Most on-line businesses maintain contact centers that enable their customers to obtain support over the phone via toll-free calls. But not every on-line business has a contact center environment that enables tracking of call metrics: number of inbound calls by time of day and day of week, call times, hold times, numbers of abandoned calls, etc. These metrics can be extremely valuable when it comes to balancing agent scheduling (ultimately payroll costs) and service-quality delivery across traffic peaks and valleys, keeping hold-times within acceptable margins even at the busiest times. Read how, with the assistance of NEC Unified Solutions and NEC Associate The Maynard Group, Bay Photo was able to migrate to a call center solution that both improved customer service and staffing levels while reducing abandoned calls (with sophisticated call queuing).
By using Bay Photo’s Remote Order Entry System, called Bay ROES, commercial photographers can choose templates and photo treatments, and upload photos which Bay Photo then processes into customized albums and ships to its customers. Although Bay ROES is a user-friendly system, questions inevitably come up that require customers to call Bay Photo’s support desk.
Unfortunately, the company’s aging TDM telephone system lacked a call center environment and call queuing. While some support calls were answered promptly, others were not; in some cases, calls were answered but left on hold for too long. Despite the appeal of Bay ROES, the on-line business was under performing due to poor help-desk service. Without call metrics and reporting, Bay Photo was not able to properly staff its call center for peak traffic.
According to Sarah Bergeron, administrative executive, “the telephone system was also time-consuming and expensive to manage. Every add, move or change required a truck roll on the part of our vendor. We wanted an easy solution we could manage in house.”
As Bay Photo prepared to move to its new headquarters in 2007, Bay Photo executives evaluated various options, and chose The Maynard Group in Santa Cruz, CA.
“The Maynard Group is extremely professional and knowledgeable. They have been in business near by for 17 years, and have always given us excellent response and support. They designed and installed the NEC solution which has completely turned around the performance of our Bay ROES help desk,” says Bergeron.
According to Dean Maynard, his company is excited to recommend NEC solutions because, “NEC has the strongest multi-site capabilities of anyone in the industry and their migration paths always provide customers with investment protection. Its products are extremely versatile and include advanced applications that give businesses a competitive advantage.”
In the case of Bay Photo, Maynard specified the UNIVERGE SV8100 and UC for Business (UCB). “Bay Photo is benefitting from UCB’s advanced call center environment which provides sophisticated call queuing, call reporting, and metrics. The SV8100 vastly simplifies and lowers the cost of system management,” he says.
“UCB made a big impression when we first saw it demonstrated. We could see the possibilities were great!” says Bergeron.
The Maynard Group installed the UNIVERGE solution in the new headquarters building in July 2008.
Bay Photo’s UNIVERGE solution aligns well with the UNIVERGE®360 framework in which the role of the user determines the best communications method and technology. Thanks to the NEC solution, help desk agents and employees playing other roles have easy access to the people and information they need to get their jobs done.
For example, Bay Photo salespeople use the UCB Cell Phone Link to receive office calls on their cell phones when out of the office visiting Bay Photo’s retail locations and corporate customers. This enables them to always be accessible to clients and co-workers, from a single phone number. Because the UNIVERGE solution is extremely flexible, it will continue to help Bay Photo unify its business communications going forward.
Thanks to UCB, Bay Photo now has a sophisticated call center environment and a caller queuing process that enable inbound calls to be answered in the order in which they are received. Once more, an interactive voice response (IVR) front end uses data from UCB and announces the number of calls in front of each caller.
Says Bergeron: “We find people are more willing to hang on when they know how many callers are ahead of them. Even if they decide to dive out, they know we respect their time. They can always leave a message, of course.”
UCB provides Bay Photo with advanced call metrics. “Now we can see what’s going on with the system, so we staff up for peak traffic times; as a result, callers rarely have to wait very long,” says Bergeron.
Customers have noticed the improved service. “They’ve told us, ‘It’s so much easier to get through now,’” adds Bergeron. “We’re not losing calls any more. We’re getting to customers faster. We can answer calls as they come in, and that cuts down on decision latency and helps us give improved service.”
UCB enables the call-center manager to pull specific calls out of queue for VIP handling: “The manager can see the incoming callers’ IDs, and can answer any call. This is an added dimension of service that UCB enables,” continues Bergeron.
The SV8100 has simplified system management chores so Bay Photo can now manage the system in house. “We’re saving a good deal on management and support thanks to the NEC solution.”
She credits The Maynard Group for its contribution: “They have done a terrific job at every stage. The NEC solution has upgraded our ability to give Bay ROES users the service they deserve. Our customers are impressed with the difference, and so are we!” Bergeron concludes.
Read more about UC for Business. Contact NEC to find out more.
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