Using Balto’s Real-Time Guidance platform to its full potential enables EO Media Group to represent 12 publications without outsourcing to a third-party contact center

The Challenge

To implement an efficient communication system for contact center agents, leaving more time for a proactive outbound sales and retention strategy

Contact centers and newspapers don’t typically go hand in hand. Media organizations tend to rely on third-party providers for outsourcing inbound and outbound communication. However, EO Media Group pursued more effective and affordable sales and retention by establishing an in-house contact center in 2018.

EO Media Group is a midsized newspaper company based in Salem, Oregon, with local publications throughout Oregon and Washington, serviced by one contact center. That means agents field questions for 12 different newspapers, requiring a massive database of information.

Shannon Arlint, EO Media Group’s Call Center Manager, shared, “I struggled a little bit before Balto to get my agents the information they needed and get it to them right then and there.”

The contact center intended to handle both inbound and outbound communication with a relatively small team of six. But, when researching a massive amount of publication-specific information, inbound calls were averaging five minutes, leaving no time for outbound sales and retention.

So, EO Media Group focused on four areas of improvement:

  • Lack of instantly accessible information
  • Lengthy call times
  • Frequent requests for managerial assistance
  • Limited opportunities for outbound revenue-generating communication

The Solution

Agent independence through Balto’s Real-Time Guidance platform with an information database and instant prompts

While EO Media Group identified multiple challenges, they all point to one primary objective – efficiency through agent empowerment, achieved using Balto’s Agent and Coaching apps.

Immediate Information Access and Coaching Tips: Balto’s Real-Time Guidance provides agents with on-the-spot coaching and information using artificial intelligence (AI) and customized EO Media Group playbooks.

For example, if an agent handles a call regarding the Hermiston Herald, the AI picks up on “Hermiston Herald” as the trigger. Then it focuses on that newspaper with custom scripting and responses.

Coaching, Improvement, and Empowerment: Arlint relies on different Real-Time tools as the Call Center Manager. Balto’s Real-Time Coaching always listens, alerting Shannon when her expertise is needed, freeing her to focus on other responsibilities.

Additionally, with Real-Time QA (Quality Assurance), a custom per-call ranking system identifies areas for improvement. In EO Media Group’s case, attention to quality assurance led to significantly reduced call times.

“It’s not just the listening part of Balto that’s a huge time saver for myself and my lead…. it’s also housing the information in a quick access point for agents and Balto being this slender little strip on the side of their screen — beautiful!”

Shannon Arlint, Call Center Manager, EO Media Group

Key Results

Three-minute decrease in average call longevity and 95% fewer managerial assistance requests

Initially, EO Media Group’s agents were apprehensive about Real-Time Guidance. However, using it to its full potential has empowered the team with information and independence. With helpful cues and suggestions on the side of the screen, agents can quickly answer questions for any publication, and the trickle-down effects are apparent.

  • Average call time reduced from five to two minutes
  • Daily requests for managerial assistance from 15-20 per agent to an average of five combined
  • Time for daily outbound revenue-generating retention and sales calls
  • Increased call volume with fewer agents
  • No need to outsource to a third-party contact center
  • Effortless integration with TCN (softphone)

Faster calls and fewer escalations have allowed the team more time to be proactive and more productive. The last few hours of each day are now dedicated to alternative playbooks — sales and retention. EO Media Group’s contact center has not only elevated its level of service for inbound calls but is now actively producing income.

“Even though I’m low on agents right now, in the past few months my team has actually been able to make outbound sales calls with the current staff…. That’s a huge, huge metric for us! ‘Hey, my department does make money.'”

Shannon Arlint, Call Center Manager, EO Media Group

Break Records in Just 45 Days

See immediate results with lightning-fast installation and onboarding. Scale excellent conversations with Real-Time Guidance.