Solutions used

  • Communications Center (CC)
  • Quality Management Suite (QMS)

CC and QMS were far and away the best choices for what the Arsht Center needed. Among the many factors that made Enghouse Interactive’s technology so appealing were its native integration with Microsoft Skype for Business.

Set in the heart of downtown Miami and designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the Adrienne Arsht Center (Arsht Center) for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues. Since opening in 2006, the 501(c) (3) non-profit organization has emerged as a cultural leader in the area, presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity. The Arsht Center has also catalyzed billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area. With 110 full-time staff members and two buildings, the Arsht Center hosts more than 500 events every year and brings in 40 million dollars in annual revenue.

The Challenge

With 110 full-time staff members spread over 2 buildings, the Arsht Center hosts more than 500 events every year and brings in 40 million dollars in annual revenue. The Arsht Center’s prominence and popularity generate substantial demand for and interest in its many events and programs. This high volume of demand and interest brings with it the need for an efficient and responsive contact center, comprised of two main components:

  1. A contact center team with a sufficient number of agents to handle all customer inquiries and effective managers to ensure high-quality service;
  2. An easy-to-use but powerful contact center solution to support the agents’ interactions and their managers’ supervisory needs.

The Arsht Center implemented a sensible protocol to cover the first component – the team of agents. (At least five times per year, the Arsht Center increases its staff of customer service agents from a team of seven to upwards of thirty in response to increases in activity.) The second component – the contact center solution needed to support those agents and get them “up and running” as quickly as possible – presented the real challenge.

Agents were interacting with customers through several channels: over the web, sometimes through email and fax communications, but mainly via voice calls over the Arsht Center’s unreliable legacy phone system. The clunky PBX platform was so outdated that the IT staff was forced to search eBay and Craigslist for replacement parts. Further, the PBX did not allow the Arsht Center to support remote workers in the extreme weather situations common to their location, such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Managers were struggling to monitor call quality and to report on agent performance accurately. The contact center had limited call recording capabilities which could only be used and accessed by their internal IT staff and prevented them from extracting important data and quality management metrics.

The demand to support customer interactions through new and multiple seamless channels was on the rise and, more than ever, exceptional customer experience was taking center stage for businesses. So, in late 2012, the company began a search for an omnichannel platform with an easy-to-use interface, quick scalability, powerful multi-channel quality assurance functionality, customizable reporting, and deep analytics to ensure their agents could deliver the best possible service to their customers.

At least five times per year, Arsht Center adds headcount to its contact center team, increasing its staff of seven to upwards of 30 representatives. In addition to an unreliable phone system, their contact center was lacking in its call recording capabilities, which could only be used and accessed by their internal IT staff and prevented them from extracting important data and quality management metrics.

The Arsht Center also recognized the need to move away from their clunky, hard-to-use PBX. The platform was so outdated that IT was forced to count on eBay and Craigslist for replacement parts. By virtue of operating in an environment that faces hurricanes and tropical storms, the legacy PBX did not support the Arsht Center’s need to support remote workers.

The Solution

The Arsht Center’s first step toward building an advanced new contact center was to migrate their old PBX to a highly-functional unified communications (UC) platform. Based on the recommendation of its expert IT and managed services provider, Enabling Technologies, the Arsht Center selected Microsoft’s Skype for Business. The Arsht Center’s staff were (and continue to be) heavy users of Microsoft solutions, such as Office365, so the addition of Skype for Business provided a much-needed element of integration and collaboration.

The next step was to select a contact center solution to integrate with their new Skype for Business UC platform. They chose the Enghouse Interactive Communication Center and Quality Management Suite.

Communications Center and QMS were far and away the best choices for what the Arsht Center needed. Among the many factors that made Enghouse Interactive’s technology so appealing were its native integration with Microsoft Skype for Business and Office365, omnichannel functionality, agent-centric design, and the breadth and depth of Enghouse Interactive’s engineering and support teams.

The Enghouse Interactive Communications Center (CC) is one of the most popular contact center platforms available today, deployed by over 4,000 organizations across the world. Communications Center is a modular, feature-rich, multi-channel contact center solution.

Communications Center is designed to operate natively on leading IP Telephony platforms (including Avaya, Cisco, and NEC, in addition to Microsoft Skype for Business) and offers multiple deployment options for on-premises, hosted, and hybrid environments. Communication Center is also compatible with a variety of additional contact center tools and supports numerous system integrations. Enghouse’s use of open APIs allows integration with the customer’s CRM and ticketing system. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between different screens and applications, agents proactively receive relevant and useful data on callers via ScreenPop. Communication Center’s extensible tabs for CRM and other resources reduce app hopping and enable efficient call handling, transfer and conferencing through optimized UI.

The seamless integration of Communication Center with Enghouse Interactive’s Quality Management Suite (QMS) provided the built-in quality assurance and reporting capabilities the Arsht Center’s contact center managers were looking for. The Call Recording feature provides voice recording and review; Agent Evaluation enables call scoring and agent coaching; the Computer Recording feature supports desktop recording; the Screen Recording feature allows for live interaction monitoring. The QMS Scorecard feature ties it all together (voice recording, screen recording, evaluation, etc.) for evaluation and training purposes.

The combination of Enghouse Interactive and Microsoft Skype for Business proved to be a perfect match for the Arsht Center’s virtual desktop environment and even solved the problem of supporting remote agents. It also reduced the expenses, time, and resource consumption that resulted from seasonal fluctuation in staffing by allowing the Arsht Contact center to scale operations quickly and easily. Managers can now provision agents in a matter of minutes, as opposed to days. New agents need only a computer and headset (no need for new phone lines or costly infrastructure modifications!).

“Now that we have the ability to actually leverage metrics, managers and our box office director can map staffing needs with much higher degrees of accuracy,” said James J. Thompson, Assistant Vice President of Information Technologies at the Arsht Center. “Deploying Enghouse Interactive allows us to effectively tweak personnel times, and make predictions based on historical data – which we could not do before. We now know what call patterns look for and what we’re going to need, which saves us money on unnecessary hires.” Thompson adds, “Furthermore, our agents also have better visibility into customers and their preferences, which helps deliver a better overall experience.”

With a full application on their desktop, agents found the new solution easy to use and lauded the intuitive TouchPoint interface. The system was so well-received that they were able to build a call board on day 1! This unprecedented level of usability provided agents clear visibility into queue status of calls, emails, and faxes (which was not possible with the old system), and managers the flexibility to shift personnel as-needed without hassle or downtime.

The Benefits

With the Enghouse Interactive solutions’ omnichannel features and reporting, the Arsht Center:

  • Can make crucial decisions based on true historical data;
  • Has insight into call patterns for activity forecasting, allowing managers and the box office director to make necessary staffing decisions;
  • Has seen a drastic improvement in customer service;
  • Has the ability to operate and report on multiple channels, and can tailor their needs based on the different shows throughout the year (each event requires different staffing and customer service elements that the Enghouse Interactive solutions accommodate and leverage to enhance the customer experience);
  • Can support remote agents, should the need arise due to inclement weather;
  • Can scale with ease; “staffing up” in a few minutes as opposed to a few days.

Future Arsht Center plans with Enghouse Interactive involve implementing a live chat application so customers can engage with agents via instant messaging. The Arsht Center is also exploring ways to take further advantage of the ScreenPop component by engaging Enghouse Interactive to customize an integration with Tessitura, a very popular Ticketmaster-like platform used in the museum/performing arts world. As the Arsht Center’s needs evolve and Enghouse Interactive’s solutions continue to advance, the collaboration will surely endure.

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