Market Force Information (Market Force) has been recognized as one of the top 50 market research organizations in the AMA Gold Report and by Forrester Research as a Breakout Vendor. The company has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and Spain. It serves more than 200 clients, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and drug stores, convenience store and gas station operators, and banking and financial services providers, as well as the entertainment industry.
One of Market Force’s services is operating contact centers on behalf of its clients. The company has three call centers, located in the US, Canada, and the UK, with more than 200 customer service associates (CSAs), although that number is rapidly growing. Increased demand for Market Force’s contact center solutions led Ryan Stewart, the company’s vice president of Canadian operations, to look for a new solution that would better support the growth of this business channel.
“With a contact center, the largest expense is associate labor, and as such we require reporting and visualizations that assist in optimizing schedules and associates’ performance against key indicators,” Stewart explains. “Our previous solution was somewhat limited in this respect.”
A related issue with the limited reporting was that when other groups within Market Force needed call center data, which happened frequently, the process was cumbersome and fairly time intensive. “An analyst at the call center would have to extract the data, create Excel reports, and send them by email, and that took time,” Stewart says. The previous solution’s limits also made it difficult for Market Force to have CSAs working from home. “Given the growth of our business and demands of our customers, working from home will be a core part of our future operation,” he adds.
Contact Center makes a night-and-day difference.
Although the previous call center solution was cloud-based, Stewart evaluated both on-premises and cloud-based options in his search for the capabilities he needed. He found the strongest solution to be the one offered by his company’s UCaaS provider, RingCentral. (Market Force has approximately 500 users of RingCentral Global Office and Glip at its offices in North America and in the UK.)
“With respect to capability, RingCentral Contact Center is a huge improvement over our previous solution,” Stewart says. “It is the best I’ve worked with in my 20 plus years in the call center business. We were looking for capabilities and preferred a cloud-based solution, but would have moved forward with on-premises if it provided an improved toolset. For us, the fact that Contact Center is cloud-based is beneficial as it comes with a strong support mechanism that we do not have to grow ourselves.”
Contact Center provides the tools, particularly the reporting functionality, that Market Force sought to manage and grow its call center operations. Strategy managers and account managers who previously had to request call center data and then wait while it was compiled can access the data themselves using Contact Center’s real-time dashboards. “This has driven efficiencies that allow us to be more responsive and insightful when working with our clients. Market Force’s value offering is to help clients improve business strategy and operations through powerful insights gained via Contact Center and other channels. Speed of access to data and trending supports this vision,” says Stewart.
Each day, these managers see monthly statistics such as whether the call center is meeting the agreed-to service levels and objectives, and how to call volumes are trending. “None of this has to come through internal information conduits any longer,” he adds. “In terms of getting the right information to the right people in real-time, and avoiding the additional email traffic that poisons organizations, this has been fundamentally a game-changer.”
With Contact Center, Stewart also has the reporting and analytics tools he needs “to make sure that the program is running smoothly in validating abandonment rates, average response times, and service-level commitments,” he notes.
Another key improvement with Contact Center is seen in the interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities. “What we have now is much more versatile and expansive,” says Stewart. “Aside from the standard multi-level menus and complex branching, we have the ability to integrate SQL data into the IVR for robust self-serve opportunities, customer messaging, CTI screen pops with client information, virtual queue placement for customers (callbacks), and a unique IVR editor with untapped potential. We’re excited about what we can do for our customers in this space moving forward.”
“Market Force is excited to leverage the RingCentral platform to offer chat as a new contact channel within our contact centers,” he adds. “For select clients, this form of consumer connection will be a game-changer and more cost-effective. Given the growth that our contact center business is experiencing globally, we felt the investment in RingCentral was key to continuing to serve our clients and their customers at a very high level.”
Glip and Contact Center together streamline call center management.
Stewart greatly values Glip as his main communication tool for managing Market Force’s three call centers. “Glip is fantastic for inter-office communication,” he explains. “The call center managers and I use it as one of the main interfaces for things like hourly updates on service levels and any changes that are happening at each of the different sites. I can sit at my desk and flip into any one of these communication threads and see what is happening.”
“Glip is much more effective, much more real-time compared to the traditional email or phone-conference scenario,” he continues. “All of our real-time communications are done in Glip rather than email. We also like that we can look at the history—what’s happened over the last six hours or three days. It provides an effective audit trail and has impressive mechanisms for storing and categorizing attachments that are part of the real-time dialogue sessions.
Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer experience management, provides services such as customer experience surveys, employee engagement surveys, mystery shopping, on-site audits, contact center services, and social media review tracking.