Stores - September 2006 - (Page 98)

CALL CENTERS Turning Down What's in it for Hammacher Schlemmer? Shifts a significant portion of calls the Volume to self-service Allows live customer service repre- sentatives to better handle value- added and more complex requests Increases its ability to handle fourth- quarter call volume Speech self-service solution helps Saves up to $1.50 per call vs. inter- nal costs on calls Voxify handles Hammacher Schlemmer manage T Achieves call-completion rates of call center activity spikes 90 percent BY JENNIFER KOROLISHIN nancial standpoint and it didn't match the brand in terms of the way the old h e advent of online sales has dimin- IVR technology delivered to the cus- ished call centers' overall volume but tomer. all bets are still off when it comes to the Still, in seeking a solution for its fourth- fourth quarter, as most retailers experi- quarter call volume, Hammacher Schlem- ence spikes in customer calls. mer chose Voxify, an Alameda, Calif.- based developer and host of speech self-service solutions. Voxify offers a li- The call center is a critical part of holiday season op- erations, as it helps fulfill complex customer requests, brary of more than 60 automated agents assists customers in making a purchase decision and across nine industries with high levels of reinforces the retailer's brand. To accomplish all that customer contact, including retail, travel, during the year's busiest sales period, however, many retailers need a helping hand. hospitality and insurance. Such is the case for New York-based Hammacher Schlemmer, one of the nation's The challenge that so many of our cus- oldest catalog retailers. Forty percent of Hammacher tomers are faced with is having to deal Automated Agent Advantages Schlemmer's order volume now comes via the Inter- with a very large increase in call volume net, but its call volume still rises significantly during and being able to do so in an efficient and September - December 2005 the last three months of the year and, more specif- economical fashion, says Don Nanne- Order-status calls: down 20% ically, the last six weeks of the year. man, Voxify's vice president of market- We've always looked at other options because we ing. One of the key things we have done inevitably outsource some of our call volume, but the in delivering our automated agents is Overall call volume: up 40% costs associated with that are significant, says vice we've chosen to implement our systems president of operations Don Rogers. In the past, inter- as hosted managed-service systems. active voice response never was practical from a fi- Voxify's automated agents exist in 98 S TO R E S / SEPTEMBER 2006 W W W. S TO R E S . O R G http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stores - September 2006

Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
NRF News
Retail People
Cover Story: Sights Set on the Subcontinent
Data Management
In-Store Applications
Real Estate
Human Resources
POS Systems
System Security
Asset Management
In-Store Promotion
Call Centers
Order Fulfillment
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Workplace Law
Advertisers Index
Company Index
Retail Profit Scoreboard
Retail Industry Calendar

Stores - September 2006