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Booker Sets Up Self-Care with Five9
The salon and spa scheduling company benefits from Five9 in its contact center
For the rest of the August 2017 issue of CRM magazine please click here

Every year Booker helps more than a million people schedule appointments for some much-needed self-care. Since 2007, the New York company has supplied a platform for online bookings, payment processing, marketing, and operations management to spas, salons, and health centers in 70 countries. Since so many clients rely on holidays like Mother’s Day to generate crucial income, Booker’s customer service team must be able to handle a deluge of inquiries at any given time, in addition to the 19,000 calls that pour in every month.

When Brian Raboin signed on as vice president of customer experience in 2015, he found himself in charge of 70 agents spread across two disconnected call centers. Inefficient routing of inquiries, misalignment of the sales and service teams, and outdated technology were causing a well-trained staff to provide inconsistent service.

“When I joined, we didn’t have connected channels. Phone, email, and chat were all discrete,” he says. “I knew we needed to unify systems and [provide] omnichannel experiences for customers.”

Far too much burden was placed on voice assistance because only a trickle of traffic was being driven to more efficient communication channels like chat or email. More than 90 percent of customer interactions were through the phone, the majority consisting of simple technical questions that could be easily addressed by a competent web platform. “We said we needed a system and a strategy that can answer how-to questions customers have before they even ask them,” Raboin recalls.

In the spring of 2016, Raboin attended the Modern CX conference in Las Vegas in hopes of finding a new software partner, one that worked with Oracle’s Service Cloud, the cloud-based solution Booker uses to store customer data. He found his match in Five9’s contact center platform. “The richness and quality of partners was impressive, but Five9 really stood out,” Raboin states. “Its reporting systems are phenomenal, and they integrate well with Oracle.”

Five9’s contact center streamlined Booker’s ability to respond to customers and took some of the burden off of the call center. Customer questions through the web portal increased from nothing to 10 percent of total inquires, while phone activity dropped 20 percent after being redistributed through chat and email.

“The thing that Booker looked at really closely was the ability to offer additional channels to their clients,” says Dan Burkland, executive vice president of customer sales and services at Five9. “Their clients can reach out via chat, via email, through social media. It gives us a seamless, easy means through which customers of theirs can choose which methodology they want to embrace.”

Booker also gained a much-needed anticipatory element to its customer data. Recently, the company was alerted to the fact that floods of calls came in on the fourth day of each month, the same day the system billed customers. This insight allowed Booker to reach out to customers whose accounts were in jeopardy of being blocked, preventing the usual avalanche of calls. That proactive style of service, along with giving agents access to customer information on both inbound and outbound calls, has led to increased customer loyalty.

Five9’s system was also able to eliminate many of those pesky “how-to” calls that once clogged the phone lines. Account activity decreased by nearly 30 percent per account per month, and now Booker is averaging less than one call per month on all accounts globally.

“Customers are calling us less because they are getting what they need,” Raboin says.

Based on its success so far, Booker plans to further integrate web features to drive call volume even lower. Though when the phone does inevitably ring, Booker is ready to answer it with the confidence only efficiency can instill. 

The Payoff

Using Five9's contact center platform with Oracle Service Cloud, Booker saw the following results:

  • the volume of customer questions through the web portal went from zero to 10 percent;
  • the volume of customer interactions on chat or email increased to 20 percent;
  • the volume of phone-based interactions decreased from 90 percent to 70 percent; and
  • account activity went from 1.25 cases per account per month to .95 cases.

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