A BANKING CALL CENTER SUCCESS STORY

Mar 27 - Apr 02, 2006

Bank Alfalah, a dynamic UAE based bank in Pakistan, was rapidly growing with a network of branches in many cities in Pakistan. The bank is engaged in commercial banking and related services. The bank's goal was to continue with its aggressive expansion plans by offering new products while increasing its customer base and at the same time maintain its reputation as an innovating and caring bank.

Bank Alfalah replaced its setup with state of the art and modular contact center solution from ZRG International, built upon open standards based Intel CTI technology. Bank Alfalah has emerged as a prominent, innovative and customer centric bank providing 24 x 7 x 365 services related to sales and product support to its customers.

OPPORTUNITY

Bank Alfalah has faced immense growth in Pakistan within a very short period. Being a customer-centric organization, Bank Alfalah recognized the importance of a contact center and wanted to setup a contact center. The bank management realized that the proprietary and closed technology of yesterday was not enough to build tomorrow's business. They wanted to have not only the most flexible and scalable call center solution for the bank, but also stressed on having a completely integrated solution whereby all the call center applications and capabilities function under a single unified platform that can be viewed, analyzed and monitored as a whole, and the vendors take complete responsibility for the entire call center.

PREVIOUS SOLUTION

* The traditional switching system was not capable of handling increasing customer base

* There was no centralized place for nation wide callers to get information on bank related products. Customers could only call their particular branch to receive specific information.

* Customers often had to face busy lines when calling in for inquiries or support

* Customers were not able to get Tele-banking services after office hours.

* There was no documentation of call flow and management of call life cycle

* Absolutely no MIS reporting on call center activities was available

* No monitoring of client/Agent interaction and there was no way to measure quality assurance and customer satisfaction

THE SOLUTION

The manual call handling system was not geared up to handle calls from a growing customer base. The bank was facing problems in customer call handling, providing information and as a result it was a bottleneck in the growth of customer base. Bank Alfalah identified ZRG International as the integrated solution provider with the most mature and sophisticated Intel CTI based call center solution and a totally focused approach in the call center field. The contract was awarded to ZRG and since ZRG has successfully completed such call center projects many times, the entire solution for Bank Alfalah was implemented well before the stated delivery time frame.

Bank Alfalah is now using Intel CTI based Call Center solution by ZRG to provide premier customer services to its branch, card users, loans and other customers. ZRG solution at Bank Alfalah started with a setup comprised the following:

* A multi node Call Center with IVR solutions at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad; all live agent calls are routed to Karachi, where call center agents are equipped to handle all queries.

* A flexible self-service IVR - A comprehensive multi-lingual (English & Urdu) IVR facility with the capacity to serve all the incoming trunk lines

* CT Integration - ACD was integrated with customer profile database to enable rules and skills based call handling, a screen popup application displays customer profile and balance information to the call handling agent

* Soft Phone on agent screen - A Soft Phone telephone software was installed on each agent workstation to receive and make calls

* Voice Recording Solution - A Digital conversation recorder (DCR), equipped with line tap interface boards was installed to provide agent - caller conversation recording functionality

* Comprehensive Reporting Package - An MIS reporting pack was installed to provide detailed and summarized reports on all aspects of the call center.

Intel Servers with computer telephony (CT) interfaces were linked with the telephone network. Servers are also connected with the corporate LAN and data hosts for database access. Fax-on-demand requests pass to the fax server for processing and transmission.

THE TECHNOLOGY

The solution is based on high-availability of servers with desktop workstations, built with Intel technologies and uses ZRG distributed telephony API and end-user applications to glue it all together. The solution also includes computer telephony hardware, including network interface and voice boards for telephone trunks, multi-port fax boards, station interface boards, line-tapping boards, and extended bus interface boards. ZRG International chose to build its solution with technologies and products from Intel(r) because they were tightly integrated and modular, and allowed easy scalability from very small to very large systems. ZRG International was also convinced that the standards-based Intel(r) technologies were in line with both current data center standards and emerging trends, allowing the solution to evolve seamlessly into the future.

RESULTS

By using the next generation contact center by ZRG, Bank Alfalah has become a role model and a benchmark for exceptional growth and prominence with prompt customer services and exclusive range of products.

* A call center service that is always available, even when it is being physically moved to a new location

* Customers can access a wide range of information about their accounts, products and services on 24 hour basis, without any human assistance; Self-service IVR facility for all incoming trunks ensures that all simultaneous callers get the IVR option

* Call distribution and routing rules helps in identification of subscriber, assigning priorities, skill selection and dealers call routing to designated split. This resulted in faster processing of calls, as a result of which caller wait time in the queue was reduced

* Voice recorder provides quality assurance and measurement, conflict resolution, call tracking, training and coaching of agents etc

* Soft Phone provides all telephone functions on-screen, eliminating the need to operate a separate telephone set. This helped the agent become more efficient, productive and it minimized unnecessary physical movement required to operate phone set and keyboard

* Customer relationship was strengthened because the agents, with the help of CTI popup screen were able to interact with the customers in a highly personalized and proactive manner

* Popup screen application provides the agent with an integrated view of subscriber's account where data from multiple databases is pulled and shown in a single window for smart answering

* Monitoring and Reporting tools provides flexible and simple ways to view call volumes, trends, patterns, agent performance, customer behavior and usage analysis of call center from multiple aspects

* Training of new agents became easier and faster with the help of selected call-session recordings of the best agents, routed to different groups

* Bank Alfalah call center is successfully handling thousands of calls per day, both for automated queries and live agent calls handling

* The contact center allows freedom of modular growth without compromising on the quality and functionality

* Instant expansion support; one-window solution for all call center components; integration with all other systems and no limitations

ZRG call center solution also includes powerful tools and applications on the desktop PC for the call center managers and supervisors to monitor and analyze call center status, service quality and agent performance. As a result, Bank Alfalah has taken customer satisfaction to a much higher level of quality and service.

ZRG International has provided Bank Alfalah with an out-standing solution that is integrated and stand-alone simultaneously. The solution currently employed is extremely effective and reliable. Down time is non-existent. Utility of the solution is of diverse nature. The Intel CTI gives the Phone Banking Officer an entire overview of the client at a glance, which in-turn reduces the call time allowing the Phone Banking Officer to attend to more customers.

ZRG Call Center solution has provided several strategic capabilities to Bank Alfalah call center including integration with multiple databases and built-in compliance with their ATM switch, CTI linking, smart call queuing, integrated voice recording capabilities, the best Soft Phone and Soft Wallboard in the industry along with centralized reporting on all aspects of the call center.

THE FUTURE

Bank Alfalah is experiencing tremendous growth and is better equipped to handle customer inquiries and provide highly personalized services to its valued clients. By looking at the benefits and success of the call center, the Bank has decided to double expand the size of its call center. The main objective is to cater the new customers while keeping the response time within the specified limits. ZRG had anticipated this type of growth and therefore, had already worked out a strategy for a quick expansion implementation. In the near future, Bank Alfalah is planning on incorporating emerging technologies that will help the Bank in reducing costs, improve communications and in offering amazing new services for its customers.

ABOUT ZRG INTERNATIONAL:

ZRG International (private) Limited is a leading Telecom solutions company with a strong focus on Customer Interaction and Contact and Management Systems. ZRG has been providing innovative solutions for customer interaction and management since 1994. ZRG specializes in telephony and CTI solutions for sales and support contact centers. ZRG is a value-added partner of Intel Corporation, USA and their solutions are based on open architecture based Intel CTI technology. They have provided intelligent call center solutions to a number of telco service providers and banks in the region (Dubai, Tanzania, Pakistan). ZRG customers have expressed great satisfaction with the reliable, flexible and cost-effective products and towards their in-depth technology know how.

ZRG is the market leader and a pioneer in Customer Contact and interaction solutions and holds the largest share in the call center market in Pakistan. ZRG solutions are installed at some of the largest call centers, major banks, telecom companies and other prominent organizations. ZRG takes pride to be the first company to export call center solution in Tanzania, East Africa and in UAE.

ZRG solutions are in line with emerging trends and technologies in data center and telecommunications and therefore, representing a fail-safe investment. These solutions enable its clients improve and enhance their business communications and expedite information collection and delivery processes through advanced, quicker, efficient and cost-effective ways. For more information about ZRG, visit www.zrg.com.