Work / Call Center Application
TelusCall Center Application Redesign
The Telus call center product team was working with an agency to redesign the desktop application; however, they decided to end the contract with them due to cost overruns and poor outcomes. As a result, they needed help to get the project back on track, so they reached out to Telus Digital, a startup-like department within the organization with a mandate to modernize design and development practices across Telus.
At that time, I was leading the Home Services design team in Telus Digital. So when I found out, I took on the opportunity to tackle a new challenge.
At the beginning of July 2019, I started working on the project with multiple teams across Telus, including the Telus Digital Platform Services team.
I moved to the Platform Services team shortly after starting the project. They helped teams build products and services using a new platform, including the Telus design system they developed.
My objective was to help lead the redesign because they needed design leadership on their team. So, before starting the work, I worked with the Telus Digital principal designer and a Platform Services program manager to set up a project kick-off with key stakeholders and the project teams to get alignment on the work, as well as speaking with key members individually to gather more information to help shape the design process and work closer together.
Outdated development approach
I learned that the product and development teams followed a waterfall development approach resulting in the following:
- Limited user involvement
- Little research and testing
- Lengthy release cycles
- Costly changes
Additionally, the product team didn't sufficiently grasp application user needs, problems and expectations to de-risk features before development and delivery.
After evaluating both the desktop and the partially designed web application, I found interaction design issues such as exposure of all tasks and information on the user interface instead of prioritizing them based on task frequency, like most modern applications.
Additionally, information density made it difficult for agents to learn the software, contributing to about fifty percent dropping out during the training program.
I realized it would be challenging for me to tackle the project as the only designer, so with the help of the program manager, I hired a small team of contractors consisting of another designer, user researchers and a UX writer for a six-month contract, which is how long I estimated for the design and research work to be completed.
To help the product and development teams adopt modern software development practices, we worked with internal subject matter experts such as agile coaches and scrum masters to restructure and implement agile development.
While they learned to work as agile scrum teams, my team and I started to gather research insights.
Learning about call center agents
We visited the call center to observe the agent's environment and how they worked. In addition, we interviewed several of them across different lines of business, from TV and internet to mobile services.
Some of the things we learned were:
- Agents aspired to provide the best service to Telus customers. Still, they needed help to work with over 35 additional software to do their job. For example, they used Notepad software to capture notes from a customer call because it was challenging to do that in the application.
- They relied on an internal knowledge base to keep up-to-date on Telus news, products, and services, but the information was disorganized, out-of-date, or updated too late. So they had to rely on each other during calls to help a customer.
- Every agent had a different level of computer expertise which wasn't considered in their hiring or training.
These issues affected customer call metrics which reflected poorly in agent performance evaluations and prevented the product team from achieving their business goals and KPIs.
Participatory research workshops
Instead of presenting the findings to the stakeholders and product team, my team and I decided to have participatory research workshops to help them understand the problems and develop greater empathy for the call center agents.
Using our research insights, we worked with them to identify the different agent personas and worked with agents to map their journeys together. Finally, we mapped the agent scenarios to the business goals and KPIs to identify the critical areas of change and improvement.
Design vision and roadmap
Using primary and secondary research, I created a north-star vision to guide the product, and design direction, including a design roadmap for the design team's work.
Design and testing
I worked with the other designer and UX writer to tackle the designs. We defined new user flows, including interaction and visual designs, and revised the content, such as error messages.
One of our challenges was reducing the user effort when working with other software they used, such as the internal knowledge base and the Notepad software, which we solved by integrating content or designing a new workflow in the call center application.
We conducted concept and user testing to validate our ideas and fix usability issues, which we shared with product and development. Hence, they learned how to de-risk features before development.
We delivered a UX playbook with detailed artifacts, including user personas, user journey maps, user flows, interaction and visual designs, and prototypes, and a user-centered design framework as a reference for the product and development team to use.
We helped the product and development teams hire permanent designers as part of the new agile scrum teams and create requirements for the completed design work so they could start development.
The project stretched my abilities as a designer strengthening my interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively with multiple teams, including organizing and facilitating workshops and conducting contextual inquiries. In addition, I established excellent relationships with the people on my design team, continuing to stay in touch after the project.
Shortly after my team and I completed our work, I found my next opportunity at Sign In Enterprise (formerly Traction Guest).Back to top