Categories: Cloud Phone System

Why Rent-A-Center went all-in on cloud calling

When it’s time to make that big purchase you’ve been planning—the new laptop, larger couch, or that glossy TV—Rent-A-Center knows that it’s not enough for the product to be amazing. The customer experience throughout the entire process needs to be excellent as well.

As one of America’s largest rent-to-own companies, Rent-A-Center prides itself on cultivating strong customer relationships and delivering great service. When customers call, there’s no room for interruptions.

However, the Rent-A-Center team had a myriad of communication and collaboration solutions to manage, which frequently caused challenges and made it difficult to provide a top-notch experience for every customer.

“We had a patchwork quilt of services and providers,” said Roger Travis, Rent-A-Center’s Executive Director of IT Operations. “We had a lot of outages that would take days or longer to resolve. We were working with multiple service providers to get restoration of the services.”

It was time for a change.

The team needed a single, standard business phone solution to keep them connected with customers and coworkers across their offices and more than 2,400 stores—one that they could easily manage from a central point.

Enter Webex Calling with Cisco UCM Cloud.

Empowering a retail leader with cloud calling

Rent-A-Center saw Webex Calling’s potential to streamline their communications, providing them with a reliable solution that was sophisticated enough to meet their complex communication requirements.

In just two months, the team migrated their more than 14,000 phones to Webex Calling and quickly started seeing the benefits.

The rent-to-own leader gives their more than one million customers access to big-ticket items, like furniture, appliances, and electronics via flexible rental plans, with the option to own the item when they’re ready.

As a result, Rent-A-Center’s communication needs go well beyond those of a traditional retail company.

“We need the ability to meet our customers wherever, however, whenever they’re ready to transact with us,” said Erik Sabadie, Rent-A-Center’s VP of Enterprise Technology. “We’re not a traditional retail, once-and-done checkout experience. Our customers enter into an agreement with us and then we service that agreement and them over the course of the agreement’s lifetime.”

They also wanted a scalable solution that could handle peak seasons, like Black Friday, as well as keep their hybrid workforce connected across thousands of offices and stores.

“If we take away the guesswork of how we communicate as an organization, it allows us to spend more time with our customers and really focus on what’s important to them, driving that greater value inside the stores,” said Mike Santimaw, SVP and CIO at Rent-A-Center.

With Webex, Rent-A-Center was able to deliver on all these goals.

Transforming communication with a unified solution

Regardless of where they’re working, all of Rent-A-Center’s more than 14,000 employees now have a consistent calling experience and can easily connect from any device. They can also leverage Webex’s host of sophisticated collaboration features, like automatic background noise removal, meeting transcriptions, intelligent video conferencing, team messaging, screen sharing, and digital whiteboarding.

With one cloud calling solution that’s scalable and simple to manage, the Rent-A-Center team has significantly decreased the costly management time and inefficiencies that defined their previous patchwork of communication solutions. They can instantly make necessary changes, such as forwarding lines or adding new phone numbers.

Additionally, their number of phone-related issues dropped dramatically, eliminating expensive downtime and potential loss of business. They now have more capacity to focus on innovating and serving their customers.

“Communication should be an enabler and not a hindrance,” Sabadie said. “Going to a centralized, cloud-based platform, over a traditional POTS voice infrastructure was huge. This allows us to make changes rapidly and centrally, instead of the age-old POTS provider that required us to place an order and wait for days, or weeks before it’s fulfilled.”

To learn more about Rent-A-Center’s cloud transformation, see this previous blog. Make sure to also explore our Call plans today to see how Webex can take your company’s collaboration to the next level.

Learn more

How to take your phone system to the cloud for hybrid

12 reasons to replace your SMB’s phone system with a cloud calling solution

Why transition to cloud calling? Tips for scaling team communication in the hybrid workplace

Published by
David Leach

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