Smarter teaming to enhance pay-for-performance compensation

IBM Vision Conference

Posted by Greg Livengood on May 19, 2014

A large retailer was gearing up for growth, and its call centers had to be prepared for a surge in customer demand. The company’s leadership and internal audit knew that they could not grow with their existing manual processes that lacked a clear audit trail. Today at IBM Vision 2014, we will share how Deloitte worked with the retailer to meet corporate goals with IBM’s Cognos ICM.

The root of the problem was that each of the three call center departments—website, card services, and collections—operated independently, using different performance metrics, compensation calculations and manual processes. As a result, pay for performance compensation was often inconsistent and inaccurate. Plus they lacked the flexibility to move representatives among departments to meet seasonal demand.

Few people like change – especially when it affects their paycheck or established processes; engaging all levels of the organization would be critical. Teaming with Deloitte, the company executed a comprehensive change management plan that included the following:

  • Executive participation. The team engaged the executive steering committee in making key decisions during bi-weekly meetings. Strong leadership involvement also set the tone for acceptance throughout the organization.
  • Business involvement. Regular meetings allowed business leaders to review and provide feedback so that the final product matched their expectations and needs.
  • Communication and training. Call center employees were kept up to date and received training on the coming changes.
  • Plan and role consolidation. Common compensation metrics allow call center employees to be moved among departments to meet seasonal demand.
  • Annual program review. Leaders plan to conduct an annual evaluation of the strategy, organization, processes, and technology to identify ways to continually improve the call centers.

Within 12 months, the retailer launched standardized performance metrics and automated performance feedback. They continue to invest and improve their customer service center and this summer’s changes will enable call center representatives to move across departments to meet customer needs. More important, the call centers are now structured to continue to meet the needs of their customer base as it grows.


Greg Livengood is a Senior Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Sales Force Effectiveness practice. He has 13 years of experience leading strategic high performance teams to help clients analyze, model, and implement incentive compensation programs.

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