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Exchange Solutions Builds An IVR Platform For Personal Customer Support, Runs 660k Calls In 10 Days


National retailers are all vying for a limited pool of customers. The pressure to set themselves apart from their competitors is higher than ever. The only way to do that is by giving customers a fantastic experience.

One leading national retailer wanted to level up their customer loyalty program, replacing the old program and offering phone support for the new program. They enlisted the help of Exchange Solutions, an organization that specializes in building customer engagement programs.Using Twilio, they built an IVR system which logged over 600,000 calls in ten days.

Scaling Customer Experience With Customer-Centric Software

On the day of the launch, Exchange Solutions had a Twilio-powered toll free number that forwarded to their client’s call center set up and ready to rock. They were expecting about 50,000 calls within the first month. They received 180,000 calls on the first day.

Exchange Solutions had a team on deck, monitoring the launch who quickly pivoted call traffic to ensure their client could continue answering calls and making customers happy. “Changes were made consistently to the IVR voice recordings and the call path to enable us to buffer calls out to the call center at a consistent, manageable volume,” said Jane Ricciardelli, Chief Marketing Officer at Exchange Solutions.

Under The Hood Of A Phone Call – Leveraging Software For IVR Solutions

To the retailer’s customers, the support hotline was just another phone call. Behind the scenes, Exchange Solutions leveraged a web of API technologies and SaaS solutions to make the customer’s experience seamless and reliable. “[We used] our own proprietary platform accessed by a REST API, PHP, plus Zendesk was used to provide second tier support.”

Support is absolutely crucial to Exchange Solutions client’s success. The client needed to know when to staff extra support agents during peak call times, and call hold times passed a certain threshold. When you’re handling over half a million calls in 10 days, manually monitoring the call volumes in real time isn’t an option. The client needed all hands on deck. Exchange Solutions wrote a simple script to automate the call threshold flag in PHP. Here’s a snippet of that code.

<!--?php function getCallCount() { global $ini_array; $cmd = 'curl --connect-timeout 3 --max-time 3 -q -X GET -H "Authorization:Basic [Auth Str]'; $url = '[API Key]/Calls.json?Page=0&PageSize=1&Status=in-progress'; $sed = '2>/dev/null | sed -e \'s/^.*"total": //\' -e \'s/, ".*//\''; $callCount=400; $callCount = exec ($cmd . ' "' . $url . '" ' . $sed); $outboundNumbers = array($ini_array["enrollmentPhone_en"],$ini_array["otherPhone_en"],$ini_array["enrollmentPhone_fr" ],$ini_array["otherPhone_fr"]); $outboundCallCount=0; foreach ($outboundNumbers as $dialout) { } $highVolume=false; if ($outboundCallCount > $ini_array["highCallWatermark"]) { } return (array("callCount"=>$callCount,"outboundCallCount"=>$outboundCallCount,"highVolume"=>$highVolu me)); } ?-->


It took three weeks for three Exchange Solutions developers to build the platform. The entire duration of the launch was shorter than the build, but Exchange Solutions knew their quality of their would show itself prominently in the fleeting critical moments of a launch. At the end of the new platform’s rollout, Exchange Solutions was happy they picked their API tools wisely. “Twilio performed flawlessly,” said Ricciardelli. “When we had questions about anything, technical support was on the ready to help us.”

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