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Global Case Study: Patagonia

Contact center enhances the quality of customer service

A contact center's ability to provide quality customer service is intrinsically linked to its communications network. If the phone system is unreliable or lacks versatility, the organization's ability to communicate effectively with clients will suffer.

Patagonia felt trapped by its restrictive PBX system

Like many businesses around the world, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear designer, had long relied on a private branch exchange (PBX) system to handle calls in its Japanese contact center. However, as many companies have come to realize, there were some severe limitations to the conventional communications framework. Mr. Dai Hoshino of the eCommerce Patagonia Japan Branch detailed some of his concerns with the company's PBX system, including:

  • Inflexible: Simple adjustments to the system, such as increasing the number of seats, were costly and needed to be planned months in advance. What's more, the vendor didn't always respond to urgent requests. The expensive, glacial process was not suited to the fast paced, dynamic contact center environment.
  • Recording limitations: Supervisors had limited ability to listen to employees' call recordings, as they could only do so in particular seats. To make matters worse, some recordings failed altogether.
  • Manual reporting: Data reports allowed Patagonia to improve the service it provided. However, under a PBX framework, this information had to be calculated manually, which was time consuming and an inefficient use of resources.

Patagonia needed a system that would not only enable it to provide better customer service, but also allow it to easily expand its contact center further down the line. This meant upgrading to a next-generation internet protocol private branch exchange (IP-PBX) system that was flexible and powerful enough to meet the demands of the business. After assessing his options, Mr. Hoshino eventually settled on Trixbox Pro.

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Unlocking better customer service with Trixbox Pro

The flexibility of using a hybrid hosted communications system was immediately apparent to Mr. Hoshino. Under the new IP-PBX system, Patagonia could adjust seat numbers and change incoming processing settings such as interactive voice response on the fly, without requiring lengthy on-site modifications.

Given the contact center's location in Kamakura city, a region vulnerable to typhoons and other extreme weather conditions, this was an important factor in Mr. Hoshino's decision to opt for Trixbox Pro.

The hybrid hosted phone system also provided an effective disaster recovery plan, which would allow the contact center to resume operations from remote locations if anything unexpected should occur. The system was kept doubly safe thanks to its constant connection to Fonality's management server, where the settings were automatically backed up.

The new business phone system also provided greater functionality on a day-to-day level. The hot desk feature, for example, enabled call center operators to freely move around the office according to their duties, while an intuitive heads up display allowed even new staff to use the graphical user interface to make and transfer calls.

While Patagonia's previous phone system had been capable of producing data on call abandonment rates and the count of incoming calls, staff had to output the report manually. Queues reporter, a feature integrated into Trixbox Pro, automatically displayed all the relevant information on a single browser screen and refreshed the information in real time. With this resource at his fingertips, Mr. Hoshino was able to assess situations at a glance and adjust personnel accordingly.

The functionality and flexibility of Fonality's hybrid hosted communications solution enabled Patagonia's contact center to operate more efficiently. Reducing the need for vendor interference helped the company save time and money, while Trixbox Pro's features ultimately allowed staff to provide better customer service.