The Jones Family Business takes a unified approach to customer service with 8x8

A family business based in Auckland, New Zealand, The Jones Family Business has been importing premium brand European appliances for more than 35 years. The company comprises three businesses including a retail arm, a wholesale arm, and a services facility.

The challenge: Continue superior CX without increasing costs

During its years of trading, The Jones Family Business has come to pride itself on offering superior levels of customer service. Because many customers tend to retain their appliances for decades, they often establish a long-term relationship with the company.

A vital part of such long-term relationships is having a reliable and effective communications platform in place. The company had come to rely on an ageing PABX system that, while still functional, was not providing the level of service required.

“The phone system underpinning our contact centre was fairly limited,” says Chief Financial Officer, Paul Wharton. “It was also coming to the end of its operational life and so we needed to find a replacement.”

The company was keen to find a unified system that would allow contact centre agents to deal with voice calls, chat sessions, and email without the need to juggle different systems and screens. There was also a desire to have better integration with core systems such as ERP and CRM.

“We also wanted to have greater visibility of the customer interactions that were taking place,” says Wharton. “With our existing platform it was virtually impossible to get a clear picture of what was going on across our locations.”

On a positive note, the legacy systems had been managed using internal resources and so the company had developed some significant technology knowledge and skills. This was put to use in a search for a suitable replacement platform.

The solution: Cloud-base system of intelligence

After carefully reviewing a range of alternatives to replace its PABX, The Jones Family Business made its decision in early 2020 to deploy 8x8’s cloud communications platform, that included both unified communications and contact centre capabilities in a single solution.

From initial design to going live, it took less than two weeks to enable 10 contact centre agents to be productive. Wharton says this rapid deployment was possible because 8x8 took the time to fully understand the company’s requirements and then design and deliver a solution to match.

“We were attracted by the fact the 8x8 is fully cloud based.” Wharton continues, “this removed the need for us to install and manage equipment locally, which reduced complexity and pressure on our staff.”

The benefits:

With the new platform fully operational, company staff quickly started to notice some significant benefits, one of the biggest of which was improved flexibility.

The initial plan had been to locate contact centre agents in each of the company’s retail stores. This would allow them to be close to people with deep product knowledge while also having the chance to interact with customers face-to-face as needed.

“However, when COVID-19 struck and we had to close our stores, this was no longer possible,” Wharton says. “Thankfully, the 8x8 platform allowed our agents to easily work from home and communicate with customers via phone, email and chat sessions.”

Wharton says 8x8’s comprehensive analytics capabilities have significantly improved customer engagement insights he can achieve into day-to-day operations.

“This has been particularly valuable when we’ve had people working remotely,” he says. “We can have regular reports showing everything from call and chat volumes to the length of time it is taking our agents to respond to queries. This helps significantly when it comes to rostering and forward planning.”

The company is also making use of 8x8’s ‘expert connect’ feature to answer customer queries. If a contact centre agent cannot answer a question, they can quickly connect with an expert in the organization to resolve issues that may be more complex or require expertise outside of the contact centre. This has helped to boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Wharton says The Jones Family Business is also making use of 8x8’s native CRM. Using this to build a single view of each customer, track and streamline all interactions, while boosting agent productivity and enhancing the customer experience. This helps with follow-up communications and can lead to future additional sales.

The Jones Family Business continued to grow it’s 8x8 investment both during the Covid-19 lockdowns and after. They are now an end to end 8x8 X-Series customer with fifty-four users using 8x8 Work UCaaS and fourty-one Omni-channel call centre users using 8x8 X8 Contact Centre.

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