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    Maverik Upgrades Call Center Operations

    C-store chain leverages VoIP recording software to automate its call center and improve service to stores.

    NORTH SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Customer service in the convenience store business isn't just about serving the people that buy a fountain soda or a gallon of gas. It's also about servicing the managers and assistants who are running the stores and keeping them operating at a high level. With this in mind, Maverik Inc. has implemented Coordinated Systems Inc.'s Virtual Observer VoIP recording software to automate its quality assurance process.

    Maverik's previous call center consisted of four people answering the phones, four computers and four phone lines. Wanting to improve how it handled incoming service calls internally -- from store to corporate -- the company hired John Patterson, formerly of Continental Airlines, to be the call center manager.

    Approximately two-thirds of Maverik's calls are internal from the stores themselves -- store personnel requiring support or help with timely matters. The other third of the calls are external -- from customers and card holders. Maverik's branding efforts include a popular "Adventure-themed" prepaid purchase card program.

    To bring the call center up to date, Patterson first upgraded to a new 3com VoIP phone system. Then, after visiting another industry contact center and seeing how it was using technology to differentiate itself, he decided to implement East Hartford, Conn.-based Coordinated Systems' Virtual Observer (VO) VoIP software. By the end of the first month, VO had logged almost 9,000 calls, while Patterson had only anticipated 6,000.

    The system showed an immediate return on investment as during the second hour of recording, it captured calls from people who had purchased gift cards with bad checks. Maverik had zeroed out the balances of the bad cards as soon as the check had bounced, and the perpetrators then called into Maverik customer service for help when their cards weren't working. An informed Maverik customer service agent asked them for their names, addresses and phone numbers. They obliged, and with VO recording the conversation in the background, Maverik now had a recording of the information they needed to provide police so they could catch the criminals.

    VO also helped solve an internal dispute between a store and a customer service representative over perceived rudeness. The store manager claimed the service person was "extremely rude." After reviewing the recorded call, Maverik was able to clearly make a ruling on the dispute and clear the representative of misconduct.

    Maverik is a corporate-owned and operated chain with 180 stores in seven western states.

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