Author Solutions Turns Its CX Into a Non-Friction Story

Vonage Business Communications and Vonage Contact Center with Salesforce integration enabled Author Solutions to activate remote work quickly, route callers to the most appropriate agents, minimize network lag, and more.

Author Solutions customer video thumbnail featuring Gavin Kelly headshot
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Challenge

Author Solutions needed an integrated unified communications solution and a contact center solution, as well as Salesforce integration that would improve the customer experience, allow contact center agents to work from home, and enhance call-recording security.
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Solution

Vonage Business Communications integrated with Vonage Contact Center with Salesforce integration
Key

Results

The solutions enabled the publisher to enhance CX by routing calls over multiple carriers and directing callers based on the skills of available agents, bolster the agent experience with remote-work opportunities and an embedded dialer, and more.

Volumes of Pressing Communications Challenges

Founded in 2007, Author Solutions is a global leader in supported self-publishing, providing authors with the resources to bring their books to market. The company facilitates the publishing process, merchandises its clients’ books in brick-and-mortar stores and digital channels, affords content creators exclusive rights to their work, and more.

With its internationally deployed on-premises business communications system and reliance on just two telephony carriers came a raft of troubles for the publisher. Its IT department struggled to mitigate latency during peak call times, maintain confidentiality and security for call recordings, and prevent callers from being abandoned in the IVR. Further, the organization’s agents had to constantly juggle their CRM and business communications tools just to deliver the most basic level of service, supervisors couldn’t review customer reports without submitting support tickets to SQL experts and database administrators, and infrastructure wasn’t ready for a switch to telecommuting.

The company needed cloud-based unified communications and contact center solutions that would integrate seamlessly with Salesforce and:

  • Reduce the lag time that hindered conversation flow during high-volume periods

  • Ensure customer information and call recordings wouldn’t be compromised 

  • Untangle an endless labyrinth of IVR menus

  • Support remote agents 

  • Give administrators access to self-service data-analytics tools 

To address these issues, the publisher chose Vonage Business Communications and Vonage Contact Center with Salesforce integration.

Author Solutions logo (Vonage branded)
"With our old system we didn't always have the routes we needed to contact our customers. Vonage has more carriers at their fingertips for us to route calls across, so we haven’t experienced the call issues we had previously … "
Gavin Kelly, Senior Manager, IT Operations | Author Solutions

A Novel Approach to CX and the Agent Experience

Vonage Business Communications and Vonage Contact Center with Salesforce integration supports the company’s goal—i.e., “provide the technology and services that make publishing easy”—by enriching its team’s communications with a number of powerful features:

  • Salesforce integration: The Vonage solution seamlessly integrated with the organization’s CRM platform, making it easy for agents to quickly access customer information, contact center leaders to leverage CRM analytics and improve CX, and more. "Whenever an agent logs into Salesforce,” said Gavin Kelly, senior manager, IT operations, Author Solutions, “their dialer is right there in front of them. So now our agents don’t have to jump between screens and applications to do their jobs.”

  • Mobility: Vonage’s cloud-based platform’s mobile app empowered the global company to rapidly adapt to a remote-work environment. “In March 2020, we were told that we had to send every worker remote within a week. There’s no way we could’ve done that with our old communications solution. But with Vonage’s apps for our team’s smartphones and laptops, we were able to,” said Kelly.

  • Skills-based routing: An IVR feature that uses a customer’s responses to direct calls to agents based on the specific criteria assigned to them, skills-based routing ensures that the publisher’s callers never get lost in an IVR maze. “When a customer calls for Xlibris [an Author Solutions imprint], the Vonage solution routes the call to an agent who is specifically trained to field Xlibris calls. And making any changes to those routing parameters is easy, too. I just go into the user account, adjust the settings, and a couple of clicks later, it’s all set,” said Kelly.

  • Global Voice Assurance: To reduce wait time and latency, balance peaks and troughs in demand, and avoid relying on a limited few telephony carriers, the company leverages Vonage’s Global Voice Assurance feature. “We really like the ability to call international mobile numbers—it's about half of our business, if not more. With our old system, we only had a couple of carriers we could leverage, so we didn't always have the routes we needed to contact our customers. But Vonage has more carriers at their fingertips for us to route calls across, so we haven’t experienced the call issues we had previously, simply due to the routes being available,” said Kelly.

  • Call recording: The call recording feature not only helps the organization keep important conversations on file, it stores and protects them in the cloud with the AES-256 data security standard. “That's another reason Vonage was enticing—they encrypted our calls right off the bat and provided a secure solution for accessing recordings. A lot of our recordings have sensitive information around financials and customer information, so we had to ensure they were protected,” said Kelly.

“Now that Vonage has improved our CX, elevated the agent experience, and more, we’re working with PCI Pal and Vonage to implement the PCI Pal product, which will allow us to descope PCI from our telephony system and further improve security,” said Kelly. “Sensitive customer information will no longer be stored within our system. It won't be heard by agents or typed into any of our screens. We’ll remove it as a liability altogether.”

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