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How Harry & David Ensures Quality During the Holiday Season

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How Harry & David Ensures Quality During the Holiday Season

September 23, 2016

By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor

The Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri offers a variety of fun things to do, whether you like water sports, hiking, eating or shopping. It’s a favorite destination for my sister and I when we meet to celebrate our birthdays for the year each fall. We always plan for a stop at the outlet mall where we have to spend time at Harry & David.

For us, the stop is generally the first glimpse into early Christmas offerings and a few treats for our families at home. For others, it’s an oasis of yummy treats that please all ages and serve as the perfect gift resource. Now, one of the nation’s premier direct marketing and e-commerce companies, Harry & David have to invest in more than just pears – they need workforce optimization software.

A recent CSI (News - Alert) World report captured the story of how the company sought to support a thriving mail order business. A customer service contact center was established and quickly changed over the years. According to Jason Phillipson, Director of Planning for Customer Operations, the company implemented workforce optimization software to better utilize its workforce and increase the overall effectiveness of the customer interaction.

                  Image via Bigstock

“The biggest advantage new technology has is that it allowed us to hold our labor needs static,” Phillipson told CSI World. “Advances in our online stores, sales & service applications, knowledgebase, telemarketing, call monitoring, and training systems have kept pace and often exceeded the demand for additional labor force. In fact, over the last 10 years the call centers’ labor needs have changed relatively little, while the business grew significantly.”

To ensure the company can continue to cater to a growing customer base with a high level of quality, Harry & David put a call recording application in place. The Virtual Observer solution interfaces with the Avaya (News - Alert) phone system so calls can be recorded for quality assurance. As the typical 300-person staff swells to roughly 4000 during the busy holiday season, the ability to monitor quality at all times is essential. And with workforce optimization software, the company is better equipped to manage its infrastructure when systems are pushed to the limit.

For the eCommerce environment, access to a system that ensures quality at all volume levels is essential. As much of Harry & David’s business is conducted during the holiday season, operating at optimal performance levels even when pushing the limits is essential. Workforce optimization software allows that to happen as the company optimizes a large team to produce great results.

Now, on our next stop by the outlet store in central Missouri, we may just have to make a call to the customer service center and see if the experience is seamless across the interaction points. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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