Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager)

World-Class Experience in Multichannel Contact Center Case Study

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Hilti Corporation implemented Unified Contact Center and E-Mail Interaction Manager to merge voice, fax, and email contacts.


Hilti Corporation develops, produces, and sells innovative services and solutions for the global construction industry. Headquartered in Schaan, Principality of Liechtenstein, the company employs approximately 20,000 people in more than 120 countries.

A fair portion of the 200,000 daily customer interactions are handled by the customer service agents. “Part of the Hilti brand is high-quality customer service; we strive to create Hilti fans,” says Tobias Roelz, head of IT Client and Communications Technology for Hilti. The company measures success by how quickly customers connect to a specialized agent, and how often the agent can meet the customer’s needs without having to transfer the call.

But assessing contact center performance was difficult, because each location operated independently, with its own infrastructure, business processes, and key performance indicators (KPIs). In addition, email and fax interactions, a growing portion of all interactions, were not included in measurements of contact center performance. “To increase agent productivity and optimize the customer experience, we wanted to consolidate to one global contact center platform with a consistent set of processes and performance metrics,” says Frank Jensen, telecommunications engineer with Hilti. “We also wanted to provide the same high-quality experience regardless of whether customers called, faxed, or emailed, routing all contacts to an agent with the appropriate trade or industry expertise.”

Creating a global contact center platform is part of a larger initiative for Hilti to centralize global IT operations. Earlier, the IT team had consolidated to a global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.


Hilti is meeting its goals with Cisco® Customer Collaboration solutions, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, and Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager. “We needed a strategic contact center platform, so Cisco’s business stability is important to us,” says Wolfgang Speckle, telecommunications engineer. “And using the same vendor for the network, unified communications, and contact center simplifies support and makes it easier to keep adding new capabilities to increase customer satisfaction and agent productivity.”

Cisco E-Mail Interaction Manager enables Hilti to integrate email and fax interactions into the contact center, routing them to the appropriate agents along with phone calls, and including them in performance reports along with telephone calls. “Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager enables our contact center not just to be a call center and takes into account the variety of ways our customers want to interact with Hilti,” Roelz says.

At Hilti Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager retrieves emails and faxes from Microsoft Exchange and routes each to the available agent with the right language or industry expertise. When call volume is light, assigned agents receive email and fax orders. After initial challenges with the setup of the system in the area of performance and stability on a global level, optimization steps have been and are still being currently executed in order to improve the Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager further.

The company decided to begin with the 11 locations and has deployed the contact center in more than 30 countries. HP, a Cisco partner, assisted the Hilti IT team with the planning and deployment of the contact center platform. Cisco Services also periodically provides an expert network health assessment to make sure that the design and performance continue to meet business needs. “It’s important to get a health check from a third party, not the same team that designed or operates the system,” Jensen says. “The health check is helping us optimize resources and improve stability, and we keep getting better and better.”

When a customer calls, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (CVP) looks up the calling number in the ERP system to locate the customer trade. Cisco CVP treats incoming calls at the most efficient location, and then routes the call to an agent with the appropriate language, industry, and trade skills, such as interior finishing or steel and metal. Target wait time for a live agent to answer the call is less than 10 seconds. The agent receives a screen pop with the customer’s history along with the call, saving time for the customer as well as the agent by making it unnecessary to ask for and enter the customer name.

Hilti also takes advantage of other Cisco collaboration applications to increase productivity. For example, certain mobile executives are using Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, which provides a single interface for a softphone, voicemail, and other collaboration applications. “It’s helpful to be able to bring your local phone number with you anywhere in the world, and to easily join conferences,” says Jensen.


Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Consolidating global contact centers on a common contact center platform enables Hilti to accurately compare performance for contact centers and individual agents, helping to identify needed training and staffing changes. Managers refer to real-time and historical reports to assess overall contact center performance and individual agent performance for all types of interactions: phone, email, and fax. “Contact center performance has improved, because everyone strives to meet the same set of KPIs, and we have a way to measure them,” says Speckle. Those KPIs include:

   Service level: 90/10 (answering 90 percent of calls within 10 seconds)

   Abandonment rate: less than 5 percent

   Agent productivity increase: 5 percent, with agents handling 70 customer contacts a day

   Hit rate: 60 percent (rate of successful customer lookups)

   Average talk time: less than 2.5 minutes

“The combination of faster response time and skills-based routing creates an excellent user experience, contributing to Hilti’s reputation for quality,” says Speckle. In addition, customer service managers now have the facts to benchmark their team’s fulfilment of service levels and performance.

Support for Revenue Growth

Routing customers to an agent specializing in their trade or industry strengthens Hilti’s reputation as experts and also increases the likelihood the agent can upsell or cross-sell tools that meet customer needs. In addition, agents are five percent more productive, on average, thanks to the integration between Cisco Unified Contact Center and the ERP system. “And since everyone is measured against the same KPIs, there is accountability and healthy competition among the offices,” says Jensen.

Another factor contributing to increased revenues is that different customer service organizations can exchange best practices, because they share a common platform and processes. One new idea, for example, is to search for customers who have been inactive, and place these contacts in the queue for contact center agents to call during low times.

Simplified Support

Finally, support is simpler than it was when each country made arrangements with its own vendor. In addition, a Cisco SMARTnet® contract provides a service-level agreement for replacement parts and access to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

Next Steps

The Cisco contact center platform is already operating in Hilti offices in North and South America, most of Europe, and about half of the Asia contact centers. Also, in the Middle East offices, the global contact center platform has been implemented, and Hilti expects to complete nearly all offices by the middle of 2012. At that time, Hilti plans to take advantage of new capabilities. “Cisco Unified Contact Center gives us the foundation to add new forms of interactions we need for our customer service, like chat, video telephony, and social media,” Roelz says. Plans under consideration include:

   Implementing Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager, so that customers visiting Hilti’s website can simply click a “Contact Me” button to receive a call back from an agent, initiate an online chat, or both

   Using Cisco SocialMiner to automatically find comments and questions about Hilti products on Facebook or Twitter, routing them to agents to respond in the same medium when call volume is light

   Adding video to the contact center so that customers can, for example, share video captured at a job site to help the agent recommend the best tool

Technical Implementation

Before the contact center project, Hilti replaced the existing IP telephony systems in the contact centers with Cisco Unified Communications Manager. The company currently has 4700 Cisco Unified IP Phones.

For More Information

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To find out more about Cisco Customer Collaboration solutions, visit:

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