As the magnitude of COVID-19 became apparent in early 2020, public health officials warned that the elderly were at elevated risk from the disease—and advised them to stay home and isolate. For millions of older people, only the telephone could keep them connected to family and friends. But that presented another challenge: nearly 33% of people aged 65 to 74, and almost half of those 75 and older, have significant hearing loss.1
Not surprisingly, demand skyrocketed for products from ClearCaptions— a leading provider of a call captioning service that enables the hard-of-hearing to communicate on specially designed home phones, as well as iPads® and iPhones® that display near real-time text of what callers are saying during phone conversations.
At the same time that calls were pouring into the company’s Inside Sales team from people interested in acquiring a ClearCaptions phone, an increasing number of existing customers were also calling in to Support for help re-engaging with their phones.
Fortunately, both the Inside Sales and Customer Support teams were able to handle the rapid increase in call volume during the lockdowns—even with all of their agents working from home—because the company had RingCentral Contact Center.
Increased demand sent a message—time for a better call center system—loud and clear
ClearCaptions had actually migrated to the cloud-based RingCentral Contact Center a few years before the pandemic, as steadily increasing call volume eventually proved too much for the young company’s on-premise PBX phone solution to handle.
Founded in 2011, ClearCaptions’ innovative products for the hard-of-hearing became so popular, so quickly, that within just a couple of years the company began landing on lists of the fastest-growing businesses in the Sacramento area for year over year growth.
Here’s how Dar Tafarrodi, Senior Director of Customer Experience, explains the situation: “Less than three years ago, our in-house call center staff consisted of eight people. Now we have more than 50, and we’re still adding agents. With that pace of growth, you’ve got to retire the PBX and move to a more sophisticated solution. RingCentral Contact Center made it much easier for us to grow from a small company to a larger one.”
Call center features that truly resonated
With RingCentral Contact Center, Dar’s Customer Experience group—the largest department in the company today—was able to grow and add new processes with confidence. “RingCentral Contact Center allows us to be very flexible,” he says. “We’re able to easily set up and adjust call queues, add new agents into the system, and automatically redirect call traffic when a team is nearing capacity.”
The company’s Inside Sales and Support agents have also benefited from integrating RingCentral into other workflow applications, such as Salesforce. One example Dar cites is the time saved manually dialing numbers. “With the RingCentral click-to-call widget in our Salesforce environment, our agents are saving time every day searching for numbers and dialing out.”
And, as Dar points out, his team is even more enthusiastic about their next integration: RingCentral Contact Center’s automated outbound dialer. “We’ve already seen significant productivity gains with the RingCentral-Salesforce integration. But when we roll out the outbound dialer, I estimate our team will be able to reach thousands more customers every month.”
The best part: Helping more people who are hard-of-hearing
The ClearCaptions staff was amazed with their seamless transition to remote work at the beginning of the lockdowns. “Before COVID, the company had zero infrastructure or processes for remote work,” Dar explains. “But even with almost no time to prepare, we still had an easy time getting everyone set up at home. Because RingCentral is entirely cloud-based, all our agents needed to work remotely was the RingCentral app on their computer and a headset.”
But as pleased as Dar is with what RingCentral has done for his Customer Support team, he’s most proud of what the team itself has been able to do for the company’s hard-of-hearing customers—especially during a time when they’ve had to rely on their phones more than ever to feel connected.
“So many people are isolated now, especially seniors. Our products can help them stay connected to loved ones. And thanks to RingCentral, our call center teams can help many more of them.”