A Fortune 500 financial software company was working with one of the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the world and needed a fast ramp with a large headcount to support tax season, January through April. While they have hundreds of call center locations and employee-based work-at-home solutions around the world, this leading BPO sought to partner with Omni in order to better manage the rapid ramps and scalability of staff required to properly service the client’s customers.
This market-leading tax preparation software is owned by a well-known American business software company that specializes in financial software. More than 40% of U.S. taxpayers file their taxes online and some 40 million of them do so with this software, far more than with any other product.
The BPO came to Omni on behalf of the software company looking for a fast ramp up to support tax season and another peak in October when late filing is allowed. They needed a large headcount and have them trained and ready by January. It was imperative that the new talent was trained properly and performed exceptionally well, as this was the only time the software company could communicate with their customers, and if they weren’t happy there was no time to make it right.
The incumbent BPO uses full-time W2 agents to service this client and was not able to manage nights and weekends and the gaps that are normally filled by a part-time employee. And since that is when the majority of Americans prepare their taxes, it’s imperative to be fully staffed at that time. Because Omni works with 1099 Gig workers who are interested in working those flexible after-hours, we were able to fill in the gaps and handle 60% of the business.
Omni was identified as the leading provider of Gig customer support by both our BPO partner and the tax services organization. The seasonality of the business, which increases as much as 40x versus the non-seasonal, year-round needs, lends itself exceptionally well to the scalability and flexibility of a Gig model. Since Omni is uniquely capable and qualified to deliver Gig Economy customer support solutions, both Parties agreed to bring Omni on board as the solution.
Because the tax industry is so erratic, one change can create huge spikes in call volume. For example, a news story or TV commercial can drive a flood of calls. So we needed to be flexible. We planned for 30% more than the previous season and ended up doing 50% more. In some instances, we were asked to increase up to 600 hours in one day.
It can be a challenge to fill hours on the fly however our model allows us to take actions like surge earnings to quickly boost our workforce and staff to higher numbers and increase productivity. We introduced surge earnings for extra hours and fun incentives to meet demands. Gig workers thrive on flexibility and our GBAs were eager to help meet the goals. Based on feedback that the new talent did not want to sit in 9:00 to 5:00 training classes, we developed self-paced certification classes which allowed them to gain skills and move into production more swiftly. We also found key attributes that could be improved upon, so we took action. We introduced voluntary knowledge bars and on-demand learning videos, targeting areas GBAs were struggling. These proved very successful, and performance soared.
Taxes are stressful, both for the customer and GBA. Many customers are counting on their return, and GBAs want to always get it right. So we try to inject some fun into the project. We shared quick tip videos, Gig Talks where the GBAs could discuss anything on their minds, and GigOBytes – a communication that shared meme-like information regarding the program.
On tax day, we had nearly 3,000 GBAs on the phones and handled more than 900,000 contacts during that season. Omni averaged 7.54 hours worked on peak days and was the top-performing team. Even under the umbrella of the partnership with the BPO, Omni was the single largest handler of volume for the tax software company, handling more than 60% of the BPO’s tax software customer support volume.
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