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Case Study: Ifbyphone Charges Batteries Plus IVR System

Batteries Plus, the nation’s largest retail chain of its kind, offers more than 40,000 different batteries and related products in 350 locations open in 42 states and Puerto Rico. Its product line includes both batteries for common uses and hard-to-find items that are traditionally not available at other retail stores.

Problem:

The Batteries Plus chain wanted a way to help prospective customers find the store nearest to them via the telephone — both as a convenience and to serve customers without immediate access to the Batteries Plus Web site.

In addition, they wanted the marketing simplicity of advertising one number for their chain, +1 800 MR START, that would serve both to connect callers to their local stores and also help route calls to corporate departments and product experts reliably and quickly

Batteries Plus wanted to ensure that workers at individual stores didn’t have to juggle the needs of in-store customers while answering phone calls for routine questions or questions unrelated to their own business: store location, franchise opportunities and status of online orders.

Solution:

Batteries Plus found its store-locator answer in Ifbyphone, which customized its off-the-shelf store locator application to give the retailer a way to intelligently and automatically route all customer calls to one 800 number. Now, when a customer calls +1 800 MR START, Ifbyphone’s hosted IVR solution asks the customer if they want to be forwarded to the nearest store, find out about orders or something on the Web site, or learn more about franchising opportunities.

If callers are looking for a retail store, the application executes a reverse-lookup on the customer’s phone number to find his or her current location. It then presents the addresses of and distances to the three closest stores, lets callers conveniently choose one, and connects the call to that store.

The greetings and prompts of Batteries Plus’ IVR are recorded by a professional announcer. Natural-sounding text-to-speech technology delivers the addresses and locations specific to each caller, making it unnecessary to record the locations of each store. Working with the retailer’s corporate office, Ifbyphone further customized its template application to minimize customer wait times and maximize call-handling efficiency.

Results:

“Whether it’s our battery experts or our franchising experts, the Ifbyphone store locator application puts Batteries Plus customers in touch with right person to get the right answers,” said CEO Russ Reynolds.

The application automates the routing — or the total interaction — for the three most common reasons people call Batteries Plus: finding a store, checking product availability and inquiring about franchising. Costly employee time is saved and focused on face-to-face sales interactions.

Batteries Plus franchisees all over the country enjoy increased customer traffic driven by Ifbyphone’s IVR application; the corporate franchise development team can work immediately with pre-routed callers on the application and approval process.


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