Last year we worked with Necor Zambia Limited, a telephony reseller, to implement a call center solution for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). On many occasion during that project we found ourselves working closely with Zamtel – the national incumbent of Zambia. We gained a mutual understanding and ultimately began an ongoing dialogue that has recently culminated into a whole new project in Zambia.
As Zamtel has advanced and expanded in recent years they have outgrown their present telephony system. It was the one constraint preventing their growth. Unwilling to be anything less than the best, Zamtel made the decision to acquire a completely new Contact Center. They chose Bicom Systems as a professional consultant to lead them forward in this task.
With a population of 14.2 million people in Zambia that is projected to triple by 2050, we knew this project was big and important. Anxious to get our feet on Zambia soil, we booked a flight to Lusaka for Cian Maher, our consultant.
Cian, an experienced consultant with an impressive history of contact centers, arrived on the scene prepared to study their current system and determine their needs and requirements. His time was filled with observations, meetings, and focus groups. He spent his days right in the middle of the contact center, developing a keen understanding of their requirements, operations, problems, and processes.
When Cian first visited Zamtel they had only 38 users and complained of high rates of dropped calls. They were eager to get started on creating a brand new contact center, dreaming big of not only a new telephony system, but a new space, new desks, essentially a whole new environment.
Cian spent his first day meeting the personnel and touring their current facility. He quickly began to identify areas that could be improved and develop ideas for their final product. Over the following five days he participating in a number of meetings:
- Financial meeting – to identify the financial challenges of running a contact center
- Personnel meeting – to identify the types of employees and necessary training
- Contact Center meeting – to identify current procedures, operating times, scheduling, performance, productivity, call flow, monitoring, and coaching
- Employee Focus Group – to identify the types of problems that employees face and their ideas for improvement
They developed customer profiles and discussed what types of things make them happy or unhappy. Cian was able to sit side-by-side with agents at the contact center to directly observe their jobs and understand their difficulties or problems. More important than all the meetings and discussions were the simple observations that Cian was able to make as he walked through the office, chatted with employees over lunch, or even travelled back and forth from his hotel.
One of the final steps of his trip to Lusaka was to take a look at the IT team and system and began compiling new technical requirements. Cian and Zamtel are still negotiating the technical aspect of the project today.
Armed with all of this information, Cian returned home and began the task of compiling a plan for the new contact center. From the technical aspect to the office layout, from software selection to employee hours, even from the types of seats even from the types of seats to the office coffee machine, Cian is creating a brand new contact center for Zamtel that promises success and growth.
Zamtel is now going out to tender and we look forward to seeing what the competition comes up with and how we can best advise our customer.