New eCommerce Contact Center to Improve Customer Service

Call Center 2

To shorten response times to customer calls, the Exchange has launched a dedicated contact center on Feb. 5. The move is significant as the eComm contact center was combined with the Exchange Credit Program since 2015.

Jody Duffee is one of the nearly 80 associates who staff the contact center and have received specialized training in handling customers’ eComm calls.

Separate contact centers allow for more specialized support. Instead of having to switch from a MILITARY STAR card question to an online order challenge, agents can now focus on their center’s specific service.

“EComm has changed drastically since 2015,” said CMSgt. (Ret.) Sean Applegate, eComm operations manager. “Order volume has gone up, shopping behavior has changed and order complexity continues to increase as channels, such as buy online, pick up in store and curbside options, are added.”

Applegate said a dedicated center reduces hold times and costs while increasing customer satisfaction. “The goal is to take care of customers on the first call,” he said. “Expenses start going up when calls are transferred and time on the phone gets extended.”

Nearly 80 associates who are staffing the contact center have received  specialized training, “We’re making sure that eComm calls and chats are directed to the right person to provide efficient and timely resolution,” Applegate said.

About 120 agents and support staff remain at the ECP contact center. Corliss Boettcher, contact center operations manager, said that the split benefits ECP support as well.

“In a combined contact center, the agents, had to know so much in order to serve the customer,” she said. “This helps agents specialize in their lines of business.”

Boettcher added that the teams will continue to collaborate. “If customers call the eComm team  and ask about an order, and then ask a question about MILITARY STAR, we will make sure that the customer doesn’t have to hang up and make another call,” she said.

During the COVID-19 era, “in-house” and even “contact center” have new meanings, as contact center associates work remotely rather than in one room. Applegate said the remote work will continue to be an option.

“This helps when we recruit,” he said. “We’re not just recruiting from Dallas-Fort Worth because this opens it up to whoever wants to apply, wherever they are.”


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