Transportation and logistics company Ryder has many moving parts: It handles large-scale logistics and supply chain solutions for corporate customers. Through 800 U.S. locations, the company also sells used commercial vehicles and offers truck rentals and maintenance services.
Customer service has always been a core tenet of Ryder’s digital transformation journey. But that is easier said than done, said David Bartos, the company’s senior telecom manager.
From Legacy Systems to UCaaS
Customer service hinges on communication, and Ryder locations needed an upgrade in this department, Bartos said. The legacy private branch exchange (PBX) infrastructure meant that customers couldn’t always get through to the right agents on time or without having to navigate a maze of options. Additionally, PBX systems tethered employees to the office, meaning that if an agent was on the road, the handoff process to reconnect with the customer could be time-consuming and complicated. To top it off, the legacy systems were expensive to repair and maintain.
Looking for a reboot, Ryder decided to implement a unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering that would provide mobility so agents could answer calls even on the go. The unified communications system also needed to provide omnichannel support (emails, phone messages, etc.) through one platform, simplifying the workflow for agents so they can focus on the customer. Ryder realized that a cloud-based service would allow for scale and likely be easier to maintain than its legacy systems.
With these requirements in mind, Ryder floated requests for proposal for a UCaaS provider.
Implementing RingCentral Services
Ryder selected RingCentral’s MVP (message, video, phone) offering for a cloud-based communications system. The 800 agency offices are in the process of moving off their PBX systems – 260 branches have converted as of November 2022.
Agents in the used-vehicle division can download the RingCentral mobile app on their phones so they can make and receive calls seamlessly while on the road. “What’s nice is that [agents] can cover more geographic areas and also be a lot more up to date with the inventory in multiple [locations], not just their own,” Bartos said. He noted that the mobile app has led to better customer service and faster sales turnaround. “[Agents] can actually drive up to a truck while the customer is on the phone.”
Agents in the freight management division work with the RingCentral app on Ryder desktop computers. “Agents receive an email to their corporate account with login credentials, and they’re up and running in a matter of minutes as opposed to days or weeks,” Bartos explained.
With RingCentral’s help, Ryder set up automated greetings and phone menus that routes a caller directly to an agent or service team at specific branch sites. Workflow has been simplified also, as agents can access the services online and retrieve phone messages and emails all through a central platform.
A CCaaS Solution, Too
Buoyed by the successful implementation of RingCentral’s UCaaS offering, Ryder decided to address communications challenges in another business area: its Last Mile division that handles white-glove deliveries for consumers.
Ryder’s legacy platform failed to deliver reliable service and was due for an expensive upgrade. Outages across the country had disrupted services with Ryder’s toll-free number, which was a problem because Ryder promises seamless service for customers who dial the central hotline. Also, connectivity between locations used older technology, which would be subject to rate increase. RingCentral contact center as a service (CCaaS) solved these issues at a better monthly recurring charge.
The on-premises legacy platform comprised physical hardware connected by expensive MPLS/SIP circuits. This was replaced with hard or soft phones running on a broadband connection that was already in place. “The cost was minimal compared to what we were facing in upgrading the legacy platform,” Bartos said.
Prior to using RingCentral CCaaS, accessing relevant information about the customer had been a manual process. “Agents had to copy the customer number or other information, then go into Salesforce and type that in there,” Bartos explained. “Sometimes, you end up asking for the same information over and over again, frustrating the customer.”
The RingCentral Contact Center voice-over-internet offering enabled the 180 agents in the division to work remotely and take calls from customers and drivers using just a headset and a computer. The system integrates with Salesforce, which lets agents quickly retrieve customer profiles.
It took Ryder Last Mile agents time to get used to the centralized platform for email and phone. They were used to attending to emails in Outlook. Emails now go into a queue just like phone calls and then get assigned to agents. If an agent doesn’t respond swiftly enough, the email gets pulled and reassigned to another.
Whether companies adopt UCaaS or CCaaS, the investment will eventually pay off, Bartos said. “In the long run, there’s a ton of efficiencies and cost-savings in moving from an on-premises PBX system to the cloud,” he said.
In addition, the transition to cloud-based services can eliminate pain points associated with traditional hardware. Bartos noted that companies no longer must pay for hardware equipment that can fail and take down communication systems. “The voice-over-IP platform has fewer choke points than traditional methods,” he adds.
The onus of maintenance in UCaaS lies on the providers, he added.
And when customer service is everything, reliability is key. “If a Ryder truck is broken down on the side of the road in the middle of winter and the driver calls the 800 number, that driver needs somebody to answer the phone and help,” Bartos said.
“It sounds simple enough, but we all know how much of a challenge that can be if you don’t have the right platform in place,” he explained. Fortunately, the RingCentral services have helped Ryder keep the wheels of commerce turning.