As a major contact centre operator, clarity of voice and effective connectivity are the two most important issues, and are the main drivers of customer satisfaction. At the same time, an operation like Direct Channel’s requires solid backup if the service provider fails.
Direct Channel turned to Neotel in 2010 and has expanded the use of their services to the company’s Durban site. Neotel currently operates as the company’s backup carrier, providing redundancy for the business.
Redundancy was the main challenge faced by Direct Channel and the company was specifically seeking effective redundancy measures when it turned to Neotel. After all, says the company’s CTO Aadil Shaik, in the contact centre space, 100% uptime is needed.
To ensure effective redundancy for Direct Channel, Neotel implemented a total of 12 primary rate interfaces (PRI) at the Johannesburg head office, as well as a further five in Durban.
According to Shaik, the entire process – from ordering to installation – took between four and six weeks, although it was less than two weeks once the PRIs were in place. Durban’s facilities, he adds, were implemented even more quickly.
“The service we have received from Neotel has been excellent and in the instances where there have been challenges, regardless of the time of day or day in the week, their people arrive to come and fix it,” he says.
“While they were brought on board to provide redundancy, as part of our agreement with Neotel we must utilise a certain number of minutes per month to qualify for the rates they give us. In order to ensure we meet these figures, we have a team that shapes our contact centre traffic on a permanent basis, spreading the traffic across both network providers.”
The most critical aspect of the Neotel offering, according to Shaik, is that it provides a stable link. He adds that this, coupled with the good pricing and the strong Neotel support team, makes this a very attractive proposition for Direct Channel.
“We have recently renewed our PRI contract with them for a further 24 months and, as long as we continue receiving excellent, we will certainly not be going anywhere.”
Shaik points out that the fibre network reduces the amount of lag on any given line to virtually nothing, while the employees utilising predictive diallers are able to make up to three concurrent calls at a time.
He adds that since the company brought Neotel on board, it has standardised its voice arrangements to allow its main carrier to handle the cellular calls made by the contact centre, while Neotel is used to carry the company’s national calls.
“By sharing the load between the two carriers, with mostly cellular calls going out on the main carrier and our other ones made via Neotel’s network, we are able to strike a very comfortable balance. Moreover, on those occasions where our main carrier is busy with upgrades or system changes, we are able to switch the rest of our traffic to Neotel,” explains Shaik.
“Once you have fibre, there are far fewer troubles in terms of quality and clarity. For a business like ours, this is critical and we are very happy to have Neotel as one of our service providers. I would absolutely recommend Neotel to other organisations, especially small and medium sized businesses, since they deliver both the quality - along with the kind of pricing they can afford,” he concludes.
- Neotel’s pricing is very competitive and made our budgeting much simpler by standardising the rates at different centres – despite them handling different volumes of traffic.
- Neotel has given the company flexibility and if the main system is down, they can easily switch to Neotel without losing any down time.