Case Study: Communications Server Technology

By Christine J. Holley

The Company: NTS Marketing, Lynchburg, VA

The Problem: NTS Marketing is a full-spectrum teleservices and fulfillment agency with an extensive call center handling 15,000 to 20,000 calls per day. NTS Marketing began looking for a new system to replace a Teloquent ISDN in their call center. NTS Marketing was experiencing lost calls due to incompatible ISDN signaling with their local carrier (Centrex-based ISDN) and the Teloquent switch. Dropped calls and lack of results remedying the situation were main reasons NTS Marketing decided to look for another switch.

The Solution: NTS chose a Comm Server solution by Interactive Intelligence, Inc. due to its reliability, scalability and flexibility. Nearly 200 NTS staff members use the Comm Server solution, and NTS services approximately 30 clients with upwards of 20,000 contacts per day.

Servers: One main and one backup

Number of trunks: 8 PRIs

Number of lines: 32 Centrex lines w/CLID

Number of extensions: 134 Stations

Applications Used: PBX, IVR, ACD, fax services, reporting tools, unified messaging, greetings, filter features, look-ups, and recording capabilities.

Benefits: “A Comm Server solution has given us a lot more flexibility,” said Chris Judd, CIO for NTS Marketing. “Not only are we able to offer a wider range of services, including Web chat and email, but we can create those services more quickly. This is a farcry from those complicated and cumbersome ‘traditional’ communication solutions I’ve witnessed in past. Comm Server technology has helped us to improve quality of service, and in many instances, has actually reduced implementation costs.

Using Comm Server technology, NTS has created numerous applications resulting in improved customer service. One NTS application generates a “hot FAX” and “hot EMail” to the caller while they are still on the phone for things like directions to an event and order confirmation. They’ve also programmed the system to route calls based, not only on the skill of the agent, but on proficiency and desire to use. In addition, NTS uses least-cost routing for outbound campaigns or as needed using specific client-owned trunks. The system can also play client/project-specific greetings or even music-on-hold, based on the day of the week and time of day. Finally, recording capabilities have allowed NTS to systematically record calls for Quality Assurance and verification based on parameters for the project. For example, they might program the system to record every call for queue “A, “every 10th call on queue “B,” and “on demand” for Agent “X”.

“In addition to improved customer service, we’ve also witnessed an increase in productivity and a decrease in certain costs,” said Judd. “For instance, with our old Teloquent system, NTS agents waited about 40 seconds between calls. Now, agents can receive calls between 2 and 3 seconds apart. In addition, we’ve created a special option when a call needs to be transferred to an AT&T 800 number. The application performs a flash hook, followed by DTMF digits ‘*8’ and then the 800 number. The call is then released to AT&T’s network. Phone charges then continue from the originating call to the final destination 800 number, and the middleman, in this case NTS Marketing, is not billed for the rest of the call. The advantages of Comm Server technology are endless. The more I use the system, the more I realize how limitless its potential really is.”

Christine J. Holley is the Market Communications Specialist for Interactive Intelligence Inc. Contact her at 317-872-3000.  For more information, read New Technology, New Markets.

[From Connection Magazine – November 1999]

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