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VIZIO - Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: VIZIO Inc., Irvine, CA
Company Division/Group: VIZIO Contact Center
Company Description: VIZIO's Contact Center is located in Dakota Dunes,South Dakota. The site has 50 customer-facing agents and acts as a best practice center. The VIZIO contact center takes phone calls, chats, emails, and SMS along with managing social media sites and forums. While the contact center is in South Dakota, VIZIO's headquarters are located in Irvine, CA.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: VIZIO's William Kranig - Making it Look Easy

Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since the beginning of July 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Whether it’s forecasting the weather or forecasting contact volume, forecasting is dependent on a set of data in the hands of an expert. The most accurate weather forecasts (AccuWeather, National Weather Service, Weather Channel), correctly forecast precipitation the NEXT DAY 82% of the time according to weather watchdog Forecast Advisor. In the world of contact centers, forecasting contact volume is vital to proper staffing and preparation and 82% won’t cut it. At the VIZIO Dakota Dunes Contact Center William Kranig is responsible for Workforce Management and developing the all-important contact forecast.

Staffing, training, IT and facility planning, and outsourcing all are at-risk without an accurate contact forecast. Delving into William’s world reveals the questions, answers, sound logic and data used to develop one of the most important pieces of any contact center. William must be able to support the logic he uses, as the forecast will be vigorously reviewed and scrutinized. He creates a monthly forecast which must be delivered to each contact site a month in advance. Forget next day, William is looking a MONTH OUT. That’s when the forecast lock-down takes place, so the sites have adequate time to staff.

William must consider the following when developing a contact forecast:

- Historical data. What were the historical contact numbers for similar time-frames? William reviews results from as many years as there is data and then establishes a baseline.

- Sales forecast. How many units are expected to be sold and when? What models?

- Call-in rates by model. What is the model-level historical data for the last 90 days?

- User proficiency. What is the proficiency of consumers using this new product or technology, i.e. will they require help? Will a usability issue or a new technology drive calls? If so, what percentage or how many contacts?

- Installed base. These are customers who purchased VIZIO products at some time in the past. They still receive lifetime, toll-free, technical support. This base continues to grow. Based on data as far back as possible, how many installed base calls will we receive?

- Contact deflection. What is the impact of VIZIO’s contact deflection activity? Visitors to can find articles, videos and almost everything online that was once done by phone.

- Sales promotions. What sales promotions will take place during this time-frame?

- Seasonal considerations. What holidays (including days before and after) will take place?

- Staffing and capacity. What is the assumed staffing and agent capacity at VIZIO Dakota Dunes and all its outsourcers? This understanding allows William to fine-tune and break the monthly forecast into a day-over-day forecast by site. Since VIZIO support is staffed using half-hour intervals, he’ll have to create a forecast to that level of detail.

Which brings us to the other area William oversees: Workforce Management. This is having the correct staff in place to handle the contact volume. Enough staff is needed to handle the volume; too few agents and we have high Average Speed of Answer (ASA) and high Abandons, too many and we are inefficient and costly. William again has multiple factors to analyze:

- Staffing. How many agents are available and when?
- Capacity. How many Calls per Agent per Day?
- Adherence to schedules. How often and what % of agents don’t show up for their shift?
- Extended hours and shifts. Will we be extending hours or shifts, using overtime or voluntary time off?
- Breaks and lunches. Can we shift some breaks and lunches and if so, what does that do to contact capacity for those intervals?

As you can see in the attached Percent to Forecast file, William’s forecast was within 9%, twelve of seventeen months since July2017, with an overall accuracy of over 96%. William makes it all look easy. It isn’t.