Viewers' Centre ČT

ČT handles the upsurge of viewers' queries thanks to the CRM solution of Ness

As of September 2007, the viewers of ČT (Czech Television) can use the services of a new Viewers' Centre to its full extent. It is currently able to handle all telephone and e-mail queries thanks to a successful reorganization and new CRM system. The solution was delivered by Ness and NextiraOne.

It began at the right time

ČT started to build the Viewers' Centre already in 2004, when particularly telephone queries and standard mail were attended to. The on-coming transformation to digital broadcasting, the launch of operation of the new ČT24 channel and the launch of the ČT4 Sport channel on the occasion of the Olympic Winter Games in Torino led to a growing number of viewers' queries. As early as in 2005, the Viewers' Centre received 37,360 queries which were attended to by only two operators. In 2006, the number of queries increased by another 97%; and the number of e-mail queries also grew with a leap. The management of ČT realized the need to significantly strengthen the activity of its viewers' department. At that time, the first switch-off of analogue broadcasting was approaching, and the television was also preparing for a change in the visual style and logos of the individual ČT channels. These requirements were to be met by the new CRM system, which would offer the staff of the Viewers' Centre a uniform communication interface for dealing with the viewers' phone calls and e-mails. Another task was to build a knowledge database from the already-answered queries. Many of them repeat themselves, and that is why it is possible to use an already created reply. As for special and technical queries, experts from the television departments helped to form replies.

Team cooperation

After the approval of the intention to build a new Viewers' Centre, ČT's project team prepared a detailed activity draft. The whole proposal consisted of a model of the center's function, draft of incorporating its outputs in the television management, the technical solution design in the area of telecommunications, and the CRM system itself. This system, as the core of the entire centre, was to make for the viewer relationship management, activity evaluation and for the creation of a database from the repeated queries and replies.

The tender took place from May until July 2007. The specification for suppliers was rather demanding. It was necessary to launch the entire project by September, when the first switch-off of analogue broadcasting was to occur in the region of Domažlice and when an increased upsurge in queries was expected. The introduction of a new visual style and logos of the individual TV stations was also planned for September. It was defined in the specification terms that the new Viewers' Centre should be connected to the existing telecommunication infrastructure with an Alcatel exchange. ČT would thus save a considerable amount of money. In the end, there were five suppliers competing for the project.

Winning project

In the final, the winning project was the joint offer of companies Ness and NextiraOne. Ness provided for the implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution; and NextiraOne then the implementation of software for the call centre management from the Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories. The mutual data connection of both software solutions was ensured by means of the Genesys Microsoft CRM Connector integration adaptor. In this way it was possible to provide for a smooth operation of the call centre equipped by the Alcatel 4400 exchange with telephone call routing. Special reporting software tools were implemented in order to monitor the daily operation of the ČT Viewer's Centre.

Launch within fortnight

Taking into account the operating conditions of ČT, the launch of the system wasn't enabled to start until mid-August. The submitter strictly requested the telephonic part of the project to be launched within fourteen days. The next part for handling e-mail queries was to be launched by the end of September. The whole implementation then lasted one and a half months, and all was carried out during full operation.

The user environment on the system's displays, which is similar to the environment in Microsoft Office Outlook program and which all operators were got used to, has speeded up the service training. The fact that it really was necessary to act promptly, was confirmed in September. Only during this month the Czech Television received a number of 1895 phone queries and about 8,000 e-mails. That was, compared to the same period in 2006, an increase by nearly 50 %.

Viewers' centre offers higher comfort

Apart from the knowledge database being gradually built via CRM system, the staff of the Viewers' Centre now also has access to the databases and archives of the television. The Viewers' Centre also operates a system of quality management and evaluation of accuracy and correctness of responses provided to the viewers. In answering the queries, the operators are assisted by the CRM system itself which, based on key words, instantly searches through previous questions and answers and looks up those most related to the given issues. That shortens the waiting time to be put through to a free operator and get an answer. This improves the performance of the entire Viewers' Centre and, of course, the viewers' overall satisfaction is thereby increased.

New know how – new possibilities

Ness applies the state-of-the-art approaches in its projects. The solution for ČT utilized the Microsoft Dynamics CRM technology which is nowadays becoming a standard for CRM solution. The new know-how has thus enabled to project a more efficient and reliable CRM system with ergonomic user control.

Benefits of mutual cooperation

  • Fast solution to the problem with insufficient capacity of the ČT's Viewers' Centre;
  • Great upsurge in the viewers' queries handled;
  • Shortening the waiting time of viewers for a free operator;
  • Building an intelligent database of queries and replies;
  • Trouble-free training of operators thanks to an ergonomic solution of the CRM system;
  • Implementation of the CRM system during full operation;
  • Financial savings of ČT thanks to connection to the existing telecommunication structure.

„The project of implementing CRM in the Audience Center was a big challenge to us. Not only have we managed it in a record time but it also became a unique case of primary use of CRM for the customer service. This is the case of connecting the Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the Genesys switchboard that we realized in cooperation with the NextiraOne company."

Zdeněk Ubry Business Development Manager, NESS Czech

„For Czech Television, establishment of the specialized Audience Center is an investment in better and more eff ective communication with our audience. And these are the most important to us. "

Jiří Janeček, Director, Czech Television