Improved Customer Satisfaction
Bonus: Improved Employee Morale
“We are able to respond faster to our customers without adding additional staff.”
John Bellos, Director of Technical Support, Sneakers Software
Challenge: Improve Response Times and Gain Control
Sneakers Software Inc. (SSI) designs and publishes Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for use in private veterinary practices and animal research facilities. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York, SSI serves markets in the U.S., Canada and Japan. The company has a distributed workforce with most employees working from their home offices. For years, SSI has used ShoreTel Sky telephones and outsourced its initial customer greeting to an answering service in Maryland.
SSI considers itself a leader in EMR software, earning a reputation as the developer of the most powerful, easy to use veterinary and animal care software for both Mac and Windows. Yet because of its outsourcing to an answering service, the company was receiving multiple complaints from its customers about the responsiveness of its technical support staff and the unprofessional demeanor of the person answering the phones. This was hardly SSI’s fault. When customers called SSI, calls were answered by a remote, outsourced answering service with no relation to, or personal investment in, SSI. The operator simply entered the caller’s information into a database, paged the technician and told the customer that a support technician would return their call as soon as possible. “These calls amounted to up to 90 per day and not one of them reached a live technician first. It was all funneled through the answering service,” explains John Bellos, director of Technical Support for Sneakers Software. “It could take technicians 10-15 minutes to return a customer call simply because there was a delay from the answering service or the technician was assisting another customer and had no way to transfer the call to an available technician.” Further, because of the remote workforce, Bellos had no way of monitoring these calls for quality control.
Bellos determined it was time to reclaim the phone system and empower his employees with modern technology to improve customer experience.
Solution: ShoreTel Sky Enables Efficient Remote Workforce
SSI had been using ShoreTel Sky phones for years and was impressed with their quality and reliability. They also enjoyed the prompt support from ShoreTel’s team. Bellos was aware that beyond the phones, ShoreTel Sky offered a contact center solution with automated call distribution (ACD), but felt it necessary to compare it to others on the market. “We found a few cheaper solutions but doubted they could offer the same level of support as ShoreTel,” says Bellos. “We were comfortable using the existing phones and it was more efficient to bundle them with the ACD solution. It was easier to work with one company to manage all of our telecommunications.”
After some internal research, Bellos found that the biggest hurdle was that technicians didn’t always stay with their phones. ShoreTel was able to work with Bellos to design a queue system that would couple the phones with a wireless headset. Now, when a technician leaves his computer, he hears a beep in his ear from the headset to let him know his phone is ringing. Customers reach a live, SSI technician within a minute, reducing previous wait times by approximately 90 percent. “The automated call distribution queue is working wonderfully and our technicians are able to be much more responsive,” says Bellos. “My assistant and I also make better use of our time. From our computer, we can easily see when call volumes are high, even though our staff is remote, and we can jump in to help answer calls.”
ShoreTel Sky Intelligence provides dashboards and call metrics on how many rings it took before a call was answered, how long the customer waited and how long a call lasted. This kind of data helps Bellos monitor and improve his workforce with additional training or staff members.
Results: Improved Satisfaction Rates
Perhaps the most affirmation SSI has received is from its customer base who immediately noticed the difference in time waiting to talk to an SSI technician and the professionalism of the person answering the phone. Bellos says the increased customer satisfaction rates have improved the morale of the support staff as well, as technicians feel good about their jobs and are getting happier customers at the other end of the line when they personally answer the call. “If I didn’t have the all-inclusive solution from ShoreTel, it would be more difficult and time consuming to manage a remote staff,” he says. “And now my staff can more quickly help customers get back to what they do best.”
SSI is also saving money using an internal solution as opposed to paying monthly to outsource calls to an answering service. “We are able to respond faster to our customers without adding additional staff,” says Bellos. “The reliability and quality of the ShoreTel Sky phones and the immediate support we receive from ShoreTel has been superior. I expected it would run smoothly, but it has gone above and beyond.”