Brewery Streamlines Call Center, Targets Employees

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Anheuser-Busch will update its call center system this month -- not for consumers, but for the hundreds of thousands of employees who work for the Fortune 500 company. Foundation Technologies' Beneflex system will enable employees to get answers to their questions faster, a move that will increase efficiency overall for the call center, which receives 8,000 to 10,000 calls a month.

Agents will have more time to answer calls, said Kelly Lattanzi, a spokeswoman for Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis. The corporation has more than 150 benefit plans that will be incorporated into the Beneflex system.

"Prior to this, we relied heavily on paper dissemination, which was very inefficient; it took a long time to get answers to questions," she said.

Human resources operators will be able to give employees customized information by entering their social security numbers into the system, said Larry Kerzner, vice president of business development and marketing for Foundation Technologies.

Agents, as well, will have the information they need at their workstations, with a link to the Anheuser-Busch Intranet, which will provide answers to many of their questions. In addition, they will not have to confirm every answer with a supervisor.

The software is linked to a "database warehouse" that enables the system to identify which plans an employee has enrolled in and highlights these plans for the agent. The system also provides a tracking record for the call. The time it takes for the representative to take the call, find the answer to the question in the database and respond to the caller is recorded.

"It is suited to a large multisited company like Anheuser-Busch, as the administration of the company's human resources and benefits programs continue to become much more complex," said Tod Loofbourrow, CEO of Foundation Technologies. "We are excited to contribute to Anheuser-Busch's efforts to enhance its ability to communicate with its work force."

Calls to the benefit service representatives range in topics from health maintenance organizations to changes in benefits to accommodate marriages, births and other familial changes.

The Beneflex system also works within the CustomerQ, a help desk application created by Quintus Corp., Cary, NC. This allows Anheuser-Busch's representatives to easily capture, store and retrieve data.

"The combination of Beneflex and CustomerQ offers Anheuser-Busch a cost effective, highly efficient way of handling benefits and other related inquiries," said Alan Anderson, president/CEO of Quintus Corp.

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