Bloodsource, one of the premier blood centers and transfusion medicine support organizations in the world, hired a well-known vendor to put in VoIP, but from the start there were painful problems. SOS helped make the phone system healthy again and save $3,000 a month on long distance charges. Also, "we have seen a huge rise in customer satisfaction," notes a staff member.
BloodSource, founded in 1948 as the Sacramento Medical Foundation, has grown to a network of 15 blood centers throughout Northern and Central California. It chose a Cisco-based system, including Cisco CallManager, Cisco Unity unified messaging and Cisco IPCC Express, a contact center application. But even though BloodSource had chosen top-name equipment from a well-known vendor, from the start there were performance problems.
"We spent two years struggling with a VoIP system that had not been set up properly," said Cindy Enloe, network and communications administrator for BloodSource. "It was functioning, but it wasn't functioning in the manner we expected. Callers couldn't look up the extension of an employee after business hours. There were problems with 9-1-1 dialing capabilities. And we were paying long-distance charges between more than a dozen BloodSource locations though our VoIP system gave us the capability to avoid the charges. Things that should have been resolved by the other vendor at the time of installation were not resolved. And when features were added or changed, new problems cropped up. The list was endless."
None of this involved SOS, but word got back to SOS that BloodSource was disenchanted with its system.
"We had been using SOS for other services unrelated to the phone system, and decided to get their help. They straightened things out in a matter of weeks," said Enloe. "SOS routed our calls through the local gateways at each site, so that now someone dialing from, say, Sacramento to Redding is charged only for a local call. They got the caller ID to display properly, and designed a proper disaster recovery process with the right backup and fail-over server. So our phones are always up. They also upgraded the servers to the right version and gave one-on-one training as well.
"Our staff is thrilled with Unified Messaging, such as getting voicemails and emails in their inboxes. Our whole team is much quicker to field calls from front desk to staff too. Overall, by switching to SOS I think we gained the expertise and training we needed to leverage our VoIP system to cut costs, activate features that had been dormant, and ensure 100% uptime for our phones.
"Since SOS routed our calls through the local gateways for each of our 15 offices, we've seen huge long distance savings - about $3000 monthly, as a result," says Enloe. "Our receptionists say working on the new system is a great improvement. They are using drag and drop to route calls easily and quickly. SOS also helped us set up skills-based routing -- so that our valuable donors are being routed to the best possible customer service representative who has the knowledge to address their questions/needs. We have seen a huge rise in customer satisfaction from this.
"It's a great improvement," said Barbara Hearod, coordinator for the reception area at BloodSource. "It was a great pleasure working with SOS. We've had this phone system for over 2 years and since SOS has been working with us, I finally know how to use it."
"Buying the right VoIP equipment or software really isn't enough," adds Enloe. "It takes proper planning, installation and staff training to complete the picture. Who you have as your technology partner makes all the difference."
SOS helps organizations choose and use advanced communications technology to serve customers better, work smarter, and increase profits. SOS is a nationwide expert in voice and data solutions for business, including Voice over IP (VoIP). Since 1992, hundreds of businesses have chosen the SOS team for IP communications, call center technology, and network security solutions. "Secrets of the Pros: the SOS IP Communications Checklist
," is one of SOS's most popular business briefs. SOS is headquartered near Sacramento in Loomis, California. Visit the SOS website at www.teamsos.com
To talk with an SOS representative: (888) 336-7671 or (916) 632-8800 x1711, or firstname.lastname@example.org