EDS connects tran-Tasman sites with call routing

PABX, fax, e-mail, and Web all supported

IT outsourcer EDS Australia has implemented a new call routing and reporting solution to connect siloed offices in Adelaide, Canberra, Auckland, and across the Indian Ocean.

The new solution centralizes multiple media channels, such as fax, telephone, and e-mail to allow incoming and out-bound communications to be monitored and tagged along with respective customer identities.

EDS Australia maintains a local workforce of more than 6000 staff in offices across Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth.

EDS Australia regional support manager for contact centre operations Paul Makrikostas said the roll-out follows similar upgrades across the company's European offices which have installed skills-based routing and are looking at open dialogue solutions.

"We had a big problem with silos because customer histories were not properly recorded which meant faxes could be lost and clients would have to repeat themselves to operators when they were transferred," Makrikostas said.

According to Makrikostas, the company had to integrate legacy and next-generation communication channels such as fax, PABX, Web, and e-mail to meet individual client preferences.

The project, which standardized EDS Australia on Avaya, began in 2003 as a pilot in its Canberra site and finished late last year; however, Makrikostas said it is an ongoing implementation which has provisions for open dialogue and VoIP.

EDS Australia can now extract and link customer information from e-mails, phone calls, and faxes, and display them in a client history database which pops-up via Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) on operator screens when customer calls are answered.

"Now if someone rings us chasing an urgent fax that was sent through, we can look at the CRM database and see when and where it came in," Makrikostas said, adding that the system includes an optional RAP sheet for operators to log relevant customer information.

"The system uses call routing and blends fax, voice, Web, and IVR into the CRM. This means when a VIP rings up, the CRM verifies the customer as a VIP against the CRM, and routes the call to the proper operator - all without the customer knowing."

The routing feature can also transfer a customer call, along with a screen dump, and the CRM ticket to EDS sister sites in Kuala Lumpur and Auckland if specific skill sets are required

"Although it's hard to qualify KPIs, I'd say operator productivity has risen 10 percent, however the real improvement is customer waiting time," Makrikostas said, attributing the improvement to the systems' predictive call handling which routes calls to minimize wait times.

"We can also monitor average handle times for calls and e-mails through a consolidation repository."

Makrikostas said that the key to success is planning and research, noting that he spent about 50 percent of the project length designing the solution around feedback from customers.

"I would caution everyone to do your homework to establish a framework because you will fail if you tackle a project like this without planning," he said.

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