Monday, January 6, 2014

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo Secures Funding For New VOIP Phone System

Two Local Funders underwrite capacity building project

Like many non-profits, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, tries to maximize its’ limited funding. For years, they struggled with an antiquated phone system because they couldn’t afford the high cost of a new system.
Obtaining funding is especially challenging when it is for a project like a new phone system. Funders like to invest in programs that touch peoples’ lives, like educational or medical projects. This leaves non-profits in a difficult position as they are often left without money to pay for administrative expenses.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) had a phone system that was ten years old, nearing demise. They realized that a new system would not only enhance their technological abilities, it would save them money as well. During the past ten years, technology has produced many features to increase capacity. A local non-profit who implemented a similar new system last year said that their telecommunications costs went down by 26% this year.
A search for funding began. CCCS applied to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Western New York Foundation for a total of $22,000 to purchase and implement a new system.
CCCS announced today that they have received all funding needed to complete this project and both foundations came through with the entire amount.
Significantly, the new system is a VOIP phone system Technology industry analysts herald the next wave of technology as Voice over Internet (VOIP).  Simply put, VOIP is a family of technologies, methodologies, communication protocols, and transmission techniques for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Even more simply—it is using the internet to carry voice communications.
Currently, VoIP reaches 5% of the market. Analysts predict that by 2014 that reach will grow to a whopping 80%.
VOIP providers testify that they help companies upgrade their current phone systems and lower costs—up to 80% savings from traditional providers—and that their systems promote more efficient businesses and improve the ability to offer immediate customer service to customers.
The greatest needs that CCCS has are the need to save time and the need to save $$$. CCCS will save at least $7,500 per year with the elimination of long distance calls, and will save countless hours in making reminder calls for appointments. With the new phone system, CCCS will better serve their customers, save money and maximize time with the VOIP system.
Specifically, the new phone system will help CCCS in four ways:
1.      Increase Profitability
·         Intelligent Incoming Call Flow
·         Conference Call Bridges
·         Automated calls from CCCS-Appointment reminders, etc.
·         Call recording to ensure superior customer service for QI purposes
·         Advertising our services through the hold messages on system
2.      Increase Employee Productivity
·         Monitor all calls for coaching purposes
·         Voicemails received over emails
·         Add more users in queue as calls increase for better customer service
3.      Enhance Customer Service
·         Route inbound call intelligently
·         Provide screen pop ups that correlate with our debt management software
·         Automated inbound and outbound calling
4.      Develop New Business Intelligence
·         Gems buried in the data that reports provide
·         Great ability to track the effectiveness of various marketing services such as web banners, radio, Google, Facebook, etc.
The new system also provides increased efficiency of communications within service areas and between staff, constant accessibility--voicemails available through email, ability to make automated calls (appointment reminder calls), auto attendant capabilities, Call routing, Call Forwarding and On Hold Advertising.
“We thank the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Western New York Foundation for their generous investment,” said Paul C. Atkinson, President & CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo Inc. “By giving us the funding for a new system, they are increasing our capacity to serve our clients. In the end, everyone wins.”
CCCS of Buffalo is a non-profit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and credit repayment assistance to consumers since 1965.  CCCS of Buffalo helps consumers trim expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts.  Counseling is available at our Main Office in West Seneca, in one of our Satellite Offices, by telephone and via Internet.