Aspect Software Inc. is a global software and IT services firm specializing in applying Microsoft Inc. unified communications and collaboration to help customers achieve optimal results through enhanced business processes across the enterprise and in the contact center. Aspect provides IT consulting, integration services and business applications.
Challenge. In reviewing its legacy technical environment and business interaction model, Aspect determined that the company had a fragmented infrastructure due to mergers and acquisitions over a number of years. It also identified opportunities to streamline the environment as well as improve both internal and customer-facing processes by eliminating the siloed infrastructure of different legacy telephony hardware in various offices and regions.
Solution. Aspect implemented Microsoft Office Communications Server with presence, instant messaging, voice/audio/video conferencing and more across its 1,800 employees to enable greater collaboration internally across offices and business groups, as well as externally with customers.
To best leverage this unified communications technology in its contact center, Aspect deployed Seamless Customer Service, its own unified communications application for the contact center. This application delivers the tools needed for comprehensive call response, including inbound routing, coordinated voice self-service to live service and Ask an Expert functionality to improve first call resolution and enhance the customer experience.
Ask an Expert empowers Aspect agents with unified communications capabilities such as presence, IM and conference calling and enables Aspect support engineers to use presence and skill criteria to find an available expert and rapidly address customer questions.
Seamless Customer Service also provides skills-based routing and prioritized routing that allow the most appropriately skilled support engineer to handle a given customer inquiry. And, at the end of each interaction, a post-call voice survey helps Aspect measure customer satisfaction with the service experience and allows them to continuously identify opportunities to further improve service and support.
Results. Since implementing unified communications enterprise-wide, Aspect has seen tremendous cost savings and improvements in productivity. In its first year, the company completed more than 1.7 million calls, with nearly 12 million minutes of talk time and had employees participate in more than 2 million IM sessions. With more than 11,000 conference calls taking place per month, Aspect was able to save $100,000 per month in conference calling expenditures and lowered telephony circuit costs by more than $350,000 with session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking. Most notably, the company eliminated 16 PBXs and their associated $300,000 in annual maintenance costs.
Since implementing Seamless Customer Service in the contact center, Aspect has delivered measurable improvements in key customer experience metrics. When the automated post-call survey identified call wait time as a frustration area for customers, Aspects Global Operations team responded by utilizing the new unified architecture to implement more efficient call routing through the worldwide resource pool to the most appropriate available resource based on factors such as product, language, region and issue severity.
In the last year, call hold times have fallen by 76 percent, from an average of 2.5 minutes per call to just 44 seconds per call. Since the initial introduction of the Ask an Expert capability, the overall first-day resolution rate has increased by 7 percent and the time to reach a support technician with the correct skill set has improved by 8 percent. In addition, the teams using Ask an Expert have shown increases in Transactional Survey Overall Customer Satisfaction scores of 6 percent, measuring 4.79 on a scale of 5.
Its critical for us to stay on the most recent releases in our contact center so that we can take advantage of what the products offer. When we deployed Seamless Customer Service, we quickly saw how the unified communications capabilities streamlined communications in our contact centers and improved the speed of customer-company interactions, said Tonya Long, senior director of global technical operations at Aspect. It gave us a great opportunity to build our expertise on the unified communications application, provide input to our product management team, and validate the projected improvement metrics and the results so far have been impressive.
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