Many operators are dreading a technical upgrade oftheir telephone system. Like "Never touch a running system", theyprefer to forego many of the advantages offered by a modern solution. The factthat such a changeover can also be carried out in a completely different way isdemonstrated by netconnex at the privacy screen and sunshade manufacturer TebaGmbH & Co. KG.
Teba planned the modernization of its 14-year-oldtelephone system from Alcatel and their in-house call center with 45 employees.In addition, the existing software from Data Dimensions was to be replaced by amodern system. In order to be able to compensate for seasonal fluctuations,additional workplaces for temporary staff were planned. Even after a rebuild thisshould be possible. The general availability was perceived as poor bycustomers. They often had to wait in queues until they could be put through toan employee. Callback campaigns did not exist and could not be carried out interms of time. A statistical evaluation that would have helped to localize thecauses was not available either. Comprehensive reporting was not possible yet.
"In the past, wealways had our backs against the wall when it came to accessibility complaints.Today, I can look into the system and see: The customer has already left thequeue after 15 seconds." Jörg Augstein,Head of Internal Sales
· Fast and smooth implementation of the project
· Connection to the Navision ERP system fromMicrosoft
· Use of softphones on different client systemsand complete elimination of landline and hardphones
· cordless phones for employees in production& warehouse
· intensive support during critical phases
· high transparency for customers and employees
· Transparent reporting
· Introduction of callback campaigns
· Different call groups (head no.)
· Centralization of personal phone numbers toone head number for external calls
· Introduction of outbound campaigns
· Introduction of flexible workforce managementadapted to call volume
· Daily average of 700-800 calls to be handled,incl. follow-up time
· No on premise system (cloud telephony)
· Side by side coaching
The first draft envisaged only a test balloon with 5workstations. Already at an early stage of the feasibility study, about 4 weeksafter the first contact, this was expanded to the entire internal service with40 workstations. No problem, thanks to the good scalability of netconnex’solutions. Finally, the project was extended to the entire company.
In October 2019, netconnex starts the tender for themodernization of the telephone system at Teba as one of three providers.Quickly, the concept of netconnex could prevail over the competition. The cloudsolution "Made in Germany" not only convinced the management, but wasalso quickly accepted by the work councils and employees. In this context, Tebaeven speaks of an increase in transparency for their employees.
"Insome cases, I already had a solution to my problem after a few minutes. Thesimple and uncomplicated communication with netconnex accompanied the wholeproject. " JörgAugstein, Head of Internal Sales
On December 9th, Teba's entire office staff hadalready been smoothly switched over to the new cloud-based IP telephony. Asmall team of netconnex employees supported the changeover on site. Other thanthat, support was largely provided remotely, partly due to the Covid 19 pandemic.Completely sufficient, as Jörg Augstein, head of internal sales, notes.
The winter lull in seasonal business was also used totrain staff extensively in the use of the new technology. In spring, with thestart of the lockdown, another advantage of the new technology came into play:employees can be sent to the home office without any additional effort.
"A huge advantageof this solution was the ability to just send employees to the home office.That was a big competitive advantage, especially with the start of thelockdown." Michael Kusenberg, Head of IT
On April 2nd, in the middle of the lockdown, the timehad come and the entire reconstruction was completed. This included setting upVPN connections and making adjustments to the company network.
A special challenge was the connection of theproduction facilities and the warehouses. Employees are at changing locationsand in addition there is a lot of shielding metal, which prevented the use of WIFI.This was not an easy task. The solution implemented by netconnex relies oncordless telephones according to the DECT standard, which operate on differentfrequencies than conventional IP telephones. In order to be able to integratethese telephones into the new system, special base stations are used which areconnected to the network. The employees' telephones automatically dial into thenext base station as they walk through the halls, thus enabling them to bereached at all times.
The feared outage during the changeover naturally didnot occur. Queries were solved quickly and without complications. Problems occurredonly in the details. For example, the telephone book for production wasforgotten during the planning phase, but was quickly added.
In the meantime, the system has passed its firstbaptism of fire. Just in time for the start of the season, the lockdown endedand the prevented vacationers became eager building owners who wanted toupgrade their own homes with a sun protection solution from Teba. From the firstconversation to regular operation, just 6 months passed. The improvedaccessibility enjoys great approval among customers. The only exception willprobably remain the following complaint, which was probably not entirelyserious:
"A long-establishedcustomer recently complained about the reachability with our new system. Hesaid the waiting times are too short now, he doesn't come to smoke or drinkcoffee. These are luxury problems that we simply didn't know before." Jörg Augstein, Head of Internal Sales
Even after a year of operation, Teba is still morethan satisfied. The performance of the telephone system has fully met allexpectations. Outages have become the absolute exception. The acceptance ofTeba employees is growing with each passing day. This is not least due to thecomfortable operation of the telephony with the CAESAR Client from CASERIS.
The intelligent distribution of customer inquiries bymeans of the Contact Center, also from CASERIS, has direct consequences foravailability.
This is now stable at 95% with a daily call volume of700-800 incoming and 300-400 outgoing calls. Before the introduction, this wasjust between 50% and 60%. If the customer now calls several times within thesame day, he is always connected to the same employee. Even if all lines arebusy, the customer is usually called back within a few minutes. Accordingly,customers are fully satisfied with the new service. The initial skepticism ofmany customers as to whether the high level of availability would last have nowbeen dispelled.
The management is enthusiasticas well. Last year, overtime and Saturday work were still necessary for orderentry, but today they are available on a daily basis during regular workinghours, and without any temporary staff at all. Simply because the capacity ofthe employees can be better controlled using the monitoring and statisticsfunctions. A service level of 85% KPI leaves hardly anything to be desired.
"We havepractically turned the tables. Now it's no longer us who are hard to reach, butour customers who get a callback after 2-3 minutes and are no longer on thephone." Jörg Augstein, Head of InternalSales
In retrospect, Teba is glad to have taken this step.An uncomplicated implementation, excellent support and a solution that adaptsto the customer's wishes. A product that is simply convincing and which MichaelKusenberg, Head of IT, says he would choose again and again.
The cooperation between Teba and netconnex goes intothe next round. Several innovations are planned. For even more convenience,netconnex telephony is to be integrated into Microsoft Teams. An intelligentIVR system (Interactive Voice Response), which is linked to the ERP system,will enable customers to find out delivery dates quickly and easily themselves.
Last but not least, communication is to be expanded toinclude video telephony and chat functions. The latter includes the integrationof live chat, AI chat and the integration of WhatsApp into the call flow.