Offsite Agents Secure Up Front Results

Crossroads Customer Solutions specializes in service--it provides a wealth of outsourced inbound and outbound contact center solutions--but its own CRM system needed an overhaul. The company's growth had outpaced the capabilities of its homegrown CRM solution. "[The solution] was very version 1.0, and we quickly ran into functionality issues," says Calvin Dennis, CEO of Crossroads. "Our homegrown tools just couldn't do it anymore. We reached an inflection point--if we [wanted] to grow, we needed a new solution." Dennis preferred not to be in the development business, because the company's core competency was hiring and recruiting top agents, not hosting a data center. Crossroads selected Siebel CRM OnDemand and Contact OnDemand for its burgeoning CRM and telephony needs, and went live in April. Crossroads avoided the need for extensive work by external professional services consultants by moving individual tasks to the new system one at a time. "The implementation went as fast as we wanted it to," Dennis says. The key benefit to Crossroads is Siebel's remote agent capability. "As a company with a mobile workforce, we have pretty strong scheduling needs," Dennis says. "We have customers that all of a sudden have a spike in volume that we need to deal with....As one of our personnel strategies, we want to [employ] quality people who are willing to work an odd schedule. The remote agent capability is phenomenal, because [these employees] can be remote agents now." Crossroads employs a significant number of individuals who work from home or while traveling, such as college students, for example, who may work 15 to 20 hours per week. The remote agent capability has allowed agents to reduce or adjust their shifts from offsite locations as needed. The company may also go long periods of time without physically seeing some members of its advisory team. The Siebel solution, therefore, has been helpful in assigning multiple skill groups and call-routing rules without using complicated programming. According to Dennis, even part-time shifts as short as two hours frequently provide a great deal of value to the company. Now Crossroads doesn't have to manage an entire infrastructure of agents logging into the office--they can track customer records while handling customer calls, and can also support more complex, individual billing requirements. Siebel has provided Crossroads with the ability to route more than 40 unique, toll-free numbers, automatically assigning service requests and ticket numbers to each incoming call. Consequently, call resolution has improved, and although it's too early to state specific metrics, according to Dennis, the company has reaped a significant ROI since implementation. As a result, he says, "We're trying to drive a bigger reliance on CRM."
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