Case Study: Art San Diego Uses Hosted VoIP to Increase Event Productivity

The Client. The Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair (formerly Beyond the Border International Contemporary Art Fair) started in 2009 and now boasts more than 50 galleries that showcase more than two thousand pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, videos, and cutting-edge multimedia. Art San Diego further features guest speakers, city-wide cultural programs, and exclusive wine and food events. This annual event has become San Diegos largest art fair.

The Challenge. Art San Diego did not have a dedicated phone services provider, and this created problems for organizers and supporters who needed to communicate at the event, or in the weeks leading up to it. In 2010, for example, the Art San Diego team published the executive director’s personal cell phone number on the Art San Diego website. On the first day of the fair, she received so many calls that not only was she unable to answer them all, she had a hard time managing the event itself. On the second day, the executive director asked if Volunteer Coordinator Heidi Slack could post her personal cell phone number on the site instead of her. Slack agreed and spent the rest of the fair juggling her regular fair duties and answering caller questions. The worst part was having to answer the same simple questions over and over again  questions that could easily have been handled by a recorded auto attendant,” Slack said.

The Solution. After the 2010 fair, Art San Diego heard that VoxOx In Business, a division of Telcentris Inc., was interested in donating hosted VoIP services for the 2011 event. That way, Art San Diego could take advantage of hosted VoIP, including a professional auto attendant that would provide event information over the phone.

VoxOx in Business and Art San Diego agreed to work together and, in a short amount of time, the event had a functional phone platform. The only equipment necessary was configured IP phones, which could be moved anywhere Art San Diego had an Internet connection.

For the 2011 art fair, specifically, Art San Diego had two dedicated phone lines, a recorded auto attendant and a menu of options from which callers could select the information they needed.  A VoxOx In Business staffer recorded the auto attendant menu information from a script provided by Art San Diego. This allowed callers to get answers to simple questions by listening to the recording; they also had the option of speaking to a live attendant if they had more questions.

The Result. Slack, who managed a 48-person team of volunteers for the 2011 event, said the hosted VoIP system resulted in significant efficiency gains and increased customer satisfaction. 2011 was much smoother, easier to manage, and made Art San Diego look incredibly professional and capable,” she said.

The platform let Art San Diego representatives not only pick up calls from a desk phone but also to route calls out to employee cell phones when needed, all from a central phone line. Slack was able to assign a volunteer to answer the phones while she managed the volunteer team. With this change to our communication process, customers were happier, Art San Diego staff members were happier, and the work environment was much more productive and less stressful,” Slack said.

The team received more than 150 calls from patrons during the weekend event and was able to help these callers get the information they needed. Art San Diego was able to address more inquiries overall, and provide a simple, streamlined means to answering those questions. Having a dedicated phone line for the event was a fantastic tool to have at our disposal,” Slack said. “The call quality was excellent, the phone was easy-to-use, and guests were very pleased to utilize this customer service tool.”

Slack also said it was ideal to be able to disconnect the phone service once the event ended. In 2010, she received calls up to a week after the last day of the fair from people who did not note the event days and times. This year, the ability to disconnect the phones when the fair was over allowed the team to quickly move on to other projects.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The ID is: 72553