CRM in Action: Big River Telephone
To keep its large customer base loyal (in the notoriously competitive telecommunications industry), Big River Telephone decided that it must integrate its back-office and customer-facing functions, and gain centralized control over both areas.
A Focused Implementation and Customization Phase
Working side-by-side with its Sage SalesLogix business partner, Big River examined several leading CRM solutions, ultimately selecting Sage SalesLogix.
“We looked at other software, but only Sage SalesLogix met our needs,” said Kevin Cantwell, President, Big River Telephone Company.
Big River’s business partner led the implementation process, installing Sage SalesLogix suite and integrating it with Microsoft Outlook and Sage MAS 90 ERP in only 90 days. After the initial implementation, Big River’s developers were able to take over and further customize the solution, as a result of the partner’s expert guidance.
Now, Sage SalesLogix resides at the core of Big River Telephone’s business. From sales opportunity management to ongoing customer support and targeted retention marketing, Big River utilizes the solution’s broad functionality to handle all stages of customer relationship management.
Improved Productivity, Customer Service, and Reporting
The new solution has enabled Big River to vastly improve employee productivity and effectiveness. For example, before the implementation, Big River needed six customer service representatives to cover its support lines. Now, using Sage SalesLogix, five representatives perform the same work, but with fewer customer complaints and faster resolution times.
As Cantwell described, “Because Sage SalesLogix delivers up-to-the-minute information, the customer service experience turns out positive, even if there’s a perceived ‘negative’ reason for the call. We know the exact status of that person’s account and how to help them.”
During an outage last year, Big River took advantage of Sage SalesLogix Support to perform critical damage control. They used the solution to e-mail 300 inconvenienced customers and explain the situation, even providing updates every 15 minutes. Once the problem had been resolved, support reps called each customer personally. As a result of these swift and primarily automated efforts, Big River Telephone managed the crisis without losing a single customer.
Big River also utilizes Sage SalesLogix reporting to keep managers ahead of potential problems. The company had its Sage SalesLogix business partner create customized reports to show, for example, how many tickets are open and the top five customer issues of the day, as well as sales and marketing reports that list current opportunities, probability of close, lead sources, competitive losses, and more. Company-wide, reports are delivered automatically using Sage SalesLogix KnowledgeSync, which has eliminated the need for daily management meetings.
Reaping Rewards & Awards
Since launching its CRM initiative, Big River Telephone has continued its rapid growth, but now with centralized control over its people and processes.
“We were servicing 3,500 local lines with 42 employees,” said Cantwell. “Now, thanks to Sage SalesLogix, we service 15,000 local lines with 50 employees.”
Even with service and staff expansions, 98.6% of Big River’s customers rated the service as “excellent” or above. This is an especially strong statistic for the telecommunications industry, in which the average rating for excellent customer service is 70%.
Big River’s achievements and extraordinary teamwork with its Sage SalesLogix business partner have not gone unnoticed. The company received a 2005 Gartner CRM Excellence Award, an extraordinary honor given annually to two companies (one large enterprise and one small-to-midsized business). Big River won in the small-to-midsized category.
The company also won a 2005 Technology ROI Award (chosen by Nucleus Research and TechTarget’s CIO Decisions magazine). Technology ROI Awards are given to ten companies whose deployments of IT solutions have produced positive bottom-line financial and business results for their organizations and customers.
“The implementation of our customer support system has allowed us to exceed our customers’ needs and this award validates our work,” Cantwell commented on the Technology ROI Award. “Not only did we have CIOs from across the country review our efforts but we also have other telecommunications companies visit our operations to see how we have implemented technology to continue our growth and meet the expanding needs of our customers.”
[Photo courtesy of livechatinc.]