TIME IS CRITICAL AT CALENDARS.COM
A case history of Calendars.com and the Fuze Suite
 
With the Fuze Suite implemented, Calendars.com has the necessary tools for customers and staff to find answers online and for customer care reps to provide prompt, accurate and consistent answers, every time.
 
Calendars.com, an affiliate of Calendar Club, is the world’s largest calendar online retailer. With operations and fulfillment offices in Austin, Texas, Calendars.com brings together the latest Internet technology with inventory of over 5,000 available calendars. 
 
The Challenge. “Since the first customer logged on in 1999, we’ve experienced annual sales increases of more than 50 percent,” said General Manager Hillel Levin. Add to that the seasonal sales fluctuations that compress the majority of calendars sales into a four-month period from October to January.
 
Managing the gamut of customer service inquiries about calendars, orders, shipping, and more became an increasing challenge for Christi Graybill, Calendars.com’s Customer Service Manager, and her team. “We knew we had to automate our email management process to ensure we provided our customers with accurate, consistent and timely responses. We also wanted a system that allowed us to help our customers and staff to help themselves.”
 
The Solution. Fuze Digital Solutions provided just the solution Calendars.com needed.  The Fuze Suite allowed Calendars.com to seamlessly extend a powerful eService suite through its web site with no IT support. The hosted model gave Calendars.com the ability to get up and going quickly using a highly performing environment they can count on to be available 7x24x365.    
 
With just a link, Calendars.com implemented the Fuze Suite’s intuitive knowledge base and
email management system in time for the busy 2004 buying season. “Our customers began using our new Help facility right away, finding the answers they needed without making a call or sending an email,” said Levin. 
 
The Result. From September 1 through December 31, 2004, Calendars.com’s had over a quarter of a million questions answered by the knowledge base with less than 5% needing assistance from staff.  In 2005, for the same period, Calendars.com experienced over 100,000 more knowledge base views, but still had only 5% requiring staff interaction.
 
In fiscal year 2004, Calendars.com experienced an increase in customer service orders of 32% over the previous year, yet call volumes only increased 5%, thanks in part to customers finding answers in the knowledge base and eliminating the need to call with questions.
 
Email volumes also plummeted significantly, dropping 62% from 2003 to 2004. Calendars.com did not have a precise way to manage the average time to respond to emails in 2003, but with the addition of the Fuze Suite, Calendars.com can now easily track in business hours the time to respond, the types of questions asked, the quality of the responses and the inquiry volumes handled per customer care representative. 
 
When customers ask questions online, Calendars.com staff respond by pointing them back to their Web site’s knowledge base of FAQs for answers, as appropriate, thereby reinforcing the value of this support tool but also increasing the chances of customers doing business with them since they’re now on the Calendars.com site. With related links consolidating relevant information in one place, the opportunity for cross-sell and up-sell is just a click away, as well. 
 
In addition to helping customers find answers fast, Calendars.com credits the Fuze Suite with helping control rising staff costs by reducing the call and email volumes which minimize the staff required to manage customer contacts. Assisted service is more efficient with template knowledge base answers, additional routing and escalation capabilities.
 
Seasonal staff are brought up to speed quickly when they access the knowledge base of commonly asked questions. “New staff are trained on the Fuze Suite in less than a couple hours,” said Graybill. “The Fuze Suite is very easy to use for all ages of consumers, corporate customers, staff, and even the novice computer user. When I do have a question, my answer is often found in Fuze’s own online help knowledge base.”  
 
Calendars.com not only provides information in their knowledge base to answer customers’ inquiries over the phone or email, but they also use the same knowledge base to house all promotional, policy, procedural and daily issues for the customer care representatives to reference.
 
Since comprehensive management reports are included in the Fuze Suite, Graybill has saved significant time each month that was previously spent creating contact management reports. 
 
Calendars.com’s Thoughts. “Fuze is a partner we can depend on. We initially chose Fuze for the product’s ease of use, functionality and price, yet we’ve been thoroughly impressed by Fuze’s flexibility and willingness to work with us to ensure their product meets our needs now and as we continue to grow,” said Graybill.
 
 
About Calendars.com www.calendars.com
Founded in 1999, Austin, Texas-based Calendars.com is the largest online calendar store, with more than $10 million in sales and more than 5,000 titles in stock. Calendars.com is an affiliate of Calendar Club LLC, which has become the world's biggest retailer of calendars, selling millions of calendars each year primarily in shopping malls.