When an ageing contact centre voice solution began to interrupt business performance, Trustpower looked for a replacement which would offer flexibility, reliability and advanced performance.
It selected Liquid Voice, which combines intuitive call recording and monitoring solutions with powerful analytics tools to support improved decision making and quality management.
Trustpower Limited is a diversified electricity generation and retailing company, listed on the New Zealand stock exchange and based in Mount Maunganui. It is the country’s fifth largest generator and the fourth largest electricity retailer (in customer numbers), serving 260,000 customers throughout New Zealand. Trustpower also provides other utilities including phone, internet and gas services.
Business Solutions Specialist at Trustpower Elizabeth Jenkins says the company contracts three external contact centres and operates two internal ones. “We were looking to replace the ageing call recording system with a user friendly-one, up to date in terms of technology and functionality, well supported and reliable, and which had a good product roadmap,” she says.
Jenkins points out that for modern companies serving large numbers of customers, contact centres are indispensable. “The call recording system is used for compliance and quality management, and complaints investigations. The roles of the internal ones are divided; one is sales focused, the other provides support for existing customers.”
The issues with the existing system were dire, says Jenkins. “We had a lot of reliability issues and if it failed, we didn’t even know it had gone down. It was costing the business money at the end of the day – the reporting didn’t work and we weren’t able to manage call compliance and quality for the sales teams as the old system didn’t have the features and flexibility we required.”
Trustpower Outbound Sales Call Quality & Compliance Coordinator Leonie Shaw is laconic in her view of the old system. “It died,” she says.
Jenkins adds that although Trustpower is a substantial business, it was a ‘little fish’ for the incumbent vendor. “We just weren’t high in the list for attention, something we wanted to change.”
Trustpower went to market with a comprehensive request for proposals, drawing interest from the market’s leading vendors. An initial shortlist of seven was narrowed down to two vendors, including Liquid Voice. “We had a reasonable level of detail in terms of the requirements from the various user audiences, as well as a ‘wish list’ of ideal features.”
Liquid Voice, she continues, stood out for several reasons. “We wanted a more ‘boutique’ vendor with which we could build a closer relationship, providing scope for influencing the product roadmap. We also wanted flexibility to meet the different needs of sales and support contact centres.”
The chosen supplier Datacom worked with Liquid Voice to set up a demonstration of the product’s capability to deliver these attributes, while also providing a complete product set which included a basic speech analytics package as standard and PCI-DSS (Payments Card Industry-Data Security Standard) compliance.
“It also provided more options from the voice recording functionality which is important to the sales centre in support of coaching and training, such as work trays and dashboards, and the ability to import external recordings and apply speech analytics to them. The reporting functions were much easier to use than the previous system, with instant ‘report back’ capability from recorded calls,” Jenkins adds.
Following the execution of scripted demos by the final two vendors, Datacom’s Liquid Voice solution emerged as a clear winner.
Datacom in conjunction with Trustpower’s infrastructure team provisioned, configured and installed the necessary hardware before commencing the software implementation, which Jenkins says had an unusual dimension. “The implementation plans changed quite early on, as we started to experience significant performance issues with the previous system, including outages which were putting the business at risk,” she explains.
With Liquid Voice in use at the Department of Internal Affairs, she says Trustpower paid a visit to look at its setup. “There were no customisations or specific configurations; we realised that Liquid Voice did nearly everything we required out of the box, so we commenced with an immediate vanilla implementation and from there, we’ve added functionality incrementally.”
Shaw says the most important feature required from a sales perspective was reliable recordings. “We needed that ASAP; a standard install delivered it. The steady addition of functionality has provided space for training, giving us [sales teams] time to consolidate learning, while providing room to see what features we did and didn’t want.”
With the hardware sourced and configured, it took just 6 weeks of system configuration and testing for the initial install including screen recording and PCI-DSS compliance. Subsequently, historical calls and those of the external call centres have been imported and reporting for the sales and support team has been added. Dashboards for seven different user types are being trialled, speech analytics training has recently been delivered, while integration into Salesforce.com is in the process of completion, says Jenkins.
With Datacom’s project management, and knowledge of the Liquid Voice solution, even the accelerated deployment timeframe presented no issues.
The benefits have very quickly shown themselves, says Trustpower Service Delivery Manager Steve Merchant. “The unreliable previous system was costing money, as every time there wasn’t proof of a recording, charges and fees would be carried by the business. Liquid Voice has immediately solved that problem. The ease of use of the system has meant a straightforward change management process across the Quality Assurance and Customer Service teams; In all, this has been a very good project to be a part of.”
He says the Liquid Voice system is an important component in delivering quality customer service. “An interface which retains reliable records, which can be easily retrieved and played back to our representatives is invaluable.”
Shaw says the Liquid Voice system has delivered a considerable boost for coaching and development. “The tagging option [in terms of which ‘markers’ are automatically placed on key words] is amazing. It cuts down the time spent searching calls and is really good for training.”
Shaw adds that Liquid Voice allows for evaluations of calls to be delivered immediately out of the system to the agent. “Immediacy carries weight. The agent gets their evaluation directly and can see where they have hit and where they have missed.”
“While we haven’t yet seen the full benefits, what we have learned so far is that this is a system which works well,” says Merchant, adding that as its use matures, the company expects further benefits to become apparent
Jenkins says that while ongoing, the implementation of Liquid Voice to date has demonstrated flexibility and extensive capabilities. “The vendor has a really good ability to understand our business and work towards a common goal. Working with our teams, it has regularly offered insights, suggestions and further enhancement ideas, with excellent problem-solving. This is exactly what we wanted and, combined with the passion of our internal teams, this has been the winning factor.”
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