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Sparking a better customer experience

After years of managing costly and complex on-premises systems, Spark upgraded to the Genesys Cloud CX™ platform. With this successful implementation, the company reduced its number of servers by 96% — from 300 down to 12. It also decreased costs, achieved greater flexibility, enabled work-from-home capabilities and enhanced staff resource management.

96% decrease

in servers

Cost reduction

in maintenance and operational support

Enhanced staff mobility

across retail and contact center locations

Ability to service customers

from any device on hand

Decreased time spent

on system maintenance

The service Genesys allows us to provide is simply better, and it started to show right away in how quickly we were back up to speed.

James Palmer-Dale

Chapter Lead of Customer Engagement Solutions

Spark

Spark is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications and digital services company. It employs over 1,400 people in customer support roles across its contact center, virtual and retail channels in New Zealand and the Philippines. Across these locations, it handles tens of thousands of calls, messages and inquiries a day. Its team faces diverse service challenges daily, answering customers’ various needs and accessing many tools to reach the right solution in a timely manner.

Covering every angle in the cloud

Enabling all these interactions is the Spark customer service platform that was built on a mix of legacy technologies — including Genesys and Avaya on-premises systems. While the technology had gradually evolved to meet the changing needs of the business, it had become a limiting factor to take customer experience to the next level. Spark found that the complexity and economics of maintaining it were prohibitive.

With Spark operating a subsidiary, Skinny, and using an off-shore call center in Manila, the company needed a system capable of secure access that anyone could connect with from anywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing norm of remote work further accelerated this growing need for instant connectivity. And with the different devices everyone used, it was clear that a secure and flexible cloud-based solution was needed.

Another requirement for Spark was the ability to implement its Unified Frontline Strategy — a business model that moves with the ebbs and flows of demand. The strategy allows staff who might work on the retail floor of a Spark store to migrate to answering contact center queries when they have time. This ability to swarm to where demand is greatest, respond to customers faster and resolve issues promptly was central to its vision of revolutionizing customer service.

Spark made a big decision to put out an RFP for a cloud-based contact center system — an unusual move because it sells Genesys solutions to its own customers.

“We wanted a future-focused platform that met our very specific requirements,” said James Palmer-Dale, Chapter Lead of Customer Engagement Solutions at Spark. “We believe in the Genesys product, but we also wanted to ensure we covered every angle. Genesys came back with everything we needed and more.” 

A smooth migration to better service

Migrating a large contact center is no small undertaking; it takes months of planning and preparing contingencies. There’s also an expectation of operational costs, downtime and resistance to change. To prepare for this, Spark readied a set of projections and metrics to estimate the impact of its big shift. As a result, the move was an agile transformation — adding capabilities in phases to minimize disruptions while aligning with its strategic vision. The disruption metrics were within predicted ranges but accelerated back faster than expected, with the change being incredibly smooth.

Daniel Cooper, Digital Lead of Consumer Channels at Spark, oversaw the migration and initiated the implementation of the strategy. Having oversight of the expected disruptions and bounce-back, he was impressed with what he witnessed.

“The service Genesys allows us to provide is simply better, and it started to show right away in how quickly we were able to get back up to speed,” said Cooper.

Flexible, fast and functional

The automation and system capabilities of the new Genesys platform open up a myriad of possibilities. All the Spark and Skinny employees in New Zealand and overseas now can now access a secure platform from any device.

Taking advantage of the Genesys Cloud CX scripting capability, Spark has created a fully-functional interface — giving its staff tabbed views for inbound, outbound, callbacks, transfers, campaigns and payments. The same interface is used by Unified Frontline agents as well. It’s a game changer for ease of use, ensures continuity between team functions and enables next-level customer service.

The Genesys platform’s API is a standout feature that enabled Spark to create applications that allow even better monitoring and resource allocation. For example, integrating store patronage data provides an instant view of the demand in each store. This data aids in forecasting and scheduling in-store or virtual staff resources. Through the SAM app, staff can share their availability to migrate from the shop floor to online customer service. And with the Busker app, the team can filter and activate or deactivate users in queues and swarm to where they’re needed — clearing backlogs rapidly.

The move to the Genesys Cloud CX platform also reduced the tech footprint and maintenance overheads for Spark. What previously required 300 servers across multiple sites has been reduced to just 12.

“Managing the platform is just easier,” said Palmer-Dale. “We’re spending less time on maintenance to implement new developments faster, and it frees up our capacity to innovate.”

With Genesys embedded into the organization, Spark is one step closer to making their ambitions a reality — delivering exceptional service to customers across all its businesses. The integration has proven just how fit-for-purpose Genesys is out of the box. Better yet, Spark has future-proofed itself, and further development will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to deliver personalized messages on any channel the customer enters. For example, if a customer is experiencing an outage, AI will enable them to subscribe to updates and automatically initiate remedial offerings, like additional data or call forwarding.

Managing the platform is just easier. We’re spending less time on maintenance, so we can implement new developments faster and it frees up our capacity to innovate.

James Palmer-Dale

Chapter Lead of Customer Engagement Solutions

Spark

It’s this kind of ability that Spark sought out, enabling its Unified Frontline Strategy to come to life in what has been a remarkably smooth process.

“Now, it’s simple,” concluded Cooper. “It’s flexible. It’s fast. It just works.”

At a glance

Customer: Spark

Industry: Telecommunications

Location: New Zealand

Contact center: 1,400 agents

Challenges

  • Hobbled by a costly and complex mix of legacy contact center systems
  • Difficulty in managing staffing levels with siloed data
  • Insistent customer experience across physical and virtual channels
  • Limited flexibility

Additional resources

Case study PDF