Hillarys Blinds deploys Avaya's Aura UC platform to boost customer support

By Sooraj Shah
30 Jun 2014 View Comments

Shutter-maker Hillarys Blinds has deployed Avaya's Aura Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Centre platform, as the UK manufacturer looks to embrace multichannel customer support.

The firm has over 150 contact centre employees across sales and service departments, as well as a nationwide network of around 1,000 field-based advisers. But as consumers increasingly use digital services, the company now has an even split of initial customer contact between online and the contact centre.

When the company's previous platform reached end of life, the company wanted a UC solution that could effectively integrate and manage multimedia contact.

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"It was about interacting with customers in the way that they want to be communicated with, whether that be by phone, email, social media or web chat," Julian Bond, head of ICT at Hillarys Blinds, explained.

At the same time, the firm did not want to sacrifice customer experience just in order to bring in new technology.

"It has to be the right blend and we needed the right partner, an organisation that was innovative but also of the appropriate size that meant we mattered to them. Opting for the latest contact centre solution from Avaya, [UC and IT managed service provider] Proximity was able to work closely with us, manage the vendor appropriately, and provide the right level of guidance both during the deployment and on an ongoing basis," Bond said.

A key requirement of the new solution was the ability for field advisers and contact centre agents to communicate more effectively.

"[With the new solution] contact centre agents are now able to see when an adviser is available and find the best mode of communication, whether that be a call or instant messaging," Bond stated.

Bond suggested that the Avaya Aura UC platform, which also integrates with Hillarys Blinds' CRM software, was a key contributor to the company's growth of about 20 per cent year on year.

"I'm getting better sales convergence rates through the marketing campaign analysis capabilities, we're keeping pace with the evolving demands of our customer base and we're making far more efficient use of our contact centre staff - the solution is an important cog in a well-oiled machine," he said.

The next stage of the project will see advisory tools integrated with the newly developed Hillarys mobile app.

In an interview with Computing last year, Bond explained how the firm ditched Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform that it had used to deliver its award-winning app it introduced in 2005 when Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, meaning support for Windows Mobile had been suspended.

In 2011, the company opted to develop its new app - called Samson - on Google's Android platform.

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