5.2 Energy

5.2 Energy

Company: PPL EnergyPlus West

Profile

PPL EnergyPlus is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The company markets and sells wholesale and retail energy in 42 states and Canada and delivers energy to nearly six million customers in the United States alone. Started 80 years ago, the company believes that the future belongs to energy companies that understand customer needs and are dedicated to providing competitively priced energy.

Challenge

Whenever an agent is required to negotiate a price over the phone, that agent is essentially creating a verbal contract. PPL EnergyPlus realized that it is critical that those verbal contacts be recorded and archived for liability purposes. By recording calls from their digital Nortel PBX, the company found that they could eliminate or settle disputes and head off costly nonproductive litigation. However, its reel-to-reel recorder had problems with line noise.

Solution

Voice Print International (VPI) was contacted to assess the call center environment; it created a custom solution that records clear, crisp audio. This vendor solution solved a number of issues for PPL EnergyPlus. VPI's system is based on an open architecture that the company was able to integrate easily with its existing system. Maintenance is completely hassle-free because the system is very reliable and replacement components are available at any computer store.

Benefits

The following benefits were achieved with this vendor solution:

  • Calls that used to take 10 to 30 minutes to retrieve can now be retrieved in seconds using a database "query" to find calls

  • Significant savings in time and money in the call retrieval process

5.3 Financial services

Company: The Depository Trust Company (DTC)

Profile

DTC, headquartered in New York, is the world's largest securities depository, holding nearly $20 trillion in assets for its members and their customers. DTC is a national clearinghouse for the settlement of trades in corporate, municipal, and mortgage-backed securities and performs asset services for its participating banks and broker/dealers.

Challenge

With only 30 CSRs supporting over 3,500 internal and 30,000 external customers at its help desk, DTC was challenged with providing the support necessary to efficiently manage the large volume of calls received daily. The company realized that it had no way to monitor the types of calls received, and agents were managing different types of customer requests without any advance notification of who was calling or why. It was also difficult to measure or gauge the center's level of service because there were no real-time reporting tools or capabilities. DTC needed a solution that would address these continuous challenges and that would also integrate easily into its existing database application.

Solution

The Apropos Multimedia Interaction Management Suite seamlessly integrated into DTC's existing database application, allowing for up-front automation and identification of callers. This enabled CSRs to access and view information about callers so that their response was more accurate and efficient.

Apropos prioritizes and escalates each interaction according to business rules, which gave DTC the ability to truly manage interactions based on the value to the business. By storing and displaying the interactions in a multimedia queue, the system assisted in the effective management of the numerous calls received. In addition, the real-time reporting feature allowed management to examine help desk activities and assisted in making better-informed business decisions.

Benefits

The vendor solution provided the following benefits:

  • Cradle-to-grave reporting-provides full insight into center activities, allowing management to make better, more informed decisions based on actual business data and improved productivity

  • Prioritizing and escalation rules-accommodates unique business and service-level requirements, delivering a more personalized and effective response

  • Improved visibility of caller information-ensures that customers will receive more efficient service, increasing customer satisfaction

Company: Liberty Funds Group

Profile

Liberty Funds Group is an integrated asset accumulation and management organization. Its operating companies manage $66 billion of assets for investors worldwide through an array of fixed, indexed, and variable annuities; private and institutional accounts; and mutual funds. Liberty Funds brings together the investment expertise of a select group of money management firms known throughout the industry for their strong track record of success.

Challenge

With locations in Colorado and Boston and over 200 agents who were being recorded daily, Liberty Funds Group had decided to upgrade its recording system from a removable media-based system to an on-line storage-based system. It was important that the new solution could directly integrate digitally with the existing Aspect ACD and Northern PBX systems and be easy to use. As well, because Liberty Funds Group is required by law to store all recordings for up to seven years, the company required a long-term, network-attached storage solution.

Solution

Liberty Funds chose Voice Print International (VPI) because it needed to store all of its data on-line in the most reliable system with the largest on-line storage capacity. VPI's standard solution provides the client with over 11,000 channel hours of on-line storage for instant playback of audio files stored in compressed .wav format. VPI compresses the audio files using industry-standard GSM compression. Because GSM compression is Microsoft native, standard media players recognize the GSM codes and can play back the attached .wav file without additional software downloads.

Benefits

The following benefits were achieved:

  • CSRs can quickly and easily find a record and display it.

  • The company can define how thousands of hours of recorded transaction activity can be effectively managed to meet their strategic operational information management needs.

  • Whether voice or screen capture video or the two synchronized together, the client dictates where the record is archived, how long it is archived, how it is retrieved, and how it will be used in the future.

  • The RAID5 storage configuration used by VPI allows clients to store as many hours as its business or the law dictates, while offering high reliability through redundancy.

Company: MetLife Investors Group

Profile

MetLife Investors Group is an affiliate of MetLife, America's largest life insurer. MetLife serves 1 out of every 11 American households and 86 of the Fortune 100 companies. The company offers a full line of financial products, state-of-the-art technology capabilities, and high-touch service, with a primary goal of making business easier for the intermediary. The company is comprised of two insurance groups, as well as an investment management entity. MetLife Investors' products include a range of variable annuities, distributed through registered investment advisors, financial planners, regional broker-dealers, wirehouses, and banks.

Challenge

MetLife Investors' CSRs must be equipped with the necessary tools to ensure they are servicing their customers in the right manner. This means making it possible for customers to contact company investment agents via any communication medium they choose-phone, fax, e-mail, or Web-and enabling agents to effectively and efficiently service customers while properly managing all interactions. Additionally, MetLife Investors recognized that efficiently handling customer interactions was not enough. CSRs must derive value from every customer interaction, making each and every interaction matter.

Solution

In addition to seeking a contact center solution that supported multichannel forms of communication, MetLife Investors needed a comprehensive solution to support its two customer service centers, encompassing its sales and administrative departments, located in Newport Beach, California and Des Moines, Iowa. The two centers supported 250 CSRs, more than 150,000 financial brokers, and millions of consumers who contact the company to obtain account information. MetLife Investors was seeking a fully integrated call center solution to meet the following requirements:

  • Skills-based routing and intelligent routing with alerts based on business parameters

  • Informing agents about the interactions waiting to be handled

  • Identifying callers

  • Enabling investment agents to form strong relationships with customers

  • Continuously improving service

  • Keeping costs down when implementing a new solution

The Apropos' Interaction Management Solution was chosen to help manage all customer interactions, and Channel Parity was selected to design and implement solutions for multi-channel centers. Together with Apropos, these two vendor solutions enabled MetLife Investors to facilitate a single consistent view of customers across all communication channels.

Benefits

The benefits to the company were several, including the following:

  • Helped drive millions of dollars in revenue by supporting customer interactions

  • Enabled the core business to function efficiently and effectively

  • Provided an efficient and consistent level of customer service-regardless of how they chose to communicate with the company

  • Increased CSR productivity by providing intelligent call routing to the appropriate agent group or individual, based on CSR skillsets, customer history, and so on

  • Improved visibility of customer information allowing agents to sustain high call volumes while providing high-quality service.

Company: Nordea, Merita Bank

Profile

Nordea, Merita Bank of Sweden runs eight contact centers in its home country and four in Finland and two in Denmark. More than 1,000 CSRs deal with 120,000 contacts per day from a customer base of nine million individuals and 700,000 companies.

Challenge

To improve efficiency and customer service levels by adopting the latest call center technology.

Solution

The company's operations are heavily oriented around IVR-which amounted to 85% of contacts-and, increasingly, the Internet. If customers wished to speak with a CSR, they could do so and all IVR-captured information was passed along with the call. To manage the high customer contact volume, the company created virtual contact centers and augmented its existing technology with advanced call management and routing systems.

Benefits

The virtual contact center infrastructure provided the following benefits:

  • Dynamic load balancing across sites, making the workload fairer

  • Improvements in call center operation for both customers and CSRs

Company: PNC Bank

Profile

PNC Bank is a major U.S. bank with over 770 branches and more than $77 billion in assets. Incoming contacts to the call center are identified and segmented according to specific customer attributes. The contact is then passed to a consultant, who not only helps the customer with a particular need but also introduces other financial products.

Challenge

The company needed to streamline its call management process and to provide more information directly to its CSRs and outside consultants.

Solution

The company used the universal queue model for cross selling financial products and found that this call management process provided significant benefits.

Benefits

The benefits achieved include the following:

  • Customer and product information now appear as a "screen pop" on the agent's screen as the call arrives.

  • Call times have decreased by between 12 and 30 seconds per call, depending on the type of contact.

  • Customer satisfaction ratings and profits have increased.