With more than 30 years of contact center experience between them, Rod Schwegel and Lori Recker know a thing or two about inbound and outbound contact center services. So when Schwegel and Recker decided to leave a large outsourcing firm to form their own company in 2009, they knew they’d need a contact center platform that would be scalable enough to support the company’s anticipated growth, while providing the functionality needed to meet the requirements of its clients.
Straight Forward, the company that Schwegel and Recker created, provides clients—predominantly Internet, cable, and phone companies—with a blend of inbound and outbound contact center services. Straight Forward interacts directly with its clients’ customers, providing information and advice on a broad range of topics. The company has grown rapidly from three employees to more than 280 in just over two years.
Although Schwegel and Recker had worked with several of their current clients in the past, they needed to convince these companies that Straight Forward had the resources to meet the needs of enterprise companies with large customer bases. As a start-up, Straight Forward was working diligently to prove it could meet its clients’ requirements, but its original contact center platform just wasn’t making the grade.
Their low-cost, turnkey solution wasn’t meeting its customers’ data reporting needs, and it proved to be too rigid when capturing customer information during contact center interactions. Additionally, stability was an issue; Schwegel estimated their old platform was available only about 95 percent of the time. “Downtime really kills service levels and the ability to generate revenue on the outbound side, not to mention a poor customer experience,” he said.