Readycall (now Pro-tel)
Company: NoeticaCustomer: Readycall (now Pro-tel)Submitted by: MCC InternationalDate: January 1998Readycall is a medium sized teleservices bureau with clients in sectors such as retail, travel and leisure, the voluntary sector and various direct selling operations. For each of these clients, Readycall offers a range of services and each client needs a different call answering approach. Many of the calls are in-bound sales calls generated by advertising – at its most sophisticated level these involve cross- and up selling. Other calls are nearest store or showroom enquiries, including giving directions to rural or difficult to find outlets. Readycall also provides a Telephone Answering service, where agents pass on actions and schedule requests, for example, medical appointment setting, or passing on the details of an urgent repair to Readycall’s building maintenance clients. Readycall also take and fulfill brochure requests and run customer care lines.
“The teleservices industry has seen a great deal of progress in the last few years, and the demands made of call centres and their agents have changed and become more complex,” explains Steve Wigg, Managing Director at Readycall. “Clients are now using telemarketing more often and more creatively to expand their industries. For instance, many companies are now setting up general enquiries lines with a single number for sales calls, nearest store location, complaints, brochure requests and general queries. Care lines are becoming the norm for many brands and products, representing an extension of customer service and branding. Our agents are seen as the ‘face’ (or voice) of a brand image. If an enquiry is not answered to the callers satisfaction, this reflects badly on the brand we are representing: a care line can damage a brand if calls are handled badly.
“Readycall’s original call centre software had been able to cope with these demands, but our clients were asking more from us: a greater number of the calls we receive are becoming complex, like the customer care lines, where queries can be wide ranging. This system, though it worked well, was relatively simple, giving agents a basic script with little flexibility – complex calls were often difficult to handle, especially for the less experienced agents. To keep up with the demands made by our clients and to ensure that service levels were at a maximum, we decided to update our call centre with a new software system, Synthesys, in our bureau”.”Synthesys is one of a new generation of call centre software tools, which, with its sophisticated call scripting, script designing, call tracking and call monitoring, makes the task of running a modern call centre more efficient, and gives our agents the ability to handle all calls with confidence”.”Its scripting element is both flexible and simple at the front end. Our agents are given all the questions they need to ask for each particular account, so they do not have to rely on documentation or memory to complete the more complex calls.
They are able to navigate intelligently backwards or forwards through the script. If a caller changes his mind or requires extra information, our agent does not need to return to the beginning of the call, but can easily find the relevant section and change the information. Synthesys ensures that all the relevant information is collected, and in the correct and consistent format. An agent never has to take any information more than once: once an address has been typed in it is automatically repeated at all the relevant points. Synthesys guides the agents through each call, whatever information or queries a caller should have. If a call is out of the ordinary, Synthesys allows agents to search for more information using specifically built web-style help pages, and can even link the system to a corporate intranet and relevant web-site.
Most enquiries, even the most complex, can now be satisfied in a single call.”After the call has been completed, the call tracking software allows us to be sure that any action which is required has been completed. For instance, we have a lift maintenance client where the actioning of the call is vital. We answer the call, collect all the necessary information, notify our client and track the call until the maintenance has been completed and all the problems resolved.”Using the Synthesys Script Designer, the whole process of writing a script to exactly meet a client’s needs has become more practical.
Before we installed Synthesys, one of our account managers had to meet the client to discuss the script, the results of which were passed on to the IT department – however, this took time and left open the danger of mistakes and misinterpretations. Now, the client and account manager can sit together around any computer and design the script together. This process now takes hours rather than days and the client is able to articulate his needs at the time so there is much less room for misunderstanding. Clients are now also much more involved and in control of their scripts, and, therefore, of the brand image which is presented to callers.This ability to script software without having to call in IT staff has freed up IT engineers’ time. “We are now only called in for specific IT problems,” says Graham Curl, Technical Manager at Readycall, “whereas before much of our time was spent developing scripts and then, often, changing them for specific needs or changed circumstances.
This has relieved the workload on the IT department: now we have time to concentrate on other things.”Sue Dennis, Call Centre Manager, has also found the new technology improves agent efficiency: “We are already experiencing a significant increase in productivity. The scripting system gives our agents confidence to handle all of the calls we receive, even the most complex. Training time for new agents or for specific, complex accounts has been reduced because the software is always there to prompt and guide our agents.”The general managing and supervision of the call centre has also become easier. Though our old system also had a call monitoring function which we used a great deal, the Synthesys Call Monitoring can do more, giving us a greater variety of management supervisory functions, such as giving us a real time snapshot view of how well the call centre and our agents are working.
As the management and supervision of the call centre has become more and more complex in recent years, our call monitoring improvement is a real bonus. “Steve Wigg concludes: “Synthesys has freed up our staff from any inefficiencies, and we look forward to seeing the full benefits of the system in the future. Clients who are wary of outsourcing their telemarketing operations feel more in control of the brand image being presented over the telephone and of operations support, in the knowledge that they have been directly involved in the script building and that agents have all the information and support needed to satisfy nearly all enquiries in a single call. We are confident that Synthesys will allow us to improve our bureau and its levels of service, and to expand our client base.”