Allstate Insurance

Nationally Recognized Insurance Firm With Multiple Offices Wins Major Productivity Gains With Zultys IP PBX

“In a challenging economy, technology should be acquired if it makes you money or saves you money. I’m happy to report that Zultys has achieved both these and their solutions have greatly benefitted my business. I am very pleased with our
Zultys system.”

Mark Tucker

Insurance Agent/Owner
Allstate Insurance

Profile

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  • Hickory Creek, TX headquarters and two branch offices
  • Metro-wide clients
  • Seamless connectivity across the organization required including centralized receptionist functions
  • Scores of users

The Customer

Founded in 1931, the Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America. The company is widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate ®” slogan. In 2013, Allstate was number 92 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in America.Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home and life) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. At year-end 2013, Allstate had nearly 12,000 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the United States and Canada.

The Challenge

An Allstate premier financial professional, insurance agent/owner Mark Tucker was concerned about the stability and quality of its aging, patchwork phone system.  While he wanted to preserve the investment already made in the phone system, he also realized that the current system would not be able to support his growing business requirements. Several challenges with office communications were identified including:

  • Juggling operations and communications at three different offices impeded responsiveness and quality of customer service;
  • Customer expectations moved forward while the deployed solution did not; and
  • System responsiveness was unacceptable.
“Effective communications with our customers is crucial for business success,” said Mark Tucker, Agent/Owner of Allstate Insurance. “It became evident that a change to our infrastructure was necessary to drive better client satisfaction.”  He added, “Our customers were also becoming increasingly savvy so the expectation that their insurance firm would also leverage the best advanced communication technology was huge. We had a list of goals to accomplish which included preserving exiting analog equipment from multiple vendors, migrating to a single platform with new capabilities that could unite our offices and field staff work together as a single team, enhancing our inbound call center operations to boost customer service and save money. That was a tall order.”

Multiple technology alternatives were evaluated with the company deciding to adopt a VoIP system to increase productivity, decrease costs and improve communications. The new system would offer robust Unified Communications (UC) capabilities, flexible applications and services and lay a solid foundation for adding future services to benefit the business.

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The Solution

Allstate Insurance Agent/Owner Mark Tucker worked closely with ROI Telephony, a telecommunications reseller in Dallas, TX, to outline the Zultys solution. Along with desktop phones, one MX250 IP PBX was installed in the primary Hickory Creek, TX headquarters office and two MX30 IP PBX’s were placed in service in each of their remote offices in Denton, TX and Lewisville, TX.

“After exploring a number of options, I chose to standardize my operations on the Zultys “all-in-one” IP solution,” said Tucker. “Zultys delivered solutions that were over-and-above what they’d promised, and at a very competitive price point. Furthermore, the phone system was easy to install and I can administer it without requiring much third party outside help.  The Zultys solution also helped me to maintain the investment in my existing phone system — I didn’t have to do a “rip and replace” to start benefitting from Zultys’ VoIP and UC system. Zultys is the link that effectively linked together all of my offices.”

The company secured licenses for MXIE™ (the Zultys Unified Communications Client), fax, ICC, call record and other features. Allstate also migrated much of its incoming/outgoing fax services to its Zultys IP Phone Systems. The phone systems were grouped together into an MXnetwork configuration, providing complete company-wide UC including extension dialing, presence and chat services.

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According to Mr. Tucker, “I’m not alone when I say that I was very skeptical about a desktop client claiming to make things easier with a click of a mouse button. Now I wouldn’t be without it. It uses the same address book I was using, it allows me to drag names onto the screen and my desktop phone rings with the desired party. The desktop client supports instant messaging, allows me to make conference calls as easy as dragging members on the desktop and provides the presence of all of my staff (available, on a call, working, back soon etc.).”

The Impact

Enabling all the office locations to collaborate and communicate together more effectively has helped Mark Tucker’s Allstate Insurance business to realize significant productivity gains, improve customer service and reduce/eliminate costs including long distance fees using Zultys’ solution.  Other key features, functions and benefits the new Zultys system has delivered includes:

Centralized receptionist

– With VoIP, the linked phone systems connect all offices seamlessly and transparently so only one receptionist is needed for all locations. One centralized receptionist increases business efficiency and reduces costs. Because the receptionist knows which office the caller is calling, she’s able to provide a ‘local voice’ and personalized service to every caller.

Voicemail

– Voicemail can be accessed from anywhere and is delivered on the desk phone, PC or attached to an email. Voicemails can even be forwarded as easy as emails to anyone inside or outside the company.

Call recording

– On a daily basis, calls to the office, both inbound and outbound, are recorded. Call recordings can be delivered to the desktop as soon as the call has ended. This has improved the company’s quality control and brought about consistent delivery and problem resolution.

Inbound call center

– Whether a customer needs the claims department, sales or another service, inbound call center capability is easy

Remote access

– VoIP helps to project the appearance that agents are located in the office.  IP phones can be easily relocated around the office or be moved to the home.  With remote access, calls can be placed and received anywhere providing significant return on investment for the company. Agents working from home mean less commuting, and more time spent with clients.  It also means less office expense, less office space, less real estate and better connectivity since everyone has the ability to cascade a call from a home phone to an IP phone to a mobile phone or ring them all at the same time.

Productivity

– The Zultys solution provides a desktop client that helps agents to be more productive, efficient and communicate better across offices.

Reports

– Reporting tracks all calls (inbound or outbound) so the company can coach agents how to improve sales activities.

Full fax support

– The built-in fax server allows agents to send and receive faxes from anywhere to any telephony device as well as the desktop client. Faxes can even be automatically routed to email. This help eliminate additional paper, toner, ink, waste and time spent waiting.

Call reporting

– With call detail reporting, the company can assign a different phone number for a campaign (i.e. Yellow Pages) and then run the reports to assess the success of that campaign.

Reliability

– The Zultys phone system duplicates everything and has battery backup so if something should fail the system doesn’t go down.

Multiple Hickory Creek, TX offices were connected together in a seamless UC system using MXnetwork in a peer-to-peer architecture that provided service and survivability.