Operations and Management: Spotlight On MicroWarehouse’s Call Center

Customer service is the name of the game at $2.5 billion computer reseller MicroWarehouse, which mails the core PC catalog, Mac catalog MacWarehouse, and connectivity products catalog Data Comm Warehouse in addition to operating the $250 million-plus Warehouse.com Website.

“As our product line has grown to meet the technological demands of the industry, resolving customer issues has become more challenging,” says Susan Fazelpoor, senior vice president of customer care. “Even so, our service staff maintains a high level of commitment to resolving customer issues.”

Indeed, in the fourth quarter of 2000, the Norwalk, CT-based mailer reduced customer telephone wait times by two-thirds and launched a 24-hour technical support. The privately held company has two call centers in Lakewood, NJ, which handle customer service inquiries and sales as well as accounting functions.

Telephone calls received a year (includes customer service and technical support): More than 1 million Average calls each rep handles an hour: 10 Number of customer service and technical support agents: Approximately 200 Call abandonment rate: Less than 2% Wait time: More than 85% of calls are answered within 25 seconds.

Systems used: Nortel Networks’ Meridian Max enables Micro Warehouse to monitor, report, and track calls through the Nortel switch. The cataloger also uses software from call center productivity marketer Telecorp for keeping tabs on agent performance productivity — for example, reporting on how long incoming calls are in the queue.

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