Handling the phones for DirecTV used to be a juggling act. Sales agents had to use as many as 13 systems -- toggling between applications, scribbling notes, checking cue cards, punching numbers into handheld calculators -- all while trying please a potential customer.
Keeping those balls in the air affected productivity for a group responsible for half of the $30 billion company's revenue. Working with three outsourced call centers without a consolidated customer record didn't help either.
"If you started the sales process and then hung up to check with your wife, the next time you called in, you'd be routed to a different call center and a different agent and none of that original information would have been captured," says DirecTV CIO Mike Benson.