Jim James, Chief Technology Officer, Globus

Q Please discuss the recent announcement with Globus? What does this mean to Globus?

A Globus has been a leader in escorted travel services for more than 75 years, helping its customers visit literally every corner of the globe. Recently Globus determined that its existing customer contact management system could no longer effectively support its new operations strategy. We began to design and implement a contact center management platform that would be capable of providing its travel consultants with a single customer view and comprehensive interaction history. We also wanted to help ensure a consistent customer experience across all contact channels, including, voice, Web, email and telephone.

Along with the new contact management system, we wanted to develop a new corporate voice persona for Globus that would consistently convey corporate tone and message to all of our customers helping us build and strengthen our brand and to further differentiate us in the marketplace.

Utilizing the Edify 8 platform, Globus was able to upgrade its overall customer support capabilities as well as optimize its existing infrastructure investment.

Q How does this help Globus become more efficient internally?

A Edify helped us establish systems for skills-based routing which enabled us to increase efficiency enormously. Some queries will be automatically answered and complex or multi-part queries can easily be handed off on a "next available" live agent basis.

Edify also allowed us to aggregate customer transaction data so if a query began in email and then the customer called to follow up, our agents would have all the transaction data available, giving the assurance that we really know the customer and what they need.

Q How does the new speech self-service solution compare to other contact points such as the Web?

A Globus and Edify both view speech and other contact points such as the Web, as contributing equally to the customer experience and, as we mentioned, providing a consistent customer experience across all interaction channels was a key objective for the system overhaul. We designed the speech interface to have the same functionality and ease of use as the Web interface. Service options available to customers on the Web are now, or will soon be, available to customers via speech recognition.

Our objective was to give the customer the same level of service and quality regardless of how or when they chose to contact Globus.

Q Are there any statistics at this point in regard to the success of the system?

A On first day of production average hold times went from 18 minutes to two minutes with no changes made in staffing. That efficiency gain continues today.

Q What are the origins of this deal? Was Globus an Edify customer prior to this installation?

A Yes, and we evaluated several options and selected Edify as a strategic technology and platform for all customer contact management based on the success we had with our earlier purchase of Edify IVR ports.

Q Can you discuss future endeavors regarding speech technologies for Globus?

A Future endeavors for speech will include the continual automation of existing sales and customer support processes and enhanced call routing.

Additionally, Globus is initiating its customer feedback and analysis program this week and outbound CFA to returning travelers is planned for roll out in 2005. Globus will use speech recognition to identify its customers in a couple of months and also plans to provide self-service to consumers (similar to United Airlines Flight Information) in 2004, and hopes to move to "Ask Anything" in late 2004.

Q What was the deployment time for this solution?

A Three months from contract close to production including all design, development, hardware acquisition and testing.

Q How do you think this deployment affects the overall experience of the consumer/travel agent?

A Edify 8 has helped us dramatically improve our overall customer interaction experience. Hold times have plummeted, agents are directed to the right person the first time, our staff is better prepared to handle calls, our company "persona" is communicated to the callers effectively, and all of this provides a truly distinct competitive advantage in our crowded marketplace.

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