Contract Win: Laura Ashley Gets Connected with Inter-Tel

Laura Ashley, the UK’s leading soft furnishings and clothing retailer, has adopted a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solutions from business communications provider Inter-Tel, to link its two distribution warehouses and 200 retail stores on one network. Laura Ashley stated they selected Inter-Tel’s IP solution because of its ability to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Prior to the adoption, Laura Ashley faced significant logistical challenges at its warehouse in Newton in Wales, which receives on average 4500 calls a day. The retailer was unable to analyse details of the call centre’s activity in terms of reporting peaks and troughs in call numbers, or generate accurate call reporting for customer service purposes. High numbers of costly inter-site calls, as well as 2500 outbound calls to customers, compounded the pressures on the business.

By deploying Inter-Tel’s Axxess platform, Laura Ashley has used IP to link its site in Wales to a second warehouse in Bardon in Leicester, as well as its 200 stores. Call costs between sites were immediately reduced to practically zero.

The network has also enabled Laura Ashley to deploy vital contact centre applications across the network to solve problems associated with the lack of real time or historical call centre data. Using Callview, market leading computer telephony integration, Laura Ashley can now monitor call abandonment rates through to real-time agent performance and better manage call flows.

The Bardon office also benefits from an outbound dialler solution which gives customers an enhanced level of service. Now when merchandise arrives, the warehouse logs the item into the computer system, which triggers a call to the customer. As soon as a connection is made the call is directed to a free agent who can arrange delivery with the customer.

Shereen Kenyon, contact centre manager at Laura Ashley, comments on the system: “Inter-Tel’s solution has transformed the way we do business and deal with customers, their queries and their orders. The level of management and control over call traffic empowers our employees as they are able to see and monitor performance in real-time. Additionally, customer service has improved as agents are able to see customer details and historical transaction information as each customer calls in.”

Duncan Miller, channel marketing manager of Inter-Tel, said: “Laura Ashley has been able to transform its customer service and reduce costs thanks to the versatility of voice over IP. There are many businesses that can benefit from VoIP to link disparate sites and host applications that add real business insight and flexibility. Moving to VoIP based solutions needn’t be a headache if you work with a telecommunications specialist who will act as a partner and deliver a solution that will make a difference from day one and into the future.”