AskAFS, a provider of phone-based consumer finance counseling services, had reached a crossroads. The company employed a handful of counselors who all operated out of a single office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, using an antiquated phone system.
“We had no queue for handling waiting calls,” said Darryl Reed, AFS’ vice president of business development and co-founder of the company, in a case study from Contactual (News - Alert). “We had no visibility of the volume of calls or the time spent on each call. It was incredibly inefficient.”
The phone system was also holding the company back by keeping it from growing nationally. In fact, what AFS really needed was technology that would allow it to employ a national or even international labor pool. The company was structured in such a way that financial counselors could be located anywhere, so long as they had access to a centralized phone system.
Although AFS probably wouldn’t have put it as such, what the company needed was a virtual call center solution — software the enables agents to make and receive customer calls from any location with an Internet connection, and for managers to track all its campaigns in a centralized way even when the workforce is distributed.
AFS did understand that what it needed was an easy-to-install and easy-to-use “on demand” solution, and when it began looking soon discovered Contactual.
“Contactual’s on-demand delivery model interested us,” Reed said in the case study. “We needed a call system that could support home-based workers, remote offices, mobile employees – basically anywhere, any time.”
AFS found what it was looking for in Contactual’s virtual call center solution. Implementing the system was a snap, and required no outside IT expertise. Reed stressed in the case study his appreciation for Contactual’s focus on the on-demand model for call routing
“One thing that really jumped out at me was that they were clearly focused on a core set of technology,” Reed said of Contactual. “They weren’t spending money on anything that didn’t support the hosted, on-demand model. I wanted a vendor that will keep its R&D focus on my call applications. We’re not a technology company. That’s where they bring extra value to the table.”
By picking Contactual’s virtual call center solution, AFS gained optimal flexibility for call routing and service configuration. The company’s agents can now take calls at any location where a phone and high-speed Internet connection is located. Agents can also change call routing temporarily, on the fly, as needed.
Contactual’s virtual call center solution helped askAFS expand beyond its home-grown roots to begin serving a national customer base — and beyond.
To learn more about Contactual’s solutions, please visit the Virtual Call Center channel on TMCnet.com, brought to you by Contactual.
Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.