GRAN is one of the fastest-growing outsourcing contact centers in Russia and a market leader, boasting four regional sites to go along with their Moscow-based headquarters.
Starting from scratch
The center’s first site opened in Moscow at the end of 2006. Starting with 50 workstations, the new call center recovered its initial investment in just eight months thanks to Noda Contact Center, a product that offers optimal value and quality for a reasonable price. GRAN is just one of many professionals who use this tool for its quick startup capability and scalability.
“Noda Contact Center was part of our initial business idea for creating a call center,” says Maksim Kalinkin, Managing Partner at GRAN Contact Center. “I had learned of the platform’s functional mechanisms while working as marketing director at the Rostelecom Group. I saw that the platform was successfully used by several outsourcing contact centers with which we collaborated at the time. It is entirely unique among Russia ‘turnkey’ software for managing IP telephony and contact center business processes simultaneously.”
Because a questionnaire scenario for conducting client surveys (the scenario constructor) is embedded in the software, services can be adapted to a tight schedule for various businesses and tasks (incoming call processing, outgoing calls, etc.). The program’s tools for importing and exporting project settings, including project parameters, questionnaires, knowledge bases, and associated reference materials, and its centralized project management of regional sites were beneficial, offering the opportunity to efficiently develop the outsourcer’s business. At the same time, they did not need to bring in IT specialists to input the required settings, as their in-house supervisors were sufficiently qualified.
In addition to its equipment, another important component of any contact center is its staff. In order to create the Moscow site from scratch, employees who understood the market were carefully selected based on their work experience at leading Russian contact centers; employees were recruited who already knew how to deal with clients and sell call center services. Having qualified personnel also facilitated GRAN’s stable development and ability to achieve operational profitability. Several large telecommunication companies became the call center’s first clients, and the income from those endeavors went toward expanding the business.
Into the regions
Once business took off, GRAN management made the decision to open its first regional site in the city of Ivanovo. Noda’s flexibility simplifies software scaling and settings configuration, allowing clients to focus on rapid development: the first stage, with 100 workstations, was completed in May 2008, and a month later the call center’s capacity was bumped to 150 workstations. In January 2009, at the height of the economic crisis, a second stage with 200 additional workstations was completed, bringing the total capacity of the Ivanovo branch to 350 workstations.
Despite the economic crisis, the regional site demonstrated high growth rates, as its resources were concentrated on sales. Its main customers were telecom companies who turned out to be less affected by the crisis, and, moreover, the new call center had no problem attracting personnel. People were lining up to work in Ivanovo, many of whom had been working at local enterprises or in Moscow. New employees quickly learned how to work with the information system, which contained a complete set of easy-to-use tools for high-quality call servicing and client project management. All these factors had a positive impact on GRAN’s business, and before long two more GRAN sites opened: one in Smolensk and the other in Nikolaevo, Ukraine.
The ability to expand the scale of the platform without interrupting operations enabled the company to avoid downtime as it constructed new sites and, consequently, avoid business losses. Further, the company was able to lower its expenses by utilizing free distribution software (OC Linux) on servers and at workstations. Three call center sites currently accommodate over 700 operators.
Modernized software is the key to successful business
Developing dynamically, the outsourcing call center updated its technical platform in a timely manner, switching to new and improved versions of the product, for which Noda developers take into account the current demands and needs of their clients. Modernizing GRAN’s software has led to improvement in all of its business processes, project management, and client servicing.
Currently, the call center uses the most recent release of Noda Contact Center 6.0 with its wide range of modern tools and constructor that helps create rapid dialog scenarios for call center operators. Various connection channels (voice, e-mail, SMS, Skype) are available for interaction with clients.
One of the most important benefits of the platform is its productivity. Traffic in an outsourcing contact center is incomparably greater than that flowing through internal call centers with the same amount of workstations, as the number of connections, entries, and hits are many times higher. GRAN deals with about 120,000 outgoing calls and receives about 10,000 incoming calls on a daily basis, with peak traffic occurring at the beginning of each month when hundreds of reports are in line for discharge. Noda Contact Center perfectly manages these stress points, its fail-safe software stable 24x7x365.
Because the software integrates with external systems, contact center operators servicing client projects not only gain access to their clients’ contact history, but also receive real time information from external sources on the client side (billing system, ABS, etc.). Displaying all the necessary information on one screen reduces service costs and resolves most issues at the point of initial contact, also providing additional products and services.
Some of the services the call center can offer thanks to its cutting-edge software are hotlines, virtual office, automatic notification, SMS subscription, database update, order processing, and surveying (marketing research). In particular, the call center has been successful with telemarketing projects (sales) and is rated highly in terms of sales volume according to surveys of the Russian contact center market.
Because project reports, including OLAP reports with the ability to listen in on conversations, can be accessed from the web, quality control of client projects is assured. As a bonus, the availability of additional information also increases client trust.
In order to ensure uninterrupted work at GRAN sites, backups are made for practically all its most important systems, its connection channels, and its power supply. The company continues to invest in technical equipment for backup rooms, uninterrupted power supply sources, and reserve diesel generators, all these market-leading measures helping it provide high-quality services to its clients.
Maksim Kalinkin, Managing Partner at GRAN Call Center:
“With Noda Contact Center, we can focus entirely on our business; it relieves us of having to deal with technical problems. Our telephony services work round the clock, stopping only to perform routine check-ups. Due to the product’s complexity, we have minimized the use of external software and no longer need to buy Windows licenses, which has reduced our operational costs.”