Convergence Success - Rooms To Go Furniture
Will Communications Servers Make The PBX Extinct? - Call Center Magazine
By Lee Hollman.
Rooms-To-Go based in Seffner, FL with contact centers in Tampa and Atlanta is one of the nation’s most rapidly growing furniture retailers. In it’s quest for superior customer relations they offer multiple contact mediums for customers to communicate on issues like deliveries and quality control. They also take a proactive approach to customer service by calling and confirming deliveries in advance. This avoids unsuccessful delivery attempts and customer dissatisfaction, saving the company thousands of dollars.
Fred Beasley, the call center director for Rooms-To-Go spent many years searching for the correct multi-faceted telephony solution and recalls that when he originally sought a predictive dialer for the Tampa center he found Calltrol’s (then Buffalo International’s) Object Telephony Server (OTS™).
With myriad inbound/outbound, live/automated requirements Beasley’s task was not easy. While there were many vendors talking a good game, few could offer a concise plan to implement these features in a fashion highly integrated with the valuable corporate database applications already in place.
The present solution has fostered many benefits for the company. First year labor savings alone has paid for the OTS™ system AND the company’s phone switch.
Rooms to Go has made extensive use of the OTS™ function suite. This is an excellent example of how a single PC based Telephony Server can truly eliminate4 or more separate pieces of conventional telephony equipment in a business critical environment.
One example of how productivity has improved is as follows:
We like to confirm our deliveries before we go out, and give [customers] a four-hour timeframe of when we expect to be there,” he says. “We are using live [agents] to do our confirmation process,” he says. “When we’re confirming deliveries, we reach about 50% of the people. The other 50% of the time, we get an answering machine. Although agents still reach only 50% of customers live, with OTS™ they leave automatic messages on the other customers’ answering machines. He formerly employed 20 agents to make confirmation calls and now employs 6 agents for this purpose, a 14 person cut!
Agents also call customers after each delivery to conduct a survey about how satisfied they are with the service they receive, and to ask them if they require additional assistance. These calls are now made through the dialer.
Other uses for the new OTS™ system:
Beasley used OTS™ to expand the capacity of the call center’s phone switch. “All of our departments, [like] accounting and merchandise, were on our switch, which was full.” says Beasley. We connected OTS™ to the call center’s phone switch through a T-1 trunk and moved the customer service agents onto the OTS™ server. In addition to expanding his PBX’s capacity, Beasley used OTS™ to provide a touchtone menu for Rooms-to-Go’s customers. “When I started looking for a dialer, I also discovered that [OTS™] can also be used for some IVR routes” says Beasley. Customers can check order and appointment status by entering their order or phone number by touch tone. This saves time and keeps live agents focused on less routine inquiries.
We have various toll-free numbers to contact different departments or agents who speak Spanish for example. OTS™ takes the DNIS digits [from each number] to route [the call] to a specific group,” says Beasley.
Beasley explains that he purchased the OTS™ communications server from Touchstar Software, a value-added reseller and consulting firm. A team of in-house programmers worked with programmers from The Touchstar Software and installed OTS™ at the first location within two weeks. “The Touchstar programmers added the routing parameters,” says Beasley. “They also gave me some pretty neat features, such as call monitoring.” He adds that after Rooms-To-Go customized OTS™ to its specifications, the company’s Atlanta call center went live with it after a four-day installation period.
For more information on Rooms To Go Furniture’s Calltrol implementation see:
Will Communications Servers Make The PBX Extinct? - Call Center Magazine, November 2000, By Lee Hollman.