Communication and Financial Services

    As a ShoreTel user, I think the best thing about our distributed Unified Communications (UC) solution is that it's fun to use. Whether I'm at my desk using my Personal Communications Manager to dial someone from my Outlook directory, or on the go and using Office Anywhere to make any phone in the world my office phone, I have extraordinary control over how I reach people and how they can reach me.

    As a company relying on a ShoreTel UC system for its communications, we recognize how profoundly the system has transformed the way our customers do business. We have been able to easily integrate communications and business processes, which in turn has helped us be more productive and collaborate more effectively, offer better customer service, and reduce operational costs. With that in mind, we recently developed a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis tool that enables our resellers to help their customers quickly calculate the TCO of maintaining their current communications system, and to compare those costs of ShoreTel and other competitive offerings. I encourage you to check in with any of our resellers who can help prepare a customized TCO analysis for your organization.

    In the current economic environment, one industry that is benefiting significantly from cost savings and improved customer service is the financial services industry - regional banks, credit unions, brokerages and insurance companies that are facing tough times. As credit becomes increasingly tight and customers find themselves financially strapped, these institutions are under tremendous pressure to cut costs while retaining existing customers and attracting new customers - all without the resources to launch expensive and uncertain initiatives. Clearly, improving operational efficiency to help lower costs, and delivering excellent customer service to help reduce customer churn are top priorities. ShoreTel's UC solution enables financial institutions to meet these challenges with a broad array of flexible communications options previously unavailable with traditional telephony systems. For example, regional banks of all sizes can cost-effectively centralize customer inquiries at a call center, or easily establish one if a call center doesn’t already exist. Alabama's CB&S Bank implemented a ShoreTel UC system to centralize communications for its 40 locations and more than 300 employees. With the new ShoreTel UC system, the bank now has an easy-to-manage, centralized call center that routes calls made to any branch to the next available call center staff member, eliminating the need for a receptionist at each location. Customers and prospective customers have just one number to dial to quickly get the help or answers they need--greatly improving customer service and satisfaction. The bank is also saving significant time and money through the simplified, browser-based management of the system, while lowest-cost routing enables the bank to avoid phone toll charges.

    Georgia-based Darby Bank & Trust Company has also unified its 10 locations-seven branches along with mortgage, loan administration and operations offices-with a ShoreTel UC system. Today, the bank is saving close to $3,000 each month in long distance charges while eliminating expensive labor costs for moves, adds, and changes, which are easily done by a network administrator. The ability to easily connect callers with the right employee at any branch has significantly enhanced customer service and integration with Outlook helps employees work more efficiently.

    Many banks are also taking advantage of the latest technologies to appeal to new audiences with services such as text messaging, account information alerts and self-service interactive voice response (IVR).

    Financial institutions will likely feel economic pressure for some time to come, but the ShoreTel UC system offers a very practical and easy-to-implement solution to integrate communications and business processes in order to help reduce costs and improve customer service. By fundamentally enhancing the way banks communicate, both internally and with customers, ShoreTel is helping these financial institutions thrive despite their challenges.