Retail Voice Portal


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Retail Voice Portal

  1. 1. White Paper retail voice portal Retailers invest significant time, money and resources to provide the best customer experience possible. But one area that is often overlooked is the process of managing the phone calls coming into their stores. Large retail organizations with sites dispersed nationwide often experience millions of inbound calls per year to local stores. Calls can range from simple requests for store hours, to checking inventory “With more options or placing orders within specific departments, to more specific technical questions requiring a than ever, it’s hard to trained specialist. Customers expect their calls to be answered quickly, routed efficiently, and keep customers coming handled to their satisfaction. But retailers are burdened with managing both in-store and on-the- back. technologies and phone customers, and the callers themselves are often frustrated with the resulting call experience. processes that enable The result—Unanswered, or poorly handled, calls can significantly impact customer satisfaction retailers to retain the and pose a large detriment to revenue generation. Solving this challenge isn’t always easy. Typically, each store has its own telephone system, which can be costly, difficult to manage, andright customers and offer not always able to handle each call to the customer’s satisfaction. And while there are different a positive end-to-end alternatives to solving the challenge, retailers must be careful to make sure the solution they customer experience choose is the best solution for their organization. will help retailers to Centralized Toll-Free Number—Many stores have deployed a centralized toll-free number, justify higher margins but found that individual stores wanted to retain their local phone numbers (or customers still and increase customer continued to call the local numbers). Also, this solution often involves a complex (and costly) process to transfer and connect calls back to the local stores. satisfaction.” Remote Call Forwarding—Another common solution is remote call forwarding, a service feature DataMonitor “Retail strategies: Generating loyalty in a fickle world” that allows calls coming to the local store number to be automatically forwarded to another Publication Date: November 2006 location, usually to a centralized call center. But this solution can pose additional challenges, as the calls cannot usually be transferred back to the store and can generate expensive toll charges and long distance fees. Common Menu with Speech Recognition—Many retailers implement speech recognition in store call menus, giving them a common prompt and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) management process across stores. While upgrading in-store IVR systems with speech can certainly improve customer satisfaction, costs can be high. This solution requires hardware and licenses within each store, which can quickly become an expensive and cumbersome system. In the long-term, this system can also become less efficient, require a sophisticated process to keep all menus consistent, and take months or even years to deploy. Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 1
  2. 2. White Paper retail voice portal Key Retailer Needs “Large numbers of organizations are declaring that improving the customer experience is one of their top objectives for the next three years.” - Gartner “Investigate how CRM technologies improve customer experiences” Publication Date: December 12, 2006 With a clear need to improve the customer experience by answering, routing and resolving their calls successfully, retailers are looking to vendors for a practical, cost-effective solution. We have identified three key challenges that this solution must address: Are my store personnel currently burdened by incoming calls? Yes No By not effectively answering and/or handling incoming calls, stores can often unintentionally cause customers to have their calls routed to the wrong place or dropped entirely, plus experience busy or congested phone lines and extended hold times. In addition, store personnel can be easily overwhelmed by struggling to manage both in-store customers and ringing phones. The end result can be a bad experience for both the customers and store personnel. Is it important that my stores maintain a local phone number? Yes No Often, it is important to maintain a local presence across all store sites. This can foster a sense of community by dialing a local number and allow callers to relate to a store on a local level. In many cases it can benefit both the store and the customer to speak directly with each other, and a local number can help customers feel they can easily reach a store associate in a specific department. Is building and fostering brand value a key objective of my organization? Yes No The value of a brand is often measured by the corresponding customer loyalty. To most effectively build their brand, retailers strive to make the customer experience consistent across all touch points, both within and across stores. By managing phone systems differently within each store, or providing multiple ‘voices’ on call menu prompts, retailers miss out on the opportunity to push their key brand elements into all customer experiences in an effective manner. If any of these three key criteria are important to your organization, read on to find out more about the Retail Voice Portal. Solution Overview “Speech applications … have provided incremental benefits to retailers and continue to drive hosted speech business in this {retail} vertical.” - DataMonitor , “Voice as a Service: Understanding trends in hosted and managed speech” , Publication Date: June 2005 Retail Voice Portal is a centralized inbound call management solution for geographically dispersed retailers. It provides a transparent solution for callers to dial a local number and have their calls optimally routed to either a local store or a centralized contact center. As an end-to- Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. White Paper retail voice portal deployed quickly as end solution with out-of-the-box integration, it provides a unified routing and call management system—all running over a nationwide Internet Protocol (IP) network. an integrated system,retail voice portal often With Retail Voice Portal, many of the challenges discussed earlier in this paper can be solved. Stores retain their local phone numbers and can still receive calls, but it becomes only the limited requires no equipment, amount of calls that actually require store personnel. The call routing itself is done seamlesslysoftware or hardware to without expensive switching fees, and no additional hardware is required in each a pilot program can From a caller’s perspective, the dialing process remains the same, but the overall experience isbe launched without the improved. Customers dial their local stores as they are used to, and are routed over a nationwide need to visit individual Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network to a centralized speech-enabled Interactive Voice stores’ sites, with the Response (IVR) platform. Regardless of which local store number they are calling, they hear a consistent branded voice, are asked to say the product or service they want, and are then initial stores going live quickly and efficiently routed to the optimal place to handle their request.typically within 90 days. From a retailer perspective, this solution enables each store location to better handle routine calls. In addition, centralized service delivery center associates can be utilized to generate previously untapped store sales and to answer more complicated or technical questions. In times of peak demand or seasonal fluctuations with high call volumes, this automated process also allows retailers to deflect calls away from individual stores, allowing employees to focus on in-store customers. The sophisticated voice application handles a wide range of departments, products, and services. It is designed to provide easy updates to store-specific information such as business hours and location or general announcements across all locations using a centralized management console. This flexibility dramatically reduces ongoing operational costs compared to traditional in-store IVR deployments. Retail Voice Portal is delivered through an alliance with TeleTech, Level 3 Communications, and Versay Solutions. TeleTech offers the complete, integrated, proven solution for the retail client, as well as the service delivery center associates required and/or associate-supporting applications. Level 3 Communications provides the nationwide IP backbone and the local telephone numbers through its Local Inbound Service. Versay, and its parent company, Vail Systems, provide the voice application and call routing functionality as well as the underlying IVR platform. By leveraging the expertise of these three industry leaders, Retail Voice Portal offers an unparalleled solution with unmatched capabilities. Together, the three companies represent over 40 years of combined experience, which incorporates enhanced telephony applications and converged voice and data services, one of the largest communications and internet backbones in the world, and full-service customer management solutions backed by over 40,000 service delivery center associates. Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. White Paper retail voice portal Technical Overview The figure below depicts the calling process provided by Retail Voice Portal. Customers call into the stores as they are used to, dialing local store numbers through the traditional telephone (PSTN) network. The call is then seamlessly transferred to TeleTech’s private VoIP network to a centralized IVR platform. This allows customers to experience the same high quality as if they were on a traditional phone line, but without any costly switching fees. The customer interacts with the speech-enabled IVR to receive store information or to select a department, product, or service as required. Calls are then transferred, dependent on business rules, to the store for which the customer originally called (using an existing in-store PBX) or to a centralized specialist in a contact center or an at-home agent (TeleTech@Home) from the TeleTech GigaPOP®. The TeleTech GigaPOP® is a global hosted virtual contact center environment characterized by high availability, redundancy, and scalability to customer needs. It is the diverse interconnection and integration point for all client voice and data, and avoids using traditional technology requiring duplicate hardware. The GigaPOP’s high availability and redundancy of systems provides failover, business continuity and disaster recovery from outages. Client back-office applications and store systems can also be hosted and accessed through the TeleTech GigaPOP®, allowing agents access to the same systems that store employees use on a daily basis. Retail Voice Portal’s ability to route calls to either an associate or the store is an important one, which cannot be achieved with many other competitive solutions and again avoids expensive toll charges or long distance fees. Retail Voice Portal provides a common IVR across all stores regardless of geographic location that can easily be updated with timely information as needed. For example, during a busy holiday season or the launch of a popular product, all stores can easily create and change updates on product availability, store hours, etc. Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. White Paper retail voice portal in January 2007, retail Retail Voice Portal allows users on the PSTN to place calls to local numbers through Level 3’s Local Inbound Service. This service is available in over 300 markets, allowing local dialing to voice portal was over 90 percent of the United States population. The calls are transported from the PSTN to the awarded the internet Level 3 network, where Level 3 converts the calls from TDM to Internet Protocol (IP). Level 3 telephony product of then transports the calls over its IP backbone and delivers them directly to Versay’s speech IVR application running on Vail Systems’ SIP-based enhanced application services platform. the Year award. each year internet telephony The Vail SIP platform is a highly scalable, fault-tolerant network with fully redundant resources magazine bestows its across multiple sites that support speech IVR, CTI, both TDM and IP call processing, and related converged data and voice services. Through a sophisticated software-based switching fabric, product of the Year Vail enables calls to be routed across the network and between systems seamlessly and cost- awards on companies effectively. In addition, the Vail SIP Platform provides supplemental core services such as wholethat have demonstrated call recording, which can be used for customer experience quality monitoring, agent training, and transcription services in order for the system to maintain optimal coverage of customer requests. excellence in technological The Versay speech application presents the caller with a conversational voice user interface and advancement a consistent, branded persona that is developed jointly with the retailer. Routine inquiries such as store hours and directions are handled within the IVR using self-service. The Retail Voice Portal and application application also listens for more complex requests that are mapped to the store’s full range of refinements. retail departments, products and services. Calls are then routed, either to a centralized contact center voice portal has or to the appropriate retail location based on pre-defined store or region-based business rules. demonstrated to the When call requests are best handled with specialized associates calls can be routed to either editors of internet a TeleTech service delivery center or the retailer’s internally-managed contact center. In times telephony that its of peak demand or as the need arises, TeleTech can implement a solution that incorporates a hybrid of the two. Associates in either case can also utilize the full line of TeleTech OnDemand products or services are hosted service delivery center solutions that include Agent Desktop Management, Business committed to quality Intelligence and Quality Assurance, and Performance Management. and innovation while Because it is deployed as a single system with tight integration and seamless call flows, Retailaddressing real needs in Voice Portal can be launched quickly and effectively. Typically, retail clients have implemented a the marketplace. phased rollout plan that begins with a pilot of 10-15 stores. Within the pilot program, this solution can be launched without the need to visit individual sites, with stores often live within 90 days. Bottom-line Benefits Customers of the Retail Voice Portal have seen substantial benefits, which include: Increased Revenue—By reducing or even eliminating hold times (or calls not being answered at all), retailers can capture lost revenue opportunities. Within some busy stores, up to 50% of calls can go unanswered. In many cases a high portion of these calls facilitate purchases and result in additional revenue. By not having their calls answered, customers will often dial a local competitor and get the product they want elsewhere. Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. White Paper retail voice portal Improved Customer Experience and Strengthened Brand Image—Customers call the same local store number they always have, but are quickly, efficiently, and seamlessly routed to the appropriate place. This improves the overall call experience and allows retailers to build and incorporate key brand elements within the call process — through customized menu prompts, consistent call handling and the ability to bring in trained associates as needed. Higher Store Productivity—Retail Voice Portal reduces the need to rely on store staff to answer phones, allowing them to spend more time on the floor with on-site customers. In times of peak store demand, this solution can minimize the need to hire new staff to help with higher call volumes. Case Study Retail Voice Portal goes live with a Major Global Retailer TeleTech’s strategic relationship with a top global retailer helped to solve a major problem the retailer was having with their store phone systems. Faced with over 100 million calls per year into their 800+ retail locations — and an average of 50% of those calls going unanswered — the retailer turned to TeleTech, a key business partner who was already providing them with other customer management solutions. The retailer launched a Retail Voice Portal pilot program with 15 stores — during a time of both seasonal call spikes and a major new product launch. During the pilot program alone, the retailer moved from only half of the inbound calls being answered to nearly all (98% calls answered with a 2% abandoned rate). By answering these calls and handling them efficiently, the retailer saw additional revenue of $1500-2000 per store, per day. By tracking where calls originated from, this additional revenue was recognized on an individual store basis. On average, calls transferred to an associate, rather than to in-store personnel, had an answer time of 12 seconds and customer satisfaction was over 70%. Because of this success, the retailer is now implementing a phased rollout of Retail Voice Portal to their other stores. Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. White Paper retail voice portal TeleTech OnDemand Hosted Services leverage almost three decades of TeleTech experience,ContaCt teleteCh: including leading applications and technologies delivered over a secure, private, and network. Through our centralized data centers located throughout the world, our customers1.800.TELETECH or benefit from increased global access to all major markets. This allows our clients to interact with+1.303.397.8100 (outside the U.S.) their customers across all touchpoints — from the telephone to the web — on a global With TeleTech OnDemand Hosted Services, there is no need to independently license software, purchase on-premise hardware, or provide ongoing technology support. More specifically, TeleTech OnDemand enables your employees to provide services to your customers, while leveraging the power of our fully managed solutions. Our solutions are easy to implement and scale seamlessly to support your business growth. Our hosted services leverage the same fully integrated suite of technologies and global infrastructure that we use to support over one billion customer interactions annually with tens of thousands of associates across the globe. Combining our centralized and virtualized TeleTech GigaPOP® technology with the standardized systems and services we use in our service delivery centers, our hosted services are proven, reliable, and continually refined and expanded based on our own rigorous use. Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT), an international communications company, operates one of the largest Internet backbones in the world. Through its customers, Level 3 is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband subscribers. The company provides a comprehensive suite of services over its broadband fiber optic network including Internet Protocol (IP) services, broadband transport and infrastructure services, colocation services, voice services and voice-over IP services. These services provide building blocks that enable Level 3’s customers to meet their growing demands for advanced communications solutions. The company’s Web address is Versay provides speech solutions and services that deliver a compelling caller experience and a tremendous return on investment. By leveraging standards, Versay provides customers the greatest flexibility, control, and investment protection possible. With a wide range of consulting services and pre-built application components, Versay is committed to helping enterprises deploy self-service solutions that fully exploit the power of speech. Versay is a subsidiary of Vail Systems, a leading provider of enhanced telephony application hosting services. Vail’s highly scalable, fault-tolerant SIP Platform automates millions of calls per month for a wide range of services including VoiceXML speech application hosting, natural language enterprise call routing and voice conferencing. For more information, visit www.versay. com and Comprehensive Customer and enterprise solutions ©2010 teletech holdings, inc. - all rights reserved. 7