Honeywell Access Systems’ (AS), Oak Creek, Wis., main call center was not operating at expected efficiency. Call center hold times were increasing and average hold time had escalated to 25 minutes. Dealers contacting the call center were hanging up the phone in frustration and Bill Vowler, vice president of customer service and support at Honeywell AS, was receiving more than 20 complaints a day.

To increase service levels and satisfaction provided by its customer support function, the Honeywell International subsidiary selected contact center communications management software from Apropos Technology, Oak Brook Terrace, Ill. The decision has helped Honeywell AS realize more than $3 million in cost savings, in addition to enhancing the organization’s ability to identify high-value customers.

Honeywell AS provides access control products for applications ranging from small multi-door systems to enterprise-wide, networked systems. When customers contact Honeywell AS’ support team, Apropos’ skills-based routing prioritizes each inquiry based on the caller’s volume of business, with high-value customers receiving priority access to senior agents. The software allows the agent to see vital customer information, such as service-level, products used, and geographic location.

Armed with this insight prior to the start of an interaction, Honeywell AS agents are better prepared to address customer questions and troubleshoot in real time, boosting productivity while minimizing hold times. As a result, Honeywell AS has reduced hold times from 25 minutes to an average of 5 minutes. For the highest priority callers, wait times are approximately 1 minute.

“The ultimate goal of the Apropos deployment was to reward our customers for conducting business with us,” Vowler said. “In addition to significantly enhancing our customer support function, the depth and flexibility of the Apropos system has also helped us streamline our staffing requirements.”

Honeywell AS has also reduced call/incident logging time by 67 percent; agents spend less time entering standard customer information, as it’s already provided via the Apropos “screen pop.”

Honeywell AS implemented new procedures to further minimize hold times. For example, if the Apropos-based system detects elevated call volume, it may suggest to customers that they hang up. These customers maintain their place in the phone queue, as Apropos’ automatic call-back feature directs the agent to contact them when it is their turn. Not only has this improved customer satisfaction, but it has also lowered the costs that Honeywell AS incurs on its toll-free phone lines.

“We had a clear interest in saving money and proritizing our higher-volume dealers,” Vowler said. “The Apropos system helps us achieve both objectives.”