Seta Corp. Signs with Multichannel Service Provider

Sep 23, 2008 7:53 PM  By

Seeking to deliver a better customer experience, jewelry cataloger Seta Corp., which also does business as Palm Beach Jewelry, is now using Marketing Alternatives for call center services.

Tim Holody, chief operating officer for Seta Corp., says the 50-year-old company has been outsourcing its call center services since 2003. One reason the company switched to Marketing Alternatives, he says, is because of its ability to consistently deliver good customer service across all three contact center channels — phone, e-mail and Web chat.

“That’s important to us — because Palm Beach Jewelry has a growing number of chat and e-mail users,” he says. “We have about 1,000 customers a month using Web chat to inquire about products and check on orders — and in addition we receive anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 e-mails a month.”

That’s in addition to the thousands of calls a day generated by its two separate toll free numbers: one for the catalog business and the other for the Website.

Holody says in particular Seta needed a contact center outsourcer that could deliver the same level of messaging through every interaction, regardless of channel.

“So if a customer clicks on PalmBeachJewelry.com and wants to chat — they’re getting the same answers as a customer who e-mails,” he says, adding that consumers who purchase high priced items have come to expect a high level of customer service.

Holody says Marketing Alternatives uses an incentive program to motivate its phone agents to upsell more items.

“Basically it’s nothing more than directing more calls to the reps who are having greater success at the upsells,” he says. But it works: this strategy has resulted in a 20% increase in upsells since the company started using the service.

He adds that Marketing Alternatives gets a small commission on each upsell, “and the reps get a percentage too — so everybody benefits when the upsell success goes well.”

This incentive program has a secondary effect in that it results in what one might call “hybrid dedicated agent services:” By directing more calls to the agents who are doing better, they by de facto become more “dedicated” to the client.

“That’s not to say that they won’t handle calls for other clients,” Holody says. But the agents who perform best will spend a higher percentage of their time working on the Seta account — and as they become more familiar with the brand and messaging, service to Seta’s customers improves.

Marketing Alternatives serves Seta’s customers from its 256-seat contact center located in Taylorville, IL. The company, which is headquartered in Deer Park, IL, also operates a third party fulfillment center in Crystal Lake, IL.

In addition to handling phone, Web chat and e-mail orders from customers, Marketing Alternatives has integrated its call center system with Seta’s inhouse fulfillment system, which means agents process orders directly onto Seta’s order management system. What’s more, the reps can access customer records, which enables them to deliver improved service.