By David Sims
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
began operations 20 years ago with service to one of the largest Employee Assistance Programs in the U.S. But 'seven years ago, when we broadened our business model to include other non-EAP initiatives, we saw the need for new technology to manage the growing number of inbound calls,” says Mark Guyott , askAFS VP of operations and administration.
Guyott said the firm wanted a Web-based contact center solution so 'we could recruit qualified counselors nationwide, not just from the region near headquarters. We wanted remote counselors to be able to use their own Internet connection and local phones. And, we wanted to be able to monitor and administer the contact center from anywhere.”
The part about recruiting nationally is more critical than you might think for a contact center. 'All of our counselors are certified or accredited,' Guyott says, 'with four to five years of financial counseling experience, and required to continue ongoing accreditation.' So it’s not just running an ad for minimum wage contact center jobs in the local newspaper: “Without Contactual
’s on-demand contact center software we’d be limited to the smaller pool of experts within commuting distance of our headquarters.”
Guyott also likes the monitoring tools Contactual’s (News
) on-demand contact center software delivers. 'I can be anywhere in the world with an Internet connection and continue to manage the phone queue. I always know what my counselors are doing.” He adds that the company president travels a lot too, and 'this was his big motivation for choosing Contactual -- to be able to keep tabs on the company, no matter where he is.'
And the practical considerations worked as well. “When Contactual propelled us into being 100 percent Web-based, we quickly found out that we were not limited in the amount of calls our counselors could handle. We also found that we kept expenses down -- with the cost per minute of each inbound call handled by Contactual being significantly lower than before.'
In short, Guyott says, 'Contactual fulfills our needs efficiently and effectively, and let’s face it, we’re all looking to see where not to waste money. If Contactual was costing more than it was worth, we’d be the first ones to notice that.”
To download a free case study and learn more about how Contactual’s on-demand contact center software improved AskAFS’ operations, click here