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Customer Direct Scales Its Virtual Workforce While Improving the Customer Experience

Vonage unified communications solutions empowered Customer Direct to scale its virtual workforce while bolstering the quality of its customer interactions.

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Puzzle piece


The limited capabilities of Customer Direct’s disparate, on-premises PBX systems could not support or scale a virtual workforce effectively.


Customer Direct implemented Vonage's enterprise-grade UCaaS cloud platform, advanced omnichannel contact centre product suite and award-winning SD-WAN product.


Customer Direct enhanced recruitment, customer service and operations, improved the customer — and agent — experience and boosted an existing MPLS network’s Quality of Service.

Business communication case study: Customer Direct

Founded in 1997, Customer Direct is a privately held, St. Louis, Missouri-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company that provides multichannel, multilingual, live-agent reservations, customer care and technical and back-office support. Its over 350 onsite agents — and growing stable of work-from-home talent — deliver this support 24/7/365 via phone, email, chat, postal mail and social media for a number of industries, including hospitality, publishing, healthcare, IT and e-commerce.

Before Vonage: Limited Capabilities and Clunky Legacy Systems 

Having held steady at under five per cent since July 2015, the St. Louis metro area’s unemployment rate was severely restricting Customer Direct’s pool of available talent. While the company’s leaders recognised that the solution was to support a virtual workforce, the limited capabilities of the organisation’s disparate, on-premises PBX systems made that approach unfeasible.

Further, these legacy systems did nothing to optimise the efficiency of the company’s workforce or its IT staff, guarantee business continuity and disaster recovery or help Customer Direct win new contracts with clients whose customer groups demand a variety of communication channels. And with the organisation’s multiple PRI lines, under-utilised MPLS network and other bandwidth-capacity issues continually preventing Customer Direct from delivering a superior customer service experience, the company’s leaders believed that their communications platform was a major inhibitor in the organisation’s growth.

To increase the value of its business proposition to new and existing clients and enable growth once again, Customer Direct needed much more than an upgraded communications platform that guaranteed voice quality — the mere table stakes of all leading platforms. It needed a communications partner, one who could provide a range of consultancy services, aggregate and implement a variety of cloud technologies and fully support the new solution long after its deployment.

Vonage to the Rescue

Customer Direct chose Vonage for the completeness of its enterprise-grade UCaaS cloud platform, advanced omnichannel contact centre product suite and award-winning SD-WAN product.

The solutions empowered Customer Direct to scale its virtual workforce from 20 to 80 per cent, revitalise the company’s growth, optimise its IT staff, deliver a more competitive offering, bolster the quality of its customer interactions and MPLS network’s performance, guarantee business continuity and disaster recovery and produce a truly unified communications experience that’s driving the organisation’s brand and improving its business outcomes.

Enhanced Recruitment, Customer Service and Operations

The cloud-based Vonage Enterprise UCaaS platform supercharges Customer Direct’s growth — without increasing its bricks-and-mortar footprint — by enabling the company to leverage previously inaccessible labour markets and implement a strategy to double its international workforce by spring 2019, provide its clients with a full-featured contact centre solution that integrates the traditional voice call centre with chat and email and equip its supervisors with a consolidated management console (i.e., “a single pane of glass”) for monitoring and reporting on the voice, chat and email activities of the organisation’s agents.

Improving the Customer — and Agent — Experience

Vonage CX Cloud gives Customer Direct’s supervisors the ability to gauge the quality of their agents’ customer interactions, “whisper” directions that only their agents can hear and more. The solution’s automatic call distribution (ACD) functionality routes calls intelligently based on agent expertise, while its interactive voice response (IVR) system gives customers access to self-service, voice, chat and email options and/or live agents for real-time assistance. Plus, the solution’s workforce management features’ rules-based technology facilitates efficient “shift bidding,” which fosters a flexible work environment — and has reduced the company’s agent churn by 25 per cent — by allowing agents to trade shifts among themselves with little to no supervisor intervention.

Boosting an Existing MPLS Network’s Quality of Service (QoS)

Vonage’s SD-WAN solution, SmartWAN, provides Customer Direct with elevated QoS and exceptional levels of uptime, more bandwidth at a lower cost over the company’s MPLS network and public internet connection, full voice prioritisation, real-time stateful failover capability (i.e., in the event of a primary broadband connection failure, all calls are diverted to a secondary broadband connection — in real time — and remain in progress) and more.

"With Vonage, I felt like these were people who we could trust and who we’d want to work with, and the post-deployment support has been outstanding. Vonage has completely changed our whole business model."

Rob Nolan, CEO, Customer Direct

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