Schnucks Selects Voice Communications Technology to Improve the Customer Experience

ST. LOUIS -- Family-run regional chain Schnuck Markets, Inc., based here, has signed on to use Vertical InstantOffice, an integrated communications platform from Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertical Communications, to aggregate, track, and manage its voice communications.

Schnucks expects to deploy a number of Vertical's retail applications, including the company's Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Advanced Call Management Suite (CMS), MultiSite Manager (MSM), and MultiSite Reporter (MSR), to all of its stores, located predominantly in Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.

The cohesive management of its voice communications should result in improved customer service in the form of fewer call transfers and shorter hold times, according to Schnucks.

"As one of the Midwest region's largest food chains offering a full line of groceries, pharmacies, video rental outlets, in-store banking, and florist shops, Schnuck Markets needed a solution that could integrate all of our customer-facing applications into one platform," said Jim Mueller, director of IT for Schnuck Markets, in a statement. "Vertical was a natural fit for us because InstantOffice was designed as a unified platform that consolidates data networking and voice applications. This allows us to track, manage, and optimize voice communications in a flexible, timely way to support our business goals while consolidating the number of vendors typically needed for this type of solution."

Vertical teamed with Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, Inc. on the project. Fujitsu markets and sells Vertical's communications solutions to the retailing industry and has a long-standing relationship with Schnuck Markets.

While Schnuck Markets' previous architecture required separate vendors for the phone system and IVR application, Vertical's InstantOffice solution is integrating the automated prescription refill IVR application, auto attendant, and advanced call-routing solution onto Vertical's one platform. InstantOffice will collect data at the individual store and department level to track the customer experience, reveal and resolve call management problems, and evaluate and maximize the company's enterprise-wide communications infrastructure.

In addition, Schnuck Markets has chosen Vertical's MultiSite Manager and MultiSite Reporter applications to push important configuration changes to all of its stores at once, as well as to simultaneously pull key operational business intelligence, such as call abandon rates and length of hold time.

Schnucks will immediately deploy InstantOffice in 20 stores. The retailer expects to deploy the solution to the rest of the the chain throughout 2006.
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