School Health Corporation Case Study
ShoreTel UC enables a leading medical supply company to modernize its business communications system and improve call center capabilities
Failing system was no longer supported
The company’s previous voicemail system on its outdated Avaya PBX was prone to frustrating outages, risking the delivery of important messages from customers. The vendor also announced it would no longer support the system.
Need to support virtual call center capabilities
When the vendor announced it would no longer support the system, School Health executives decided it was time to look at more modern, innovative solutions.
“A key criteria for the new communications system was the ability to improve our call center,” explains Linda O’Brien, director of IT at School Health. “We realized that by distributing calls across our remote offices in North Carolina and Florida, we could improve customer service with backup agents to ensure every call is answered.” Improved reporting and call-routing capabilities were also important to School Health, as vital tools to help organize and manage the call center, and keep up with the growing customer base.
ShoreTel offers lower TCO
The School Health team, which included customer services director Krist Seckinger, decided to issue an RFP, which they sent out to five major vendors and subsequently shortlisted to three: Cisco, Avaya, and ShoreTel.
“The ShoreTel Contact Center application had all the features we were looking for on a communications platform that is incredibly userfriendly. Plus, when we looked at the total cost of ownership of the ShoreTel UC system, the choice was obvious,” says O’Brien.
After ShoreTel partner ATI had conducted an indepth network assessment, School Health installed a ShoreTel UC system comprising ShoreTel Voice Switches, a voicemail server, and ShoreTel IP Phones. ATI also trained School Health users, providing phones they could try in advance, and cheat sheets to make the process quick and easy.
“The ShoreTel system was so easy to install that phones were placed on desks at 5 p.m. on a Friday evening, and within two and a half hours, he system was completely live,” states O’Brien.
Vital signs improve at call center
With six supervisors and about 35 agents in the call center, Seckinger uses ShoreTel Contact Center for complete visibility into activities at the individual, group, and company levels. Customer care teams cover about 10 territories across the country, so when a call comes in it is first directed to the regional team that supports that state; if nobody answers, then the call bounces to backup groups.
“I can see how fast a group of agents is able to answer a call, move people into different groups quickly, and modify queues in real time to quickly react to different situations,” Seckinger explains. “The external assignment feature allows agents in remote offices to easily connect to the contact center for overflow during peak periods, greatly helping to improve customer service.”
ShoreTel Contact Center enables Seckinger and her team to monitor calls for customer care training purposes. The ability to review call abandon rates is also important since School Health continues to measure its position in the marketplace in terms of market share and the satisfaction of customers, suppliers, and manufacturers. Each day, the system enables the call center manager to generate an email that shows the activity of the call center, including call abandon rates. This enables employees to see performance improvements and has proved a valuable motivator for the entire team.
“A KEY CRITERIA FOR THE NEW COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM WAS THE ABILITY TO IMPROVE OUR CALL CENTER. WE REALIZED THAT BY DISTRIBUTING CALLS ACROSS OUR REMOTE OFFICES IN NORTH CAROLINA AND FLORIDA, WE COULD IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH BACKUP AGENTS TO ENSURE EVERY CALL IS ANSWERED.”
Linda O’Brien, Director of IT
Managing the customer care center is a lot easier with the ShoreTel UC system and the automated call distributor (ACD) feature in ShoreTel Contact Center. “It’s easy to change the message on the ACD so callers know right away if our company hours have changed, or we’re shutting down for an afternoon. The flexibility of the ACD means we can close for holidays or just shut down one office, and leave others open without the risk of frustrating our customers,” says Seckinger.
In addition, the ShoreTel Contact Center workgroups application enabled School Health to establish a separate division and queue for the sports health team group. This group has fourdigit dialing and a dedicated number to handle all sports health-related calls, but is also set to overflow to the main customer care group, to ensure that calls are answered.
Productivity shows symptoms of improving
For employees, the ShoreTel Communicator application, which comes standard with the ShoreTel UC system, offers significant productivity boosting features. The Find Me feature helps ensure that important calls are received, and features like Directory and History make it quick and easy to look up phone numbers and forward calls.
“Our staff is constantly working on revenuegenerating projects, so our time is limited,” says O’Brien. “The ShoreTel UC system has improved productivity by allowing them to communicate more efficiently, save time in finding the right people, and see voicemails in their Outlook email. Our sales folks can give out their direct phone numbers to customers, rather than having to provide them with several numbers, so they can be reached regardless of their location—on the road, at home, or in one of our remote offices.”
For Seckinger, the ability to reorganize the call center to improve efficiency and customer service means the company now has a solid foundation for growth. Seckinger has already taken advantage of ShoreTel’s flexibility and designed some customized reports to help monitor and improve customer service. Moving forward, she is already considering ways to integrate the CRM system with ShoreTel.
“ShoreTel has enabled us to do things on our own that we could never do before,” concludes O’Brien. “We’re confident that ShoreTel has given us a strong communications platform that will help fulfill our vision of improving operational processes and strengthening our ability to take advantage of new strategic opportunities going forward.”
“WE’RE CONFIDENT THAT SHORETEL HAS GIVEN US A STRONG COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM THAT WILL HELP FULFILL OUR VISION OF IMPROVING OPERATIONAL PROCESSES AND STRENGTHENING OUR ABILITY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES GOING FORWARD.”
- Replace obsolete phone system with a modern business communications system that supports advanced virtual call center capabilities.
- ShoreTel provided a UC system with ShoreTel Contact Center, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and ShoreTel IP Phones.
- Improved customer service
- In-depth monitoring provides management insights
- Higher productivity
- Ease of system management saves time