OnPeak Sharpens Its Customer Service Skills

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OnPeak, a provider of hotel accommodations for events, has been in business since 1984. Among its service offerings, the Chicago-based company provides hotel contracting, block management, VIP specialists, marketing, and customer support.

The telephone has always been key to onPeak’s customer service model, and recently the service provider was able to improve the interaction experience for both customers and agents alike and reduce costs with Sharpen Technologies’ agent-first omnichannel cloud contact center platform.

Sharpen has enabled onPeak to improve the customer service experience with its routing and call-back capabilities. More specifically, these capabilities have enabled onPeak to reduce hold times by about 75 percent.

“[The solution] allows us to route calls into agent groups in a more efficient way,” explains John Hunt, senior director of operations at onPeak. He notes that customers really appreciate the fact that they don’t have to stay chained to the phone for long periods of time.

“If you choose to stay on the phone and not take the call-back option, the hold time is considerably less than it was before,” he adds.

As an added benefit, the call flow is a lot calmer and more orderly today, according to Hunt. “You can’t predict the call coming in, but you can predict the call going out,” he says.

And customers have noticed the changes. Since implementing Sharpen’s solution, onPeak’s contact center has maintained an average 95 percent customer satisfaction rating, which is higher than the overall company rating of about 93 percent, Hunt says.

As for the agents, Sharpen has allowed onPeak to offer them a work-from-home option, something that has been accepted by about 60 percent of all agents. As a result, onPeak has seen agent sick time drop by about 65 percent.

Agent attrition has also decreased, and the number of people staying with the company and moving up through the ranks has climbed.

“We do something cool here where I bring the people into the customer service center and then they go out into the other areas of our company, and they become executives and marketing managers [for example],” Hunt says. “It’s important that we get the right person in the beginning.…To do that, you have to have these incentives [like] working from home.”

OnPeak’s agents handle roughly 300,000 inbound and outbound calls per year. With so many of its agents working remotely, the fact that Sharpen’s system is cloud-based, allowing routing and other changes to be made quickly and from anywhere, is critical.

Hunt says Sharpen has made it incredibly easy to manage remote agents, enabling him to set new inbound call routes in one minute through his iPhone.

OnPeak has also been able to reduce ongoing costs by a third with Sharpen. Prior to adopting the Sharpen solution, onPeak relied on an on-premises system that required significant infrastructure investment. Additionally, onPeak had three separate contact centers. With Sharpen, onPeak has cut down on the infrastructure complexity and consolidated its centers, both of which have contributed to the cost reduction.

“With Sharpen, we no longer needed to have those physical footprints,” Hunt says.

OnPeak has also eliminated many of its per-minute costs and minimum or maximum usage requirements, leading to additional savings, Hunt notes.

“We didn’t realize that…we would save all of that money by reducing all those brick-and-mortar services that we needed; we didn’t realize that that was [going to be] such a huge savings,” Hunt adds. 

The Payoff

Since implementing Sharpen Technologies' cloud contact center platform, OnPeak has done the following: 

  • maintained a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating;
  • reduced hold times by about 75 percent;
  • reduced agent sick time by about 65 percent; and
  • reduced ongoing costs by a third.

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