I had the opportunity recently to chat with Mark Kovatch, Vice President Sales at Questar, about his experience in using Telecom APIs. Questar is the name behind many of the Customer Experience Management programs of the big brands. Founded in 1985 they pioneered the “sales receipt survey.” For those in the US, whenever you go to Wendy’s the representative makes a point of highlighting the survey on the receipt, as completion gets you a discount on your next visit. Questar has conducted over 150 million surveys in more than 300,000 locations. They support 40 languages, across 25 countries. And work with many global companies, including restaurants, retailers and personal services providers.
Their approach is much more than simply IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and online survey form completion, its outbound surveys, inbound call center metrics, as well as the stores’ actual results. This transforms the ‘voice of the customer program’ from a perceived expense to a competitive differentiator that is instrumental in driving sales growth and profitability. The role Tropo plays here is in IVR surveys, in some sectors 50% of surveys are still completed via IVR.
Questar had built up over the years an in-house IVR system, but the challenge was keeping the platform up to date and cost competitive, as it was not the core competence of their business. “Tropo provided us with the lowest total cost of ownership, they keep us on top of the latest telecom technologies, and enable us to expand the role telecoms plays in gathering intelligence from our clients’ customers to provide the best possible insights,” stated Mark.
Tropo manages all the number provision for the surveys, flexible routing, transfer to live agent, recording, as well as the traditional survey gathering. “We’re working on adding SMS as another channel,” explained Mark, “some people prefer texting, our aim is to make it as easy as possible for our clients’ customers to complete surveys. If we text them it can include a link to the survey which is much easier than copying a URL from a sales receipt. Businesses can now have a real time pulse on how each franchise is performing. This is the power of Questar using telecom APIs in providing a ubiquitous, easy to use way for businesses to understand their customers.”
On why Questar choose Tropo, Mark described, “The key is to find a partner that understands you are running your business on their platform, support and reliability cannot be underestimated. As we’re discovering the power of using Telecom APIs having a partner that works with you to use technology to gather more and better data is a real bonus. We’re glad to be running part of our business on telecom APIs, and will continue to do so given the impact its having on our business and our service to clients around the world.”