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Head Scores: Sporting Goods Sales with Personal Service and High Accessibility

Avaya Solutions Keep the Game Running Smoothly at the Service Center
Head Germany GmbH


  • Existing phone system unable to efficiently handle incoming call volume

  • Manual process to route calls to the appropriate agent was time consuming and inefficient

  • Difficult to manage staffing needs during peak call times

Value Added

  • More transparency through the CIE interface

  • Automated routing of incoming calls from Austria and Germany

  • Relief of central telephone switching

  • Individual and efficient customer support

  • Smart call control

  • Increased productivity through automated call flows

  • Easy integration of home office workstations

  • First-class support from Avaya Professional Services

Avaya Solutions Keep the Game Running Smoothly at the Service Center

Top products, personalized advice and smooth order processing are essential components of the business success of Head Germany GmbH. The company sells Head branded sporting goods to more than 2,200 retailers in Austria and Germany. To help expedite sales, Head relies on an Avaya integrated communications solution - based on Avaya IP Office™ Platform and Avaya’s Customer Interaction Express (CIE) contact center solution.

When the temperatures drop and nature slowly goes into hibernation, ski racer Lindsey Vonn gets going. The slope is calling and with it, the chance for new records. The exceptional American talent has 76 World Cup victories so far, with hopefully many more to follow. She has all the prerequisites. In addition to talent, dedication and ambition, Vonn also uses top-notch equipment. Since 2009, she has had incredible success with the support of sporting goods manufacturer Head behind her. Other professional athletes such as tennis star Tommy Haas and the swimming brothers Markus and Steffen Deibler also use Head equipment, as well as millions of recreational athletes around the world.

98% of all calls arrive at the designated agent within a few seconds.

Skis, snowboards, ski boots and bindings, tennis rackets and balls, sports shoes and functional clothing are always available in a sufficient quantity. This is where Head Germany GmbH comes into play. As a sales agency, the skilled team at their central service center helps keep the retail sporting specialists in Austria and Germany up to date with the timely availability of the sporting goods they need. An innovative Avaya communications solution based on IP Office and Customer Interaction Express (CIE) helps facilitate this process. The solution recognizes the incoming contact and knows which person the call has to be directed to, even if the caller only entered the central number and not the complete telephone number/extension of the desired contact.

This is made possible by a three-step selection process by Avaya's interactive voice dialog system. ‘‘By stating the country of origin, the desired department and their own postal code, each caller lands at the right address,’’ explains Helga Geißler, head of customer service at Head Germany GmbH. This automation leaves the telephone exchange unburdened. ‘‘We only have to transfer 10% of the incoming calls manually. This has a huge impact on productivity.” In the past, a colleague in the telephone center used to be busy with transferring calls and invoicing, but now they can take on other tasks instead.

Personal Advice as the Key to Success

Personal Advice as the Key to Success

At the company's service center, Avaya's Customer Interaction Express paves the way for efficient order processing and high levels of customer satisfaction. ‘‘Even if the internet and email are gaining in importance in sales, personal conversations and telephone advice are crucial to our success,’’ Geißler is convinced. Especially when it comes to providing customers with expertise and individualized advice.

This is easier said than done: after all,the employees at Head’s service center in Germany look after more than 2,200 sports retailers throughout Germany and Austria. They are not just taking orders, they take care of complaints, advise on the entire product line and provide information on delivery times as well as special offers.

At peak times, typically at the beginning of the winter sports season for example, the service center receives up to 800 calls a day. ‘‘Thanks to Avaya, we are creating a personal link to our customers,’’ explains Helga Geißler. ‘‘Because no matter when a dealer calls, they always connect automatically with a trusted adviser.’’

This is made possible by Avaya's user-friendly system administration interface. In addition, individual call flows can be set up via drag-and-drop, calls can be controlled in a targeted manner, and the service center can be organized at the push of a button. ‘‘The CIE user interface can be used intuitively, without any in-depth technical knowledge - by agents, team leaders, supervisors or administrators alike,’’ says Geißler.

It is not only the simplified organization of the processes at the service center that is inspiring, the new CIE also facilitates operations. For example, the employees always have an eye on how many calls are waiting, which colleagues are taking a break, or whether the team has any appointments. This offers enormous added value, mainly because the individual workstations at the service center are separated by soundproof walls. ‘‘Thanks to the virtual overview, each individual can work on their orders calmly, but still remain part of the team,’’ explains Geißler. This is important especially when it comes to standing in for colleagues during the lunch break or relieving pressure at peak times. ‘‘98% of all calls arrive at the designated agent within a few seconds,’’ she explains. The remaining callers wait a maximum of one minute for their call partner.

At a Glance

  • From tennis rackets to ski equipment: as a sales agency of the well-known sporting goods manufacturer Head, Head Germany GmbH supports more than 2,200 sports specialists in Austria and Germany.

  • At the company's service center, a team of specialists takes care of over 2,200 specialist dealers. An integrated communications solution from Avaya paves the way for efficient order processing and high levels of customer satisfaction.

  • Comprehensive user interfaces facilitate collaboration and automated routing ensures that no call is lost. It is easy to maximize staff deployment based on incoming calls, and quickly implement extensions using Avaya Professional Services.

First-class Support from Avaya Experts

When team members are not available for external calls due to internal team meetings, the team lead can automatically redirect all calls for all team members, so that no one forgets to redirect his own telephone and no external call gets lost. Frequently dialed numbers can be stored as favorites on the overview screen and can be selected by mouse click. The annoying insertion of names and telephone numbers is a thing of the past. The calendar of the head of the department is also open to everyone. ‘‘Thanks to the CIE interface, employees see the availability of other colleagues at a glance. So they know what meeting I'm in and when I'm back at my desk,’’ explains Geißler.

An additional advantage is that call origination can also be analyzed at the touch of a button, down to the smallest detail. As a result, management can not only tailor the individual call flows, but also plan staff deployment more efficiently. ‘‘With our built-in reporting capabilities, we've analyzed when our customers want to reach us,’’ she says. It turns out that the existing service times cover the demand well.

For Helga Geißler, the communications solution from Avaya leaves almost no wish unfulfilled. ‘‘Avaya's IP Office and Customer Interaction Express provide the foundation for highly flexible and personalized communications processes," she says. In her opinion, not only the high functionality, but also the scalability and investment security speak for the telecommunications solution from Avaya. And, of course, the first-class advice: ‘‘Avaya's experts bring a wealth of knowledge and support us by continuously optimizing our communications processes.”

First-class Support from Avaya Experts

About Head Germany GmbH

Head Germany GmbH is the sales agency of Head International GmbH, with main offices in the Bavarian town of Feldkirchen. With 60 employees, the company supplies approximately 1,200 German and 1,000 Austrian retailers with skis, ski bindings, ski boots, snowboard equipment, rackets, tennis balls, footwear and sportswear of the brands Head and Tyrolia.

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