
The statistics have, however, proved another thing about the lockdown that perhaps wasn’t quite as expected: Agent talk time in the contact center went up while the branches were closed. In part because many calls were about finding alternative ways of doing things when customers could no longer use the branches; in part because the calls took on a new social aspect:
“It was evident that some customers felt a bit lonely during the lockdown,” Marianne L. Pedersen explains, “so they quite simply enjoyed talking with us for a minute or two longer than usual. We of course made room for that, because it’s an excellent example of the close relations that we want to maintain with our customers.”
Data, information, and the ability to act
Zylinc Advanced Statistics greatly helps Marianne L. Pedersen og Arbejdernes Landsbank gain insights and turn data into actionable information that can make a real and positive difference for the bank and its customers:
“Whether it’s when I get my daily report in the morning, when I’m in an employee performance appraisal, or when I analyze long-term trends with top management, the statistics always show me something. I always find something that I can act on. It’s great to be in the know; you should really try it!”
Founded in 1919, Arbejdernes Landsbank is one of Denmark’s seven largest banks. With headquarters in an iconic building directly opposite Copenhagen’s Tivoli gardens, the bank has around 70 branches, 1.100 employees, and 300.000 customers.