BT Retail is ditching several customer service management systems in favor of extended use of RightNow Technologies’ on-demand service in a bid to integrate its online customer service operations.
BT Retail started using RightNow services in 2004 when it rolled them out to 150 call center agents. The latest deal will see 10,000 agents using the RightNow customer service application set. Its technology will also power BT Retail’s online customer self-service channel.
With RightNow Service, BT is replacing a smorgasbord of agent-facing knowledge-management systems, email-response management technology, and agent-customer live chat capabilities sourced from multiple vendors.
RightNow Service is a multi-channel customer support and service application based around a central self-learning knowledge repository that can be deployed over phone, web, and email channels. Features include web and voice self-service, email response management, and agent prompting.
The driver was to source from a single supplier and provide an integrated service, said David Thomson, senior business director at BT Retail. We were comfortable with RightNow’s capabilities and as an organization they were flexible enough to make changes.
Migration from the previous applications is underway and BT expects to have completed the move by Christmas. It is working with the vendor on implementation and has about 20 people working on the project.
The business objective is to improve the quality of customer interactions by increasing the amount of customer self-service, reducing call-handling times, and increasing first call resolution rates. The execution is based on providing 10,000 BT contact center agents with access to a single knowledge-management system that will enable them to give consistent and precise answers to customer enquiries. In addition, use of RightNow’s email response management capability is aimed at ensuring customer email enquiries are answered in a consistent manner and within BT’s 24-hour target response time.
Other goals include providing fast responses based on the enquiry type, and enabling customers to chat online with agents if required. Productivity is expected to be maintained because agents will be able to simultaneously manage a number of customer chat sessions.
With BT Retail yet to make full use of the RightNow capabilities in terms of developing new uses, there is plenty of room to grow. As the organization has signed up to a five-year deal there is also time to explore. We are clear on our contact center strategy. Everything we do is supported by knowledge management. What RightNow is doing is key, said Thomson.
While BT should benefit from improved customer service, RightNow will gain increased credibility from the size of the implementation and the BT Retail’s past and future commitment. The news may also allay any concerns about RightNow’s financial position as it continues its business model transition from a mixture of perpetual licenses and subscriptions to a subscription-only model. Although the transition has had a negative impact on its quarterly results, the company remains fundamentally sound and is demonstrating growth in terms of recurring revenue and increased sales to existing customers, as well as getting new customers on board.