For more than 80 years, farmers, orchard owners, landscapers, and other hardworking people who keep America green and growing have relied on products from Gemplers. The farm and home supply company has become a go-to resource nationwide for agricultural and other outdoor business owners to find tools, equipment, safety gear, clothing, and other essentials to keep their businesses healthy and growing.
Although the company is still growing after decades of success, the team behind Gemplers points out that as an eCommerce player in an industry dominated by Amazon, the company faces increasing pressure to distinguish itself and build strong relationships with customers. Gemplers strategy today, as it has been for the company’s long history, is simple: Treat every customer like a neighbor, not a number, and deliver unmatched service in every interaction.
The challenge, though, was that the company’s phone system did not include the sophisticated tools—or the reliability—to help its customer support agents deliver a level of service worthy of the Gemplers name.
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Their previous phone system was wilting under pressure
In recent years, Gemplers has enjoyed significant growth. But as customer demand increased, and the support team grew its staff to meet the demand, the added phone usage taxed the company’s telephony system. “We had an ongoing problem with outages,” says Debbie Holmquist, Director of Customer Service & Distribution for Gemplers.
Carl Atwell, Owner & President of Gemplers, points out that although the team’s initial focus was to find a more reliable solution, they decided to use the opportunity to improve operations as well. “As we researched Contact-Center-as-a-Service solutions… and, more specifically, when we discovered RingCentral… we realized we could do a lot more than just solve the outage problem,” he says.
RingCentral takes root across the company
In their research of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, Carl and Debbie were so impressed with RingCentral’s capabilities that the company rolled out not only RingCentral Contact Center for their customer service teams, but also RingCentral Office for making and taking business calls on any device, and RingCentral Video, to the company’s 60 employees.
As Debbie explains, these new cloud communications solutions have created enormous benefits across the company’s operations.
“Contact Center let us integrate our support emails into the same unified platform as our support calls and chats,” she Debbie. “For the first time, we were able to route emails to agents just as we do with phone calls—and not by asking agents to respond to them in Outlook, as we did before. That feature alone has significantly improved our email response time and made our agents more efficient overall.”
Using RingCentral’s advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, Debbie and her team have been able to quantify many of these efficiency improvements. “Since we moved to RingCentral Contact Center, our agents are 28% faster to answer customer service calls, and they’ve cut their average email response times by more than half,” she says. “We’ve also seen a 70% reduction in abandoned support calls.”
Debbie also points out that Contact Center’s callback feature is having a tremendously positive impact on both agents and customers. “During our peak times of the year, when we’re handling 13,000 calls a month, it’s great to give our customers the option to ask for a callback instead of waiting on hold,” she says. “Our key differentiator is outstanding service, so it’s invaluable to be able to give our customers more choice and convenience in how they engage with us.”
Carl notes that employees across the company are also benefiting from RingCentral Office and RingCentral Video. “With many of our office employees working at home now, having RingCentral has made a huge difference,” he says.
“We’re able to make and take calls on our business numbers from any computer or even on our own smartphones using the RingCentral mobile app. And thanks to RingCentral Meetings, we’re functioning much more like a team, even though so many of our team members are in different locations.
Looking forward to harvesting more of RingCentral’s capabilities
The Gemplers team is still discovering new features and capabilities in the system that they are eager to start implementing.
As Carl says: “We’re probably leveraging only about 10% of the tools available to us in RingCentral. There’s so much more we plan to do with this solution—to improve our business, our quality of service, and the lives of our employees and customers.”
Originally published Apr 14, 2021, updated Jun 24, 2021