What Makes Danmer Shutters a Modern Company? A Modern Telephone System that Helps It Provide Superior Customer Service
“Our business is treating our customers like friends and family, we want to focus on that, so we didn’t want to own and maintain a phone system on-premise. We wanted a cloud-based solution that would provide us with the latest technology and support on an ongoing basis without multiple installations, upgrades or training going forward.”
Erik Berg, Call Center Manager Danmer Custom Shutters
Window shutters may seem old-fashioned and quaint, but connecting with modern customers requires cutting-edge technology. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, Danmer has made customers their number one priority. Everything Danmer does, from their marketing and call center to installations and warranty services, is based on what generates the best customer experience. This dedication to customers has resulted in Danmer becoming the largest manufacturers of shutters in California. How do they do it? Hard work, progressive thinking and scalable technology where it has the greatest leverage – in their communication system.
At first glance, a shutter is a shutter. Danmer shutters may not seem to have much variation from the next company listed in a key word search. Even having the best product on the market isn’t enough of an advantage if your customers find it difficult to communicate with you. Danmer’s mission is to therefore have a great first response to any customer contact by improving their measurement tools and ability to make rapid adjustments. Rather than dedicating support staff time to an onsite implementation, Danmer took a modern approach with their phone system and chose ShoreTel cloud in the spirit of “keeping the process invisible.”
Erik Berg was hired in May of 2012 to improve the performance of the call center. “Organizationally, we don’t need a week at ‘Area Code Camp’ or a 500-page manual for our two IT guys to ignore,” says Berg, “Departmentally, our phone agents need to spend more time determining customer needs and finding ways to satisfy them. We’ve spent years tripping over ourselves, duplicating information or missing it all together because of convoluted phone processes. So many other solutions were management-oriented and not process-oriented.
“When I spoke with ShoreTel, I immediately knew they were in tune with simplifying features while staying at the cutting edge of phone technology,” Berg continues. “Our business is treating our customers like friends and family, so we didn’t want to own and maintain a phone system on-premise. We wanted a cloud-based solution that would provide us with the latest technology and support on an ongoing basis without multiple installations, upgrades or training going forward. Danmer is a small company doing regional business but we’re seeing demand grow quickly to a national business doing two to three times the volume of business we did in 2012. Since I previously managed other call center departments, I knew that expanding our scope linearly would require exponential growth in IT. I couldn’t justify the investment in a major phone project with just a couple dozen people using the phones in traditional call center fashion.”
Berg searched for a forward-thinking company that offered “pay as you grow” functionality. When he narrowed down his list to a few companies in their price range, he eliminated a few industry favorites. “After my first conversation with my ShoreTel account executive, I knew ShoreTel’s company direction was in parallel to the modern ideals I was trying to implement at Danmer,” he says. “We need our phone system to dump reports in CSV because our in-house CRM system can’t hook onto APIs. The ShoreTel account executive had a ‘no problem, we can do that’ perspective. He went on to show me how the system’s core functionality would remove barriers to our marketing department’s ROI measurement efforts. The ShoreTel system costs slightly less than our local service, saving us 75 percent on our toll-free bills, and offers us the reporting we need to understand ourselves more precisely. What more could I want?”
Perhaps the cloud phones’ greatest impact is on marketing efforts. Danmer runs dozens of local marketing campaigns and each is assigned its own toll free number for tracking purposes. In fact, they operate up to 200 inbound numbers at one time. Adding and deleting toll free numbers from its old phones didn’t make for easy reporting and wasn’t cost effective. Danmer can now add multiple outbound caller IDs when calling on various local campaigns and obtain a more granular view of what works and how well by being able to quickly isolate specific campaigns and agents when looking at ROI.
Beyond specific features, a cloud-based phone system is more scalable than an on-premise solution, requiring no additional hardware, wiring, infrastructure or specialized personnel. New licenses and services can be quickly added in hours or days, rather than weeks. “The flexibility of the system is paramount,” says Berg. “The phones allow us to move forward with expansion when we know the phone portion isn’t going to be a huge expense or resource drain. We can configure the phones how we need them on the fly, from home or after hours.”
Danmer is also leveraging the ShoreTel cloud services to manage much of the administration work. ShoreTel offers most of its administrative functions on its online portal, giving users access wherever they are. “As a call center manager, I appreciate not having to go to each person’s desk to make changes,” says Berg. “Agents and departments can customize their own phones to what is best for their customers’ experience and departmental managers can make company-wide modifications from the web portal. The process is completely invisible to the customer and all they experience is a seamless interaction with our company.”
As long as there are windows, Danmer Shutters will have a market. Their new, modern cloud-based phone system gives them scalable technology and the infrastructure support they need to keep focused on their competitive advantage: superior products delivered with superior service.Print