Since its first flight between Boston and Provincetown in 1989, Cape Air has provided year-round service to destinations worldwide. The airline serves 36 destinations across the Northeast, the Midwest, Eastern Montana, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.
Reduction in duplicate calls
Calls per day handled seamlessly
System message updates
8×8’s usability has been very, very enjoyable. We can make quick adjustments to the call flows or audio prompts in about 30 seconds and deploy them instantly.
Thomas Rocharz, Director of Contact Centers, Cape Air
Customer service is a core component of Cape Air’s operations. The company runs two contact centers in parallel. Its internal-facing help desk serves airport staff, ramp agents, customer supervisors, and others to help them troubleshoot equipment and system issues that may be impacting passenger onboarding, ticket processing, or baggage issues. With an all-remote team and 50 to 100 calls per day, efficient call handling is critical, even more so when issues can cause delayed flights and other major business disruptions.
Cape Air’s customer-facing contact center focuses on passengers calling in to book tickets, change or cancel reservations, check on lost baggage, or various other customer concerns. The team handles anywhere from 300 to 500 calls per day, and agents work in Cape Air’s city ticket offices or remotely from home.
The Challenge: Replacing an old system at its end of life
In 2006, Cape Air implemented an on-premises Toshiba communications system. It was the early days of voice over IP, and the company hosted its own VoIP service on top of the physical hardware. By 2021, the system had reached its end of life, and Toshiba no longer released improvements or provided support. When Cape Air needed to add or replace parts and phones, the IT team had to search on eBay because the supply chain had dissolved. At one point, they couldn’t even buy new licenses.
It was clearly time for a solution with a future. “We realized that the days of having a piece of hardware in the building were over,” says Lon Gifford, Head of Procurement at Cape Air. “It made sense to move everything to the cloud.”
Essentially, Cape Air had two big technology needs: a new contact center and a new phone system. They were prepared to look for two vendors if they couldn’t find both in the same solution.
ARG, helped the team evaluate a number of solutions by documenting requirements and taking them through the IT clarity process and creating an independent analysis of the considered vendors. “What set 8×8 apart was the superior contact center, CRM integration, robust SLA, and easy phone experience—all on the same platform,” recalls Brett Stone, Senior Manager of Network Ops at Cape Air.
The Solution: An all-in-one contact center and phone system
In April 2022, Cape Air rolled out 8×8 Work across its global workforce and 8×8 Contact Center for both agent teams. “It was fairly easy to deploy 8×8 in our environment,” says Stone, “and it really just worked out of the box. We were very happy with it.”
Initial feedback was overwhelmingly positive. “The voice quality overall is extraordinarily better on 8×8 than it was on Toshiba,” says Stone. “People immediately noticed that their conversations sounded so much better.” 8×8 also provided features that the company had never enjoyed before, such as the softphone interface for desktop and the mobile app that allowed people to take calls on the go.
Another important feature has been 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams. Cape Air has Teams connected to the Polycom phones in its conference rooms, and with the integration of Teams and 8×8, employees are able to run meetings seamlessly using the familiar tools that they use at their desks.
On the contact center side, agents adapted quickly to the system and found it easy to use. “The barge, monitor, and whisper functions in particular have received continuous praise from our agents,” says Thomas Rocharz, Director of Contact Centers at Cape Air. “It’s been especially helpful in training our newer agents.”
For managers, configuring the system has been easy. Rocharz says, “I would say that 8×8’s usability has been very, very enjoyable. We can make quick adjustments to the call flows or audio prompts in about 30 seconds and deploy them instantly.”
8×8’s data-driven capabilities have also been invaluable. 8×8 Analytics enables Cape Air to access and search an incredible amount of data to help improve operations. Quality Management has a robust repository of data that has been instrumental in customer issue resolution. 8×8’s third-party integrations make it quick and easy to pull that data into the team’s CRM system.
The Benefits: High-quality customer and employee experience
8×8 has transformed communications for everyone at Cape Air. Stone says, “We can tell right away that there are 8×8 data centers around the world, and our calls connect to the closest one instead of all the way back to our HQ. This means that the call quality is much better: clear, smooth, and uninterrupted.” He also enjoys greater peace of mind knowing that Cape Air is running a modern solution that is continuously upgraded and supported. “It’s actually a pleasure to know that we have someone to reach out for support when we need it.”
Access to call data and analytics has enabled the company to optimize contact center operations. “We have been able to analyze the data and note any appreciable changes based on adjustments that we’ve made to the system,” says Rocharz. As a result, they’ve been able to reduce the number of duplicate calls from customers by 90% by adjusting the audio prompts callback flows on the fly without the need for IT assistance. “We’re better able to keep customers who are on hold informed about when they can receive a callback, as well as deliver other timely updates from the business.” And in a fast-paced industry like air travel, timely information is sometimes the best form of customer service.
“We can tell right away that there are 8×8 data centers around the world, and our calls connect to the closest one instead of all the way back to our HQ. This means that the call quality is much better: clear, smooth, and uninterrupted.”
Brett Stone, Senior Manager of Network Operations, Cape Air