News Release

La Capitale Ensures Customer Service and Employee Productivity with Cisco IP Contact Centre

Quebec-based insurance company links 22 regional offices into virtual contact centre using integrated voice and data network
Apr 29, 2004

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC - April 29, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that La Capitale Assurance Générales, a leading insurance company based in Quebec, is using Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) technology to integrate voice and data onto a single network and link 22 offices and 600 employees, 400 of them into a distributed, next-generation contact centre.

According to La Capitale, its Cisco IP Contact Centre (IPCC) solution is improving call agent productivity by up to 20 per cent, reducing total cost of network ownership by $1 million annually and delivering more streamlined and efficient customer interactions.

"By integrating all of our offices into a province-wide, 'virtual contact centre' we've been able to dramatically increase efficiency and, most importantly, improve customer service," said John Kirouac, vice-president, Finance & Administration at La Capitale. "It's vitally important for us to have offices in small towns and cities, but it means our workforce is scattered across the entire province. Now, all of our agents essentially operate as if they were in a single, state-of-the-art contact centre, despite actually being located hundreds of kilometres apart."

"As contact centre environments evolve and customer service agent resources become increasingly decentralized, IP-based solutions are delivering new and improved ways to manage customers, customer information and customer service resources," points out Sean Forkan, director of Advanced Technology at Cisco Systems Canada. "By leveraging the inherent flexibility of IP-based communications, La Capitale is improving productivity and customer service, while reducing costs."

By integrating all its offices into a virtual contact centre, Cisco IPCC allow calls to be intelligently routed between all available customer service agents. For instance, if a customer places a call to the Rimouski office and all of the local agents are busy, the call will automatically be routed to an appropriate agent, regardless of their location on the network.

A Next Generation Contact Centre

In 2001, the company needed to upgrade its phone system and began examining the possibility of integrating voice onto its data network. It decided upon a Cisco IP Communications solution to deliver IP telephony and IP contact centre functionality.

In addition, Cisco IPCC delivers the platform to cost effectively deploy advanced applications such as computer-telephony integration (CTI) and interactive voice response (IVR). CTI improves the efficiency by delivering "screen pops" with customer information, a process La Capitale estimates this service saves an average of 45 seconds per call. IVR applications direct callers to the appropriate call centre queue and/or skill group by checking their calling line ID against the customer database and prompting the caller for routing information.

IPCC is also providing La Capitale with a foundation to deliver exciting services and features in the future. The company is currently looking into the possibility of adding "click to talk" functionality from its web site and integrating forecasting software to better predict the number of agents it will need at specific times.

Towards the Customer Interaction Network

IPCC combines Cisco IP telephony with contact-centre applications and Cisco IP phones to help agents save time and increase productivity. Cisco IPCC enables customers to move into the next phase of customer contact - beyond today's Contact Centre to a Customer Interaction Network.

The Customer Interaction Network is a distributed, IP-based customer service infrastructure that comprises a continuously evolving suite of innovative, multi-channel services and customer relationship management applications. A Customer Interaction Network extends customer service capabilities across the entire organization, giving businesses a more integrated and collaborative approach to customer satisfaction.