System fuelling company's competitiveness
Northern Ireland's successful indigenous businesses are always looking for new ways to do more with less. Their challenge is to keep their business flexible, innovative and competitive without driving up operating costs or incurring excessive capital expenditure.
The service sector in particular knows that today's customers and consumers are more demanding than ever - they expect great service all the time, fast resolution of any problems they have and are highly attuned to modern means of communications and interaction.
Communications is the foundation for good customer service and it's something which is central to the strategy of Fuelwise, Ireland's leading fuel card company. A privately owned family business founded in 1989, it has offices in Coleraine and - in a segment which is ultra-competitive - it regards exceptional standards of service as the route to business growth.
The company's call centre operation - handling both incoming calls and out-bound calls to existing and potential customers - is business-critical. Niall McShane, sales and operations manager for Fuelwise, says that three years ago they realised they needed a new call handling system.
"We were having problems with the reliability of the existing system with too much downtime, which was hitting productivity as well as putting customer service levels at risk," he says.
Their search for a new system led to Fuelwise installing the Avaya IP Office solution from BT.
"We chose BT because they made the effort to understand our specific business needs - they didn't try to offer us things that weren't of interest to us. They tailored the IP Office solution for Fuelwise, made it relevant to our operations and they were flexible and easy to deal with," Niall says.
The system is scalable to the needs of a growing business, which has 12 staff, and is currently recruiting for more.
Niall adds: "The system can rapidly produce the statistics that help us monitor and improve productivity. In addition, the call recording it provides plays a vital role in training staff and helps us improve the all-important quality of our service to our customers."
IP Office is a simple, powerful platform that provides telephony, messaging, conferencing, customer management and unified communications for organisations with anywhere between five and 300 staff - a size range that's predominant in Northern Ireland's business economy.
Paul Convery, head of BT Business, says: "BT and Avaya understand that one size doesn't fit all - no two organisations are the same and no one solution works for everyone. We've worked together with Avaya since 1990, and our combined experience has helped many local customers to simplify their communications, control costs and engage both their customers and employees."
Flexibility is at the core of IP Office, which is designed to support everything from basic phone calls, right up to the most sophisticated unified communications and collaboration applications.
According to Paul Convery, many growth-oriented organisations here regard their communications as a route to business transformation. "They realise it is a major enable of smarter customer relations, improved productivity and greater competitiveness in the market," he says.
Paul Convery is Head of BT Business NI. For futher information and to contact BT Business in Northern Ireland email firstname.lastname@example.org