A financial services client had made the decision to close a major customer care center and migrate the services to other centers. Announcement of the intended closure was made twenty-months before the event. The management team was faced with the challenging tasks of retaining its workforce, maintaining productivity, and sustaining morale during the journey to the center’s closure.
Working closely with center management, LRI helped develop a strategy for the entire transition period. Aggressive relocation/retention goals were set for the workforce, stretch goals for performance were identified, and no “stay” bonuses were to be paid (instead, a gain-sharing program was introduced). A process for facilitating the rapid development of team leaders and supervisors was introduced. Involvement of senior corporate leadership was key, and the other centers were engaged in the retention and relocation efforts.
Results were astounding. Record production and quality levels were achieved throughout the period, with the last two months being the highest-performing. Retention and relocation goals were far exceeded. The center leadership team (including LRI) received the company’s highest internal reward, and a Harvard Business School case was written about the center and its closure process.