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In today’s fast-evolving market, business requirements have changed dramatically — and Graphic Solutions Group (GSG) has shifted with them. GSG has been on a journey to optimize its customer experience (CX) technology.
GSG is a distributor for print equipment and supplies for companies that create t-shirts and signage. It’s an exceptionally time-sensitive business. When a football team wins the Super Bowl, for example, GSG customers must print those shirts overnight to get them to retailers the next day.
That speed drives the customer journey. GSG customers want information fast, and its 60 agents — all of whom have direct phone lines — must be able to respond quickly. GSG must balance calls into its toll-free number while allowing loyal customers to reach an agent directly, so queue routing is essential. The company leverages CX technology to overcome those challenges and route about 1,200 calls a day.
GSG divided its customer experience transformation into three distinct phases: moving to the cloud, upgrading technology and shifting toward omnichannel.
In Phase One, the primary goal was to move from an on-premises CX solution to the Genesys Cloud™ platform, specifically a Cloud 3 license to access those unique features. This would enable GSG to automate key processes and tasks, making the company more agile and responsive.
“The platform opened a lot of opportunities for us. The biggest thing was real-time analytics,” said George Temple, Director of Customer Experience at GSG. Implementing real-time analytics enabled supervisors to respond quickly to any shift in call volume.
Previously, GSG supervisors looked at reports after the fact. That meant, if call volume increased or decreased, nobody knew about it until it was too late to take action. Now, they can react quickly.
GSG also leveraged APIs to its CRM system to immediately provide agents with customers’ account information, removing 20 to 60 seconds of lag time at the beginning of calls. That time saved is key when most calls last about three and a half minutes.
In Phase Two of its digital transformation, GSG added access to more Genesys Cloud features and functionality — improving its scalability and optimization.
“One game-changing benefit was artificial intelligence (AI) forecasting,” said Lauren Forte, Inside Sales Director at GSG. This capability replaced the need to use spreadsheets and improved both the accuracy of forecasting and the ability to easily make schedule changes.
These shifts enabled agents to focus more time on higher-payoff activities, such as outbound calling. “Looking up a customer’s ID number is not a high payoff activity,” said Temple. “Neither is spending extra time on scheduling rather than speaking with customers.”
GSG also implemented workforce engagement management (WEM) and gamification, which made it much easier to recognize top performers. And this could be done on a shared leaderboard in the platform, rather than on a spreadsheet.
In Phase Three, GSG shifted its CX operations toward omnichannel – and it had to make the shift quickly. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues in 2021, GSG needed a solution that could support its agents as they fielded a higher volume of calls.
The volume of calls from new customers dramatically drove up average wait times. “Loyal customers, who were used to a 30-second wait time, became frustrated. Agents were also frustrated because they couldn’t take care of their top customers,” said Forte.
Additionally, AI forecasting enabled supervisors to make data-driven decisions and improve the scheduling to better manage the new volume across voice and web messaging.
GSG customers expect to be assisted quickly. When the company was considering what to automate, the focus was on speed without additional headcount. It’s interested in leveraging bots, for example, but needs to consider customer preferences.
“The challenge is our small-business customers love technology, but they don’t want it to feel like they’re dealing with a robot,” said Temple. “They would tell you they’re anti-bot, but they’d also tell you if you could get information to them faster and get them out the door, they’d appreciate that.”
As GSG explores ways to best use automation and bots, the focus must be on ensuring the process is smooth and feels seamless to customers. It’s looking to technology that adds speed – and supports agents and customers in the best ways possible.
The company is looking at intent mining as a way to use AI as a copilot and leveraging bots to answer more simple customer inquiries, such as “How do I pay my bill?” And, if the question is too complex for a bot, it would hand off to a live agent.
GSG considers its customer experience journey successful for several reasons. Its agents are a lot happier. And implementing AI forecasting and omnichannel meant the company didn’t need to add staff to meet demand — which created huge cost savings. Wait times dropped 79%, and satisfaction among top customers bounced back. There was also a decrease in abandoned calls.
In addition to these business outcomes, GSG agent and customer satisfaction have improved. It’s truly a case of everyone wins — which is why the company will keep pushing forward on its CX journey, ensuring that the customer and employee experience improvements continue, and the business benefits increase along with them.
See how five innovative companies harnesses the power of an AI-powered experience orchestration platform to overcome traditional CX challenges and set new benchmarks in customer and employee experience.