Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Maverik leverages VoIP technology to build a world class call center

Customer service in the convenience store business isn't just about serving the people that walk in and buy a fountain soda or a gallon of gas -- indirectly, it's about servicing the managers and assistants who are running the stores. Keeping them operating at a high level will affect the direct customers. Maverik wanted to improve how they handled incoming service calls internally, from store to corporate.

What they had in the beginning was not quite a call center -- they had 4 people answering the phones, 4 computers, and 4 phone lines. Maverik then hired John Patterson to be the call center manager. Coming over from Continental Airlines, John had a distinct vision for how he could improve things. He knew the owners wanted to reach 300 stores in the next five years. He knew if he could build them a world class call center, he would be doing his part towards meeting that goal.

His first task was to leverage technology to bring his call center up to date in terms of the phone system. He upgraded to a new 3com VoIP phone system. He then visited another industry contact center to study how far ahead they were of where he wanted Maverik to be. He wanted to understand how they were using technology to differentiate themselves. He found that their quality monitoring and agent evaluation system seemed to allow them to fine tune agents' performance. John then contacted a former co-worker at Continental to get another opinion, and hopefully a referral, on a call recording and quality monitoring system.

The Continental contact told John to contact one of the largest quality monitoring system providers -- a company that had recently acquired a large workforce management company. He had left a message with them to contact him about call recording and quality monitoring for Maverik. After weeks had passed without a response, he decided to do some web searching for other vendors. He found a midsize company out of Connecticut named Coordinated Systems, Inc. (CSI) and he read their website. Their product, Virtual Observer (VO), seemed to match every requirement he was looking for. Easy to use, yet robust, compatible with his 3COM VoIP system, and a modular feature set so he wasn't forced to purchase every feature -- he could "start small and think big".

He had found his quality monitoring and call recording system. The sales process with CSI had been highly consultative in nature -- no traditional sales pressure, and John was very comfortable every step of the way. The price was affordable enough to capture every call. Approximately 2/3 of his calls are internal, from the Maverik stores themselves -- store personnel requiring support or help with timely matters. The other third of his calls are external -- from customers and card holders. Maverik's branding efforts include a popular "Adventure-themed" prepaid purchase card program. Now he would be able to lift the customer service performance levels to world class highs.....click here to read the entire story

Virtual Observer

Maverik Inc.

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