For a call centre business, telephony is the bread and butter of operations.
[ Johannesburg, 18 September 2008 ] – What do you call a call centre without the ability to make calls? This isn’t a bad joke in the making. Call centres need telephony in order to function. Their business model relies on the costs and telephony service they receive.
For iChoices Call Centre Outsourcing the importance of choosing the right telephony supplier has not been as smooth a journey as first hoped. That’s according to Gavin Atkinson, managing director of iChoices, who reveals that the lessons learnt from previous experience led to new selection criteria the next time around.
“The telephony provider we used to work with was selected on a purely cost basis. It was offering us substantial cost savings, however it was not delivering the service and value adds that we wanted,” says Atkinson.
iChoices decided, after undergoing a more rigorous evaluation process, that it wanted to get a better mix of quality and cost savings. “We opted for ECN, and are glad we did,” says Atkinson.
A Speedy Service
Amongst the reasons Atkinson gives for the company’s continued satisfaction with ECN is the speed to market it offers.
“When we have new clients sign up, ECN is able to upgrade and allocate bandwidth faster than others in the market,” he says. Seamless integration of equipment with iChoices’ own makes life a lot easier too. Not only does it mean uptime and call quality are increased, it also reduces the level of blame-shifting if anything does go wrong.
The proactive, resolution-driven attitude taken by ECN provides iChoices with a sense of comfort. “If there is a problem ECN doesn’t shy away from the fact there is a problem,” Atkinson adds. “They work on getting it solved straight away.” The benefit that Atkinson is most pleased with is the service care that ECN provides.
“ECN really took the time to understand our business, and especially our usage patterns,” he notes. “We view ECN as a partner, not just a supplier, and that is not a compliment given lightly.”
“Because there is constant monitoring of the service, they are proactive in telling us if there are issues with the lines or our call patterns are changing significantly. ECN pick up problems before we do, and lets us know. It then means that we can manage the situation and how affects our clients, limiting the impact on our business and theirs,” Atkinson adds.
The additional services that iChoices receives, compared to its previous supplier, certainly do add value, and yet cost savings are still achieved. “For iChoices, the savings on our monthly bill are around 45 percent, which equates to millions of rand saved every year,”
Atkinson concludes. “With the cost savings we make with ECN, we are able to pass those on to our clients and invest that money back into our business.” Whilst the core of a call centre’s business relies completely on telephony, it is the little extras around the provision of those calls which help it to run successfully.