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"The Avaya solution increased efficiency, reduced response times and improved customer satisfaction.”
— Manuela Moretti, Optima Italia CTO
OPTIMA ITALIA AND AVAYA FOR A CUSTOMER-CENTRIC CONTACT CENTER
The new virtual, multi-utility call platform increases loyalty and improves support services across multiple sites.
Optima Italia is a dynamic, multi-utility service provider specializing in offering integrated energy, phone and Internet services to businesses and individuals. They have chosen the Avaya virtual contact center solution to implement their strategy of high availability and integration with the CRM platform, to support the new branch office that has opened in Tirana, with the aim of strengthening the centralized customer care activities at its headquarters in Naples.
The organic growth that Optima Italia has experienced since it was founded in 1999 represents the evolution of a business model that was originally directed towards B2B. Today, this model is also open to the consumer world, offering telecommunication services and the supply of highly customizable electricity. This resulted in the need for improved Customer Relationship Management. With the opening of the new site in Tirana, Optima decided to seize the opportunity to implement a centralized, real-time management solution that could offer increased availability of its support services to customers, with the dual aim of increasing and refining the reporting capabilities of the customer service agents at both the headquarters and the new nearshore site, while significantly increasing the level of customer satisfaction.
The adopted solution originated from the migration towards Avaya IP Office Server Edition, recently implemented by Optima, and the subsequent adoption of the Avaya Contact Center Select (ACCS) module. “Our need was both technical and operational,” explains Optima Italia's Chief Technology Officer, Manuela Moretti. “On a purely technological level, with the migration to the virtual version of IP Office Server, we were aiming for a fault tolerant platform that could easily be distributed across all locations, while still maintaining centralized management. One of the functional advantages gained is the ability to interact normally with contact center agents using the Microsoft platform that manages the entire customer relationship cycle, improving flexibility, effectiveness and above all, strengthening Optima's image in the eyes of corporate and private customers.”
Interaction Between Calls and CRM
The knowledge of Avaya solutions that Optima has accumulated over ten years of collaboration, first as an end user and then as a partner in developing projects with third parties, was instrumental in the success of the project. Optima concentrates all its managerial and administrative activities at its headquarters in Naples, with 300 employees based there. A team of thirty operators act as contact center representatives, primarily dedicated to B2B customers. At the new site in Tirana, Albania, another 100 workers are responsible for operations and also manage residential customer support. When it came to giving the green light to the virtualization and phone platform expansion project, Optima employed two Avaya IP Office 500 V2 platforms in its two sites, which are connected using a proprietary model.
“Before starting the project,” says Luca Giglio, Senior System Administrator of the Engineering Division of Optima Systems, “there was a long and thorough scouting phase. The continuity guaranteed by being able to work on Avaya interfaces is an advantage, but the decision to select the Server Edition of IP Office was driven by a unique prerequisite: the new system had to comply fully with predetermined characteristics, in particular, it needed to have the ability to manage inbound and outbound traffic between Naples and Tirana in a more dynamic way, and support full integration with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”
"From a system administrator perspective, we can now manage calls in a much smarter way, using the IVR interface to route calls to operators that are more qualified.”
— Luca Giglio, Optima Italia, Systems Engineer
As highlighted by Manuela Moretti, Optima was able to make use of its internal capabilities by entrusting the design and implementation phase to a small team led by Giglio. An external System Integrator was only hired for the integration with the CRM platform, and oversaw the early stages of Avaya ACCS configuration. “We were one of the first Italian customers to use this solution,” notes Giglio. “ACCS is a very powerful solution, designed originally for large enterprise customers and adapted by Avaya to meet the needs of mid-market customers. But we managed to resolve some initial difficulties and today, after a year, we are completely autonomous when it comes to configuration and management.”
The technology manager also noted that as well as ensuring technical support in the transition to the Server Edition, it has facilitated the training of technical staff in charge of configuration and the training of the employees that must apply the new features to their daily practices. The provider also facilitated economic migration to a more evolved platform, adding value to the investments that Optima has made over the years.
Virtual Switchboard, Unlimited Calls
Approximately twelve months after the start of the rollout, the picture of the existing Optima phone infrastructure is centered around version 9 of the Avaya IP Office Edition with Avaya Contact Center Select and Avaya Media Server, installed in the operator data center. 300 Mbps lines (with a backup of 200) connect the platform to users at the Naples site, while the Tirana site relies on a 100 Mbps link. A total of nearly 350 users are able to make outbound calls from both sites. Optima has also purchased fifty-five licenses for a current total of forty-five simultaneous ACCS operators.
Overall, in the two sites, over two hundred wireless internal lines have been activated according to DECT standards, allowing free movement in a work environment where duties are often not restricted to a fixed location. The flexibility of the Avaya phone platform makes smart working and home working solutions possible, allowing Optima to optimize the management and costs of physical work spaces.
- To strengthen the fault tolerance of the call center system
- To establish a dynamic and direct relationship between call management and customer support services
- To centrally manage phone stations and operators, regardless of geographic location
- To extend and enhance monitoring of customer interaction
- Increased efficiency and reduced response times
- Smarter management of inbound calls thanks to the programmable IVR interface
- Brand loyalty and customer satisfaction
- Greater flexibility with smart and remote working solutions
- Geographic scalability and greater functionality
- Recovery of the investment made in Avaya IP Office CCR
The Customer is on the Screen
The enabling power of the new system is particularly evident from the close interaction between the traditional call-handling features and the standardized processes within the CRM solutions. “We were able to create a direct link between the system that manages the calls and the system that handles customer support requests and our marketing endeavors,” states Manuela Moretti with satisfaction. “We are now able to unequivocally link each incoming call to the history of the customer making the call.”
Thanks to the connection between Avaya and Microsoft Dynamics, inbound call agents have automatic access on their monitors to pages that show the latest operations carried out, invoice history, requests for assistance from technical staff or activation of new services. This has all significantly improved customer relations. Operators do not lose valuable time identifying customers, help desk duties become much more efficient and focused, and talk times are reduced in line with the information provided. Therefore, a huge benefit in terms of efficiency has been obtained. This is a double advantage for the company's image, both in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Luca Giglio's words reveal the level of satisfaction: “Our goals of virtualization and independence from the "iron" chain of a conventional switchboard were strategic and have been achieved. From an operational point of view, the advantages highlighted by our Chief Technology Officer are clearly obvious to those in charge of customer service. From a system administrator perspective, we can now manage calls in a much smarter way, using the IVR interface to route calls to operators that are more qualified. The full software approach allows deeper, systemic levels of monitoring that greatly assist us in troubleshooting any problems and in evolving the platform for the future.”
- IP Office Server Edition
- Avaya Contact Center Select
- Avaya Media Server
About Optima Italia
Established in 1999, Optima Italia S.p.A. is an Italian multi-utility leader in integrated B2B and B2C energy services (electricity and gas), fixed phone services and Internet connectivity. The company employs a workforce of 300 young, motivated workers, who are guided by a close-knit team of young professionals, working in a motivating operational environment encouraging comfort, design and ideas. Adding to the main headquarters located in Naples, a new site in Tirana, Albania, was recently established, where Optima focuses a significant part of its support activities on private customers. www.optimaitalia.com
Established in 1999, Optima Italia S.p.A. is an Italian multi-utility leader in integrated B2B and B2C energy services (electricity and gas), fixed phone services and Internet connectivity. The company employs a workforce of 300 young, motivated workers, who are guided by a close-knit team of young professionals, working in a motivating operational environment encouraging comfort, design and ideas. Adding to the main headquarters located in Naples, a new site in Tirana, Albania, was recently established, where Optima focuses a significant part of its support activities on private customers.