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Superior Propane Fuels Service Efficiencies and Business Growth with Avaya OneCloud

Superior Propane CS
Superior Propane CS

Superior Propane has been leading the Canadian propane market since 1951, but you don’t stay in business for over 70 years by chance. The company’s strong customer service strategy has stood the test of time, but executives are aware that the world in which Superior Propane started looks nothing like the one it operates in today. Expectations have radically changed in terms of speed, efficiency, and flexibility among customers as well as employees. Executives know that cloud is core to Superior Propane’s continued growth and transformation. Avaya is their trusted advisor along this journey, from educating on the art of the possible to planning and implementing new technologies now and in the future.

30

Second reduction in AHT

150

Additional inquiries handled

3

Months to Significant Improvements

Challenge

  • On-premises systems limited speed to value.
  • Paying for unused licenses outside of peak season.
  • Lack of data-driven insights prevented efficiency and QoS improvements.
  • Lack of flexibility for supporting permanent hybrid work model.
  • System siloes prevented agents from accessing information quickly and efficiently.

Value Created

  • A flexible platform that opened the door to cloud and AI without having to rip and replace existing on-premises systems.
  • A powerful reporting solution that sends real-time updates and information to individual agents, teams, or the entire contact center regardless of where workers are located.
  • A custom-built IVR integration that enables seamless self-service.
  • Proactive automated outbound communications.
  • Speech and desktop analytics that identified key areas of improvement to help Superior Propane reduce AHT by 30 seconds per call.
  • Screen pops that empower agents to take the next best action.
  • Ability to flex 20% over number of subscribed users with flexible Subscription model.

SOLUTION USED

Avaya OneCloudTM serves as a foundation for custom app development, hybrid work solutions, and strategic partner alliances that opened the door to cloud and AI without having to rip and replace the company’s existing on-premises systems. In doing so, Superior Propane has been able to reduce average handle time by 30 seconds per call without needing to scale its team, support a permanent hybrid work model and up level Customer Experience (CX) with custom integrations and proactive communications.

Avaya’s partner alliances helped speed time to value by offering dozens of leading tech vendors that could seamlessly integrate with the company’s existing Avaya solution.

Avaya OneCloud Subscription is the cherry on top, allowing Superior Propane to add new cloud services at its own pace and pay only for services that are used while continuing to operate on-premises. Unique to Avaya OneCloud Subscription is the freedom to flex up to 20% over the number of subscribed users, which the company plans to leverage during peak winter months without having to pay for unused licenses thereafter.

Avaya challenged us to think outside the box with how we handle these calls. Offering the option to schedule a delivery through an automated system is not only efficient, but a preferred method for some customers. That’s when we decided to move forward with the custom integration for self-service.

—Alex Wozniak, Director of Customer Enablement at Superior Propane

Working Even Smarter with Data-driven Insights

With expectations changing, Superior Propane needed a better understanding of processes and how they were impacting the customer and employee experience. Avaya’s partner alliances helped speed time to value by offering dozens of leading tech vendors that could seamlessly integrate with the company’s existing Avaya solution. Avaya partner, Calabrio’s desktop and speech analytics capabilities provided a complete picture of what was going on with all the big data in Superior Propane’s contact center, revealing several areas for improvement:

  • Service barriers (ex: icy roads preventing a delivery) were a key source of customer frustration leading to dissatisfaction.
  • Customers prefer real-time communication about changes to their scheduled delivery rather than after-the-fact notifications.
  • Frontline contact center agents were handling 75% of inbound cancellation calls but were experiencing a lower than expected retention rate.
  • Agents lacked historical context of customer conversations, meaning customers had to repeat themselves each time they spoke with someone new.

Avaya OneCloud has been instrumental in keeping Superior Propane’s redistributed contact center fully aligned and at peak performance.

When it came to understanding Superior Propane’s average handle time, Calabrio’s desktop analytics revealed three areas for improvement:

  • Log templates intended to be completed throughout a live call (to reduce after-call work) were too labor-intensive to be completed in real-time.
  • In some cases, after-call work was completed when time would be better spent tending to higher priority tasks.
  • Some agents were using systems or tools that impeded productivity.

These data-driven insights helped Superior Propane reduce average handle time by 30 seconds per call – allowing for 150 more customer inquiries daily without having to scale its team – while improving quality of service. These insights also shaped the company’s onboarding and training processes, helping new hires meet required average handle time within weeks as opposed to months.

Avaya fired on all cylinders in terms of technology, and they enlightened us about the art of the possible.

—Alex Wozniak, Director of Customer Enablement at Superior Propane

A Custom Integration for Faster, More Personalized Service

Superior Propane receives a high volume of delivery-related calls, especially during peak season. “Avaya challenged us to think outside the box with how we handle these calls,” said Alex Wozniak, Director of Customer Enablement at Superior Propane. “Offering the option to schedule a delivery through an automated system is not only efficient, but a preferred method for some customers. That’s when we decided to move forward with the custom integration for self-service.”

Avaya built a custom integration for Superior Propane that enables customers calling about deliveries to seamlessly self-serve. If a customer gets to the point in the menu for wanting to schedule a delivery, the system will automatically dip into Superior Propane’s (now integrated) CRM and search for a matching ANI. A registered ANI will show all data related to that customer, confirming them in the system to process deliveries faster and more efficiently. Customers can connect with a live representative at any point if needed.

The company is using Avaya Proactive Outreach Manager to further streamline service by sending customers automated emails or phone calls to confirm delivery orders, with SMS being eyed for the future. Up to 800 emails are automated each day, which can easily double during peak season. This ability to self-serve has minimized delivery-related calls so that more Superior Propane Customer Experience Representatives (CERs) can handle complex and revenue impacting calls.

If a self-serve customer has an additional inquiry outside of delivery, quality of service is improved with the ability for CERs to focus on a specific subject versus multiple subjects at once. Screen pops are also enabled through this CRM integration, which automatically display customer data, so the CER doesn’t have to manually search for it – further lowering average handle time. “The capabilities of Avaya OneCloud enable us to communicate with customers in ways we never have before. They’re making a big impact on key metrics like handle time and overall customer satisfaction,” said Wozniak.

The capabilities of Avaya OneCloud enable us to communicate with customers in ways we never have before.

—Alex Wozniak, Director of Customer Enablement at Superior Propane

Working from Anywhere Using a Powerful Reporting Solution

Avaya OneCloud is the perfect foundation for Superior Propane’s permanent hybrid work model post-COVID. “We needed to make sure our CERs were still plugged in and having a consistent experience. With Avaya OneCloud we can seamlessly monitor and manage these workers, schedule tasks, and send updates regardless of where they are located. Everything we did on-site we can now do from anywhere,” Wozniak explained.

One of the best benefits for the company is a powerful reporting solution that sends real-time performance data and instant messages directly to the workstations of individual CERs, teams, or the entire contact center. Multiple scrolling marquees and dashboards work together to display dynamic information gathered from multiple sources within the OneCloud platform such as the call management system and reporting and analytics systems, with the ability to connect third-party systems as well. Employees can view summaries across multiple sites and actionable details for more informed decision-making regardless of where they’re working with Avaya Desktop Wallboard.

These work-from-anywhere capabilities are crucial for Superior Propane as its footprint continues to grow in North America through acquisitions.

Avaya built a custom integration for Superior Propane that enables customers calling about deliveries to seamlessly self-serve.

Looking to the Future with AI and NLP

“The level of support we received from Avaya was impressive from beginning to end,” said Wozniak. “Their team fired on all cylinders in terms of technology, and they enlightened us about the art of the possible. This really elevated our mindset and how we approach problems. We’re thinking of new ways to circumvent challenges using Avaya’s partner alliances, and we’re also thinking of how we can leverage technologies like AI and Natural Language Processing to continue increasing efficiency and quality of service.”

Avaya also rose to the occasion when Superior Propane experienced a company-wide system outage that impacted up to 18 months of progress in some areas of the business. Avaya restored all affected databases, rebuilt voice and email campaigns, and was able to quickly get the company’s custom integration up and running again.

“The team was extremely responsive. They had a methodical approach for getting everything back up and running and with a very fast timeframe. They listened to our priorities and honored them,” said Wozniak. “We had been talking about the security aspect of the cloud for some time. This confirmed we were headed in the necessary direction.

Avaya OneCloud provides Superior Propane everything needed to innovate without disruption, and push the envelope as the leader in its industry. The possibilities are endless with a powerful, adaptable platform that supports the company where it is today and supports future innovations.

About Calabrio

Calabrio is the customer experience intelligence company that empowers organizations to enrich human interactions. The scalability of our cloud platform allows for quick deployment of remote work models—and it gives our customers precise control over both operating costs and customer satisfaction levels. Our AI- driven analytics tools make it easy for contact centers to uncover customer sentiment and share compelling insights with other parts of the organization. Customers choose Calabrio because we understand their needs and provide a best-in-class experience, from implementation to ongoing support.

About Avaya

Businesses are built on the experiences they provide and every day millions of those experiences are built by Avaya (NYSE:AVYA). For over one hundred years, we’ve enabled organizations around the globe to win—by creating intelligent communications experiences for customers and employees. Avaya builds open, converged and innovative solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration— in the cloud, on premise, or a hybrid of both. To grow your business, we’re committed to innovation, partnership, and a relentless focus on what’s next. We’re the technology company you trust to help you deliver Experiences that Matter. Visit us at www.avaya.com

About Superior Propane

Superior Propane is Canada's leading propane distributor and has been a trusted propane supplier for over 70 years. Through Canada's largest propane distribution network, Superior is able to serve homes and businesses virtually anywhere in the country, and offers industry-leading digital solutions that make managing propane use easier and more convenient for customers. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Superior employs more than 1,500 people and delivers over 1.5 billion litres of propane annually through a distribution network of approximately 200 locations strategically located to serve customers from coast to coast in Canada.

1500

Employees

200

Locations

70 +

Years in Business