Call Center Software Opens a Window of Opportunity: Blinds.com Improves Bottom Line and Organizational 2efficiency with New Phone Systems

By Klie, Leonard | CRM Magazine, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Call Center Software Opens a Window of Opportunity: Blinds.com Improves Bottom Line and Organizational 2efficiency with New Phone Systems


Klie, Leonard, CRM Magazine


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Blinds.com, a provider of window treatments, serves more than a million customers a year throughout the United States and Canada from its headquarters in Houston. It sells an average of about 4,200 blinds per day, and, as its name would suggest, most of its business--about 70 percent--is conducted online via six company-run Web sites. In addition, an inbound call center handles telephone sales as well as specialty design consultations.

After it acquired a competitor about two years ago, Blinds.com knew it had to make a few organizational changes. The first was a complete reworking of its out-dated phone system.

The company's old Avaya IP Office system didn't allow calls to be transferred between organizations, and it did not provide a way for management to beef up the system or add queues to respond to call volume. Even worse, the system was geared toward small businesses, not contact centers, and it involved plug-ins from various vendors. But Blinds.com wanted one solution from one vendor.

Blinds.com also wanted a solution that would let it employ skills-based routing and address agent skills by monitoring, recording, and reporting on calls. "We couldn't listen to or monitor calls, and we couldn't use calls for any kind of training purposes," recalls Steve Riddell, vice president and chief operating officer at Blinds.com.

After shopping around, Blinds.com decided to install the Customer Interaction Center (CIC) all-in-one IP communications software suite from Interactive Intelligence. The CIC system's open, software-based architecture would enable Blinds.com's contact center staff to manage and administer the system in house without any intervention from the IT department. "I essentially manage the system with two guys," Riddell says.

CIC was deployed during a single weekend; work started on a Friday evening and the new system was up and running on Monday morning. Also deployed were several CIC add-on applications, including Interaction Recorder for multichannel recording and quality monitoring, Interaction Feedback for post-call customer satisfaction surveys, and Interaction Optimizer for workforce management. An integrated workflow management component ensures that every interaction is followed to completion.

Today, the company's entire workforce, which includes 84 agents and design consultants, uses CIC. The system gives users functionality for multichannel routing and queuing, interactive voice response, Web chat, Web callback, and screen capture for monitoring and training. …

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