AT&T, Stream Energy Take Genesys’ North American Customer Innovations Awards

SAN ANTONIO – Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories yesterday named AT&T and Stream Energy the North American winners of its 2008 Customer Innovations Awards (CIA). The awards, presented during the Genesys G-Force customer conference here, recognize companies delivering outstanding and innovative customer service in highly dynamic environments through the use of technology.

AT&T and Stream Energy were among eight finalists for the award. The two firms were singled out for transforming their customer contact centers, increasing customer satisfaction, and improving the contact center's alignment with company business goals.

Analysts from firms like Datamonitor, Forrester Research, Frost & Sullivan, IDC, and Yankee Group evaluated the entries on their innovation, optimization, and overall effect on the customer experience. Entrants received ratings of one to four stars, with four being the highest.

Stream Energy, a four-star winner, is a privately held electricity provider to more than 300,000 Texas residential customers. Judges applauded its strategic use of customer service, which cut across self-service and assisted service to create a seamless customer experience. Stream also created a strategic environment to bring together a wide range of multimedia, live, and assisted service.

AT&T, which achieved a three-star rating, scored extremely well in optimizing the customer experience and using IP to enable virtualization. AT&T's use of technology not only allowed it to extend the boundaries of the contact center, but also created consistent business processes and was considered by the judges to be the most highly scaled environment.

AT&T, along the way, faced a number of challenges, including the consolidation of a number of smaller regional carriers, such as PacBell, SBC, SNET, Ameritech, and Southwest Bell, into its operations, said Jeff Ricketts, assistant vice president of information technology at AT&T.

The company also achieved a greater sales position for its U-Verse bundled package of TV, broadband Internet, and wireless, IP, and landline phone services. Using Genesys’ Dynamic Contact Center solution, AT&T was able to drive a "meaningful percent" of calls to its contact centers to U-Verse sales staff to build product awareness and increase sales. "When you call us, we first get information about you and determine if you are eligible for U-Verse. If you are, we offer to route you to the U-Verse sales center," Ricketts said.

"The goal of the Genesys Customer Innovation Awards program is to recognize the world's most dynamic contact center environments," said Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys. "The winners in North America have strategically leveraged contact center solutions to achieve an optimal balance of customer traffic, internal resources, and business outcomes. The most universal common thread among all of the innovators is the ability to link business issues to customer service, achieve optimization, and treat the contact center as a strategic opportunity."

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