Growing Manufacturer Reaps Benefits of Avaya Aura UC and Contact Centre Capabilities

Proximity Communications,a multi-award winning Unified Communications and IT Managed Service Provider, has  announced the successful deployment of an Avaya Aura UC and Contact Centre platform at Hillarys Blinds, the leading UK manufacturer of made-to-measure blinds and window coverings. The manufacturer currently takes around 6,000 orders and sells and fits more than 30,000 blinds a week. Delivering superior customer experience is an essential for the company’s long-standing reputation.

Hillarys has over 150 contact centre employees across sales and service departments, as well as a nationwide network of around 1,000 field-based advisors. As consumer behaviour has evolved over time, Hillarys now has to account for an even split between initial customer contact via online and the contact centre. When Hillarys previous voice communications and contact centre systems reached end of life, the company wanted to embrace multichannel, with capabilities to support unified communications, presence and web services integration. Julian Bond, Head of ICT, Hillarys Blinds, explains:

“We wanted a solution that would enable us to effectively integrate and manage multimedia contact. It’s about interacting with customers in the way that they want to be communicated with, whether that be by phone, email, social media or web chat, but at the same time not sacrificing customer experience for the sake of new technology. It had to be the right blend and we needed the right partner, an organisation that was innovative, but also of the appropriate size that meant we mattered to them. Opting for the latest contact centre solution from Avaya, Proximity was able to work closely with us, manage the vendor appropriately, and provide the right level of guidance both during the deployment and on an on-going basis.”

A pre-requisite for the new solution was also the ability to collaborate more effectively with Hillarys’ network of field advisors, based throughout the UK, who are also fed through the contact centre. Bond continues: “The nature of our field advisors’ work meant it was often difficult for the advisor and the contact centre agent to communicate effectively; playing phone tag was prevalent with advisors in and out of customer meetings with their phones switched off. This is where presence comes into its own. Contact centre agents are now able to see when an advisor is available and find the best mode of communication, whether that be a call or instant messaging.”


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The Avaya Contact Centre also boasts features that are helping Hillarys with reporting and marketing campaign analysis, as well as integrating with the company’s CRM database. This has resulted in customers being automatically routed through to the right agent or their team, improving the customer experience and making the contact centre more efficient. The next stage of the project will see further enhancements in integrating advisory tools with the newly developed Hillarys mobile app.

Bond added: “There is no doubt the Avaya Aura UC and Contact Centre platform is a key contributor to our continued growth as an organisation, which is around 20% year-on-year. I’m getting better sales convergence rates through the marketing campaign analysis capabilities, we’re keeping pace with the evolving demands of our customer base and we’re making far more efficient use of our contact centre staff – the solution is an important cog in a well oiled machine.”

Stuart Legg, Sales and Marketing Director, Proximity Communications, concluded: “Hillarys is a forward-thinking organisation which now has a platform for the future it can rely on.  Hillarys Blinds is a great example of a company that is now utilising its traditional strengths through new means. It has found a way of maintaining the superior level of customer experience that it’s known for, and embedding that into the technology that is helping it develop as a business. Proximity looks forward to its on-going collaboration with the company.”