Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just hosting an event and need help finding the perfect pairing for the meal you’ll be serving, many industry insiders will recommend the same place: K&L Wine Merchants.
A leading online retailer of wine and spirits from around the world, K&L has become a favorite of both consumers and critics. The company has earned a near-perfect 4.8-star rating across hundreds of Google Reviews and “Best Online Wine Shop” awards from publications as wide ranging as Wine Enthusiast, InStyle Magazine, and Forbes.
But steadily increasing customer demand—and a reputation for outstanding service to maintain—the K&L’s leadership team knew it was time to retire its on-prem telephony system.
A legacy phone system that wasn’t aging well
A key aspect of K&L’s value proposition to consumers has always been its outstanding service: including a support staff of wine enthusiasts eager to share their deep knowledge and love of wine with customers. But as Co-Owner Brian Zucker explains, K&L’s phone system was limiting the team’s ability to deliver excellent service to its ever-increasing number of customers.
One challenge, Brian notes, was that the legacy phone system could not provide any real-time visibility into call volume or generate reports that would allow the customer support team to view and analyze call-traffic trends over time.
“Without the ability to see that data, we had trouble staffing our call center effectively,” says Brian. “Our choice was either to over-staff our customer support operations, which wouldn’t be financially advantageous for the business, or to risk being understaffed and create a poor customer experience.”
A cloud-based Contact Center solution that had K&L raising a glass
When they migrated the entire staff onto the RingCentral MVP unified communications platform, and RingCentral Contact Center for the customer support staff, K&L finally had a telephony environment worth toasting.
“It was like flipping a switch,” Brian says. “One day we’re struggling to connect employee calls between offices, and the next day we’re able to make, receive, and transfer business calls from home on a laptop or even using an app on our cell phone.”
With RingCentral Contact Center, K&L’s customer support team could now gain actionable insights from the rich data available in the system’s call reporting and analytics engine. As Brian points out, the team has used this information to staff its support lines more efficiently and cost-effectively throughout each shift.
He also points out that Contact Center’s functionality is helping the support staff provide a better overall customer experience. “With RingCentral’s callback feature, if we have a sudden spike in calls, we can give customers the option to keep their place in the queue and receive a callback when an agent is available. That means we can keep our current level of staff and still deliver a great customer experience.”
RingCentral also resolved another operational challenge that K&L had dealt with for years. “We were growing, ready to scale up, and looking for ways to give our staff more flexibility and mobility,” Brian explains. “But the limitations of our phone system—starting with the fact that it offered no solution for remote work—presented an ongoing obstacle to those plans.”
That has all changed, Brian says, since K&L moved to RingCentral. “Because RingCentral is cloud based and works anywhere, our employees can connect and work productively from anywhere—something we proved during the COVID lockdowns. So not only do we no longer have any concerns about scaling up; now we can hire the best people for each role even if they’re out of our geographic area. RingCentral is going to help us grow seamlessly.”
Originally published Sep 23, 2021