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IP Telephony Gamble Pays Off For Global Cash Access

Nevada-based credit-checking company says installing new IP capabilities led to a 63 percent decline in agent-handled calls, a similar decrease in call waiting time, and a projected $600,000 first-year cost

In only six months after installing an new IP capability on the back end, Global Cash Access, a Las Vegas-Nev.-based company that provides credit checks for local casinos, saw a 63 percent decline in agent-handled calls, a similar decrease in call waiting time, projected a $600,000 cost savings in the first year as well as improved customer service and expects even more benefits in the future as the IP functionality is extended more to the front end.

The casinos were counting on Global Cash Access to provide credit primarily for high rollers, or "whales" in industry parlance. These gamblers often rely on credit to make large wagers, which the casinos want them to make, but only if they are good credit risks. So they call Global Cash Access to learn if these gamblers have outstanding markers at other casinos.

Casinos relied on Global Cash Access increasingly over the last several years to provide credit information on gamblers, both via the company's credit database and through connecting callers to other casinos that may not have yet reported recent outstanding debts for high rollers. While that was good for business, the growing call volume was overloading the existing IVR, according to Ted Brandes, Global Cash Access telecom manager. "We needed to improve our service levels; they weren't acceptable for our clients. We were looking for a contact center rather than just a call center."

The company also wanted to reduce the calls that live agents needed to handle. More than 60 percent of those calls were from casinos that needed to be transferred to other casinos to check on a high roller's current credit status.

So the company wanted to be able to handle voice and e-mail communications through one system rather than two separate ones. But any upgrade was going to be done in separate steps, so the first piece of equipment, had to work with both new IP and legacy analog front-end equipment.

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