American Title Case Study
American Title improves bottom line and communications in a time-sensitive business
Move clears the way for new system
American Title was looking to consolidate two offices in Omaha, Nebraska into one larger office. This was going to require a larger telephone system. The existing phone systems were not viable.
Streamline processes to improve customer service
Title companies do research to determine rightful ownership of a home. It is a very time-sensitive business. To complete communications within deadlines, it’s critical that people have fast access to the right contacts at American Title. The company’s Samsung telephony system was at the end of its life, not scalable, and could not support all of the users moving into the new building.
Paul Christiani, chief operating officer and chief information officer for American Title, sent out a request for information to a number of telephone vendors, including Nortel, ShoreTel, and Samsung. After placing priority on ease of use and management, as well as scalability, application integration, and feature robustness, American Title chose ShoreTel.
“ShoreTel switches are all integrated and built from the ground up as an IP telephony system, unlike some other solutions we’ve seen,” says Christiani. “ShoreTel is easy to install, operate, and maintain; it’s scalable; and it has a smaller footprint. I also like their SoftPhone feature, and the interface
with Outlook—it’s more user friendly than
ShoreTel provides the architecture needed for a feature-rich network
Both the integration partner and ShoreTel worked closely together to help American Title prepare its network ahead of time in the new location.
ShoreTel provided American Title with six ShoreGear®-T1 voice switches and five ShoreGear-120/24 voice switches, two voice mail servers to ensure redundancy, as well as 264 ShorePhone™ IP telephones. American Title can use its analog phones with the ShoreTel system also to maximize its investment of voice and fax units. “It was a big benefit that we could use the fax machines with the ShoreGear analog ports. Competitors did not handle this as easily as ShoreTel,” explains Christiani.
“Before the move, we’d spoken with other companies that had experienced similar building moves, and all of these companies had horror stories about their phone systems during these office moves,” says Christiani. “Not so with our move. It was transparent to our customers in terms of the phone system, and this was an important issue for us, that it not interrupt our business and impact our customers.”
ShoreTel puts users and IT on the same page
With the ShoreTel system in place, all American Title employees are now on the same phone and voicemail system, using four-digit dialing to reach co-workers and dialing co-workers by name. With Personal Call Manager, employees can quickly browse contacts and make calls from local directories or from Microsoft Outlook.
“The integration of faxes into the system is very important for our business,” says Christiani. “A lot of our business is done via fax, so when faxes come in, they come in through the ShoreTel equipment and are sent to employees through the email system. Users are alerted faster that they have a fax and they can give it their immediate attention if necessary. This improves customer service because many of these fax transactions are extremely time-sensitive.”
“SHORETEL IS EASY TO INSTALL, OPERATE, AND MAINTAIN; IT’S SCALABLE; AND IT HAS A SMALLER FOOTPRINT. I ALSO LIKE THEIR SOFTPHONE FEATURE, AND THE INTERFACE WITH OUTLOOK. IT’S MORE USER FRIENDLY THAN THE COMPETITION.”
Paul Christiani, CIO
Customer service is enhanced via quick response
American Title has set up several workgroups, including one for customer service and more than a dozen for special clients, as well as one for its IT Help Desk. ShoreTel’s Workgroups enables the organization to dedicate specific telephone numbers to a specific client and calls to that client workgroup are routed to the next available workgroup member.
“We like the ability with ShoreTel to create custom recordings for the Auto Attendant for each workgroup,” says Christiani. “We set up each group and record messages for each workgroup that’s dedicated to specific clients. These messages help clients reach the right person quickly with tailored prompts. Clients appreciate that personalization and attention.”
Finally, ShoreTel’s Find Me feature allows callers to track down American Title employees on any phone number they choose and allows voicemails to be sent as attachments directly to employees’
email boxes so no caller’s request or issue will ever get lost.
American Title uses ShoreTel’s ShoreWare Director, a browser-based management interface that provides Christiani with access to the system from anywhere on the network, enabling easy management of voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. It takes seconds to add a new user and the system automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch.
ShoreTel improves customer service and American Titles estimates ROI in 16 months
American Title estimates that it will see a return on investment (ROI) for its ShoreTel equipment in just over a year, or about 16 months. It had anticipated just about two years, but that estimation has changed.
“We decided to measure our return by growth in our business. If customer experience improves, that means the ROI significantly accelerates,” says Christiani. “We’re better able to manage our costs. ShoreTel trunk usage reports are easy to generate so we clearly know that we have a better handle on telecom costs. We’re also measuring how much the business is growing. In one day, we accepted 200 orders in one hour from a customer and we were able to handle it because of the enhanced communications provided by the ShoreTel system. Where we once thought the ROI would be a two year payback, now we think it will probably be about 16 months, based on growth we anticipate.”
American Title is reorganizing one of its business groups. “The ShoreTel system can meet the requirements of any reorganization. That’s what you want in technology: solutions that flex to fit your business, not the other way around,” says Christiani.
“THE SHORETEL SYSTEM CAN MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY REORGANIZATION. THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT IN TECHNOLOGY: SOLUTIONS THAT FLEX TO FIT YOUR BUSINESS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.”
“We’ve received excellent support from both ShoreTel and their local partner before, during, and after the installation,” concludes Christiani. “The technology definitely delivers on its promises. The partnership approach ShoreTel takes is a benefit to us, and we haven’t seen that level of partnership from any of the other vendors.”
- American Title was faced with outdated and disparate telephone systems. There was also an initiative to improve communications so that the title company would win and keep more business in this competitive and time-sensitive field.
- ShoreTel provided the company with a comprehensive IP telephony solution, including ShoreGear voice switches and ShorePhone IP phones. ShoreTel’s local integration partner provided design consultation and carried out the installation and training.
- Better call routing and faster response
- Better customer service via customized messaging
- Improved communications among employees
- Cost savings on telco charges