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11 Jan 2022


Telefónica, S.A. is a Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider with operations in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America. Operating globally, it is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. In Latin America, where the company commenced its international expansion in the 90s, the company provides services to more than 150 million customers, ranking it as the leader in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru and with large-scale operations in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Since July 2004, Telefonica has implemented Q-nomy's Q-Flow® Enterprise System in its customer service centers in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica joined later, in 2007, 2011 and 2012, respectively. After nearly 3 years of operation, the implementation is a clear success and is considered a major contributor to Telefonica’s acclaimed customer service system.

The Challenge

Telefonica had more than 10 years of experience in the use of simple customer flow systems for the control and administration of their Service Branches. However, with a growing market in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua the company needed to change their branch administration and control model toward an efficient and personalize service model. Since simpler customer flow systems relied on locally installed components, Telefonica found it impossible to use them to govern employees and service performance indicators based on enterprise-wide standards. This resulted in inconsistent levels of service between different branches, and rendered service-level administration based on customer segmentation an impossible thing to do.

The Solution

Having identified and defined the technical challenge, Telefonica’s management had set the following goals for a service center management system:

  • Centralize the administration and operation of the customer flow management systems in El- Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua
  • Implement a homogeneous standard model for the three countries to measure agents productivity and to support an incentive plan
  • Implement a homogeneous standard model for the three countries to measure Services Levels
  • Integrate Data Bases to develop service schemes based on clients segmentation

By achieving these goals, Telefonica had aimed to improve customer relations as well as create a better and fairer working environment for customer service representatives. To address these goals, Q-nomy's Latin America Partner ACF Technologies proposed a complete hardware and software solution based on the Q-Flow Enterprise System. Thanks to its central Web architecture, Q-nomy and ACF could offer significantly lower cost compared to competitive proposals. The solution included the following elements:

  • Q-Flow Customer Flow Management module
  • Q-Flow Digital Signage module
  • Q-Flow monitoring and reporting application for branch managers and customer service executives
  • Additional hardware required for communicating with customers (Self-service kiosks, wall-mounted displays etc.)
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A customer arriving at a Telefonica Center would first encounter the Kiosk or a Receptionist where he/she would:

  • Be identified by their telephone or cellular number
  • Select one of 3 or 4 options of required service

After receiving a ticket, the customer would be directed to waiting areas, and then to customer service counters using Q-Flow’s digital signage and voice messages. Customer flow would be constantly monitored by the system locally and centrally. Managers and analysts would gain access to queue status and valuable accumulated statistics.

The Results

Q-Flow was initially deployed in 16 service centers, where hundreds of agents serve more than 6,000 customers a day.

After two years in use, the system’s effect became clear and all goals set by the management were fully accomplished.

1. Central administration and supervision:

Telefonica established a centralized department in Guatemala that is in charge of administrating and monitoring the 16 branches. Today, central managers are in complete control of remote Branches, and as a result they can maintain high levels of service and efficiency. They are able to monitor the service center performance in real-time and to maintain the company's Customer Service goals. Central Managers can take staffing decisions based on real-time information from the Q-Flow online reports, for example, by moving agents between branches to balance workload.

2. Gathering service level and agents efficiency based on standards

With accurate service level measurements and productivity indicators Telefonica has improved their Service Level from 60% to 85% of arriving customers served in under 15 minutes.

Customer Service executives use Q-Flow to produce daily, weekly and monthly reports. These enterprise-level reports are used, among other objectives, to promote competitiveness, by electing top branches and top regions (based on shortest waiting time averages and productivity).

Luis Flores Tista, Telefonica Centers Manager: "Q‑nomy's solution provides powerful and efficient tools for Telefonica to control our level of service, and enables us to manage customer relations in an outstanding way”

3. Easy integration

Telefonica Centralized Customer Data Base has been integrated with Q-Flow, enabling, through the use of proprietary Service Algorithms, the administration of customer relations based on segmentation and service history.

4. Further Deployment

Following Q-Flow’s highly successful implementation, Telefonica continued to upgrade the system and broaden its uses in several ways. Q-Flow Sales Tips module, together with a tighter interface to Telefonica’s CRM application and Sales Force Management scheme, was recently implemented in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.Q-Flow Calendar had been put to use in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, enabling customers to schedule store appointments, thus reducing wait time and improving the overall customer experience.In addition, Telefonica also implemented the Q-Flow alert system, which notifies managers (via e-mail or mobile phone messaging) of exceptional waiting times, low staffing, and other important events.

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