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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[April 6, 2005]

Golds Gym Picks Avaya

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

A new IP telephony solution from Avaya Inc., a provider of business communications software, systems and services, is working out for Gold's Gym, one of the largest coed health clubs in the world, by helping the organization's U.S.-based locations eliminate costly outside conferencing services.

With gyms around the U.S. and corporate offices in Falls Church, Va., Venice, Calif., and Austin, Texas, Gold's Gym faced significant problems with its former phone systems. In addition to being out-of-date and costly to maintain, they lacked important internal conferencing capabilities. As a result, Gold's had to spend $4,000 to $6,000 a month on outside conference services just to stay in touch.

The company also lacked the communications capacity to realize cost savings by consolidating the nationwide team of customer care agents who provide members with information on club hours, membership status and exercise class schedules.

With new Avaya IP Office Solutions installed at each of its corporate offices, Gold's now is able to eliminate outside conferencing costs and to consolidate its formerly fragmented customer care team.

Kurt Koenig, director of information technology, Gold's Gym said the built-in conferencing capabilities alone “saved us enough to pay for multiple systems, and the contact center application matched our budget requirements, had the expansion capability we needed.” Koenig said the gym liked the PC-based wallboards showing which agents are logged in, how many calls are in queue and how long they've been waiting.

Avaya IP Office is an all- in-one, high-performance communication solution that brings together voice, data and communications applications in a single package especially designed for small and mid-size businesses. Avaya has sold more than 38,000 IP Office systems to small and medium businesses worldwide.

A completely customizable IP Office auto-attendant receives incoming calls to the company's national toll-free line and uses area codes to route members to the most appropriate agent – or to the company receptionist if no contact center agent is logged into the system. Comprehensive reports and real- time on-screen management tools measure call volume, calling queues, average wait times and a variety of other performance parameters established by Gold's.

Gold's Gym dates back to the original Gold's Gym in Venice, California in 1965. It quickly became known as "The Mecca of Bodybuilding,” and in 1977 Gold's Gym received international attention when it was featured in the movie Pumping Iron that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. From that first gym in Venice, Gold's Gym has become the largest co-ed gym chain in the world, with more than 600 gyms in 43 states and 25 countries.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

To discover how contact centers can save money and increase productivity by making the switch to IP Telephony, be sure to attend TMC's IP Contact Center Summit May 24-26, 2005, in Dallas, Texas.

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