UMass Lowell Communications Center

Solutions used

  • Enghouse Interactive Communications Center
  • Quality Management Suite

UMASS Lowell

“Enghouse Interactive technology is incredibly flexible; it does exactly what we want it to do. We were able to check off each item on our wish list. Design and Implementation team was exceptional and delivered on every promise. Furthermore, their ongoing support is excellent and we are constantly recommended additional use cases and functionality.

“Enghouse Interactive is exactly what we were looking for.”

ENGHOUSE SOLUTIONS

  • Communications Center
  • Quality Management Suite

ABOUT THE CUSTOMER/CUSTOMER PROFILE
UMass Lowell is a public university committed to preparing its students for work in the real world— solving real problems and helping real people— by providing an affordable high-quality education. The campus is bursting with energy— enrollment is up, new academic programs are being launched, and new facilities are being acquired and are under construction. Most importantly, students are more successful than ever thanks to highly accredited programs, the school’s focus on experiential “hands-on” learning, and personal attention from its accomplished and committed faculty and staff.

UMASS Lowell’s computing environment is 100% Microsoft. In addition to Microsoft Office, its 350+ faculty use Skype for Business for communications and collaboration. To ensure continuity and universal collaboration across all departments, contact center solutions must be able to integrate natively with both Microsoft suites.

Their current contact center is spread across two disparate locations. One facility serves as an IT Helpdesk, averaging 300 calls per week. The second is the “Solutions Center,” a one-stop support center for student-related issues like class registration, financial aid and student services, which takes about 1,200 calls per week (although during peak times that weekly volume can increase by 1,000).

CHALLENGES

For years, agents were saddled by cumbersome legacy technology that was anything but intuitive. User experience was poor and hampered performance; it was exceedingly difficult for agents to deliver the desired level of service in a timely manner. Frequently dropped calls, muddled audio, and poor sound quality forced UML to submit support requests at an alarming rate.

More often than not, they were unable to obtain a permanent resolution for most of their issues.  The previous contact center provider would tend to assume certain logic which did not follow UML’s practices; for example, if an agent was flagged as having multiple skills and calls for those skill areas are placed into their own queue, they want the longest “on-hold call” across all queues to be handed to the next appropriate agent with that specific skill.

As can be expected with legacy solutions, functionality was limited. Among the most glaring shortcomings were the absence of true caller ID and any capacity to have accurate, live dashboard capabilities.

UML contact center operations are spread among two disparate facilities, and exist on an island, figuratively isolated by virtue of its operating a completely different telephony platform.

In anticipation of pending growth in its contact center environment, UMass Lowell decided that its incumbent platform would no longer suffice and that they needed a solution that would allow them to scale quickly and easily, without negatively affecting operations. And as previously mentioned, integration with Microsoft Skype for Business and Office applications was paramount.

THE SOLUTION

During UML’s review of potential contact center platforms to replace the incumbent, Enghouse Interactive’s Communications Center (CC) and Quality Management Suite (QMS) emerged as the solutions best-suited to address the university’s needs.

First and foremost was Enghouse’s well-deserved reputation as a top Microsoft Partner. Native integration with Skype for Business and Office365, omni-channel functionality, agent-centric and intuitive design, and the breadth and depth of Enghouse Interactive’s engineering and support teams.

Communications Center is one of the most popular contact center platforms available today. The modular, feature-rich, omni-channel contact center solution is deployed by over 4,000 organizations across the world that are committed to delivering the best possible customer experience. Seamless integration with QMS provides the built-in quality assurance and reporting capabilities UMass Lowell’s contact center managers desired. Call Recording 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.

Communications Center is also compatible with a variety of additional contact center tools and supports numerous system integrations. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between different screens and applications, agents proactively receive relevant and useful data on callers via ScreenPop. Communications Center’s extensible tabs for CRM and other resources reduce app hopping and enable efficient call handling, transfer and conferencing through optimized UI.

The university currently uses Salesforce and links it to their PeopleSoft Student Information System (de-facto CRM), but would ultimately like to transition to TouchPoint Agent, CTI Integration, ScreenPop and Salesforce telephony interface. Agents would log all interactions as tickets in Salesforce, using their previous contact center provider as the call-routing system. They are familiar with having their telephony interaction appearing in the Salesforce sidebar and were wanting to replicate that same kind of functionality (i.e. ScreenPop). The Solution Center IVR prompts students for their student ID number and then does a screen-pop to the match the student’s contact record in Salesforce once the call is delivered to an agent.

ROI AND BENEFITS

The Enghouse Interactive solution has provided UMass Lowell with the agility to scale without hassle, and the flexibility to adapt their operations as needed.  Agents took to the Enghouse solution very quickly, and have raved about TouchPoint, the lightweight, streamlined user interface that was designed specifically for omni-channel interactions.

With implementation of its new system, UML staff has eliminated the technical issues that were a daily drain on productivity. Implementing Communications Center and Quality Management Suite within these facilities has been a very positive experience for users and agents.

“Enghouse Interactive’s contact center software is seemingly bulletproof and is much easier to navigate than what we had before.

“Service quality improved significantly, saving faculty time and resources, as we no longer need to routinely log issues or spend endless amounts of time trying to work with our previous vendor to find a resolution.”

A more intuitive administrative application allows agents to a handle higher volume of calls more efficiently – as evidenced by a significant uptick in callbacks. UML has found the call monitoring application easy to use, and the reporting capabilities offer a myriad of options for quick, yet thorough of data collection, sharing and analysis.

Integrating TouchPoint and Salesforce helps agents and supervisors to handle inbound contacts much more efficiently. Critical information, such as calls in queue, is presented clearly on the UI, and by remaining in their line of sight, assists with task prioritization.

Of note, is that Enghouse’s use of open APIs allows integration with the customer’s CRM system, PeopleSoft.

“The most positive aspect of the Enghouse Interactive solution has been the significant reduction in technical issues which has allowed our team to provide more efficient and effective customer service.”

SUMMARY OF BENEFITS

  • Skills-based routing: Now they can say which agents have particular expertise without affecting order of calls in the queue, which UMASS Lowell leaders have identified as the biggest benefit.
  • Ease of use: Agents desired something very straightforward that would be both easy to learn and implement.
  • CRM Integration: ScreenPop for solutions center
  • Call flow is now very well understood and replicates IVR
  • Reporting has drastically improved
  • Callback is key and has been used extensively, leading to a significant uptick in callbacks.
  • Overall usability – call quality and user experience for both agents and students has become much simpler.
  • Access to dashboard view, coupled with customizable reporting, have become huge benefits for the management team.
  • The ability to handle higher call volume, especially during peak times