Thriving skin care company chooses UC Cloud Voice to support growth

Episciences needed a new phone system that could provide the benefits of a cloud solution that would support the company’s future growth and deliver the voice quality of their on-site PBX.

Challenge

Legacy PBX hardware made it difficult for Episciences to adapt and grow to meet evolving needs.

Solution

They migrated their existing PBX system to UC Cloud Voice through a smooth, fully-managed process.

Outcome

UC Cloud Voice has made growth and change easy to manage – including refined call-routing for their customers and employees, improving collaboration, productivity and user experience.

Benefits

  • Service
  • Scalability
  • Savings
  • Support

UC Cloud Voice has made growth and change easy to manage – including refined call-routing for their customers and employees, improving collaboration, productivity and user experience.

Business Challenge

Founded by practicing dermatologist Dr. Carl Thornfeldt in Boise, Idaho in 2002, Episciences Inc. develops and markets the Epionce line of skin care products. Known for their innovative skin barrier repair technology and a unique formula of key botanical ingredients, Epionce has grown at a doubledigit rate since the company’s inception. Bob Thornfeldt, Chief Financial Officer for Episciences has been with the company since its earliest days and oversees operations for the company. In this capacity, Bob is responsible for ensuring that the company has the right systems and technologies in place to scale their business so they can meet future consumer demand.

“For the first several years in business, we had a standard PBX box hosted on site. This worked well enough though it did require a good deal of upkeep and customization as we brought on new employees and started building out the marketing, sales, and customer service teams.”

Bob Thornfeldt, CFO Episciences Inc

Bob recalls, “For the first several years in business, we had a standard PBX box hosted on site. This worked well enough though it did require a good deal of upkeep and customization as we brought on new employees and started building out the marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Sometime back in 2008 or 2009, we recognized that we needed to step into the 21st century and embrace an IP solution that would replace legacy hardware with a more robust and flexible solution to support future consumer demand. Unfortunately, the call quality with many of the VoIP systems that we evaluated were substandard at best and didn’t meet the requirements of our sales and marketing team.”

Bob and his team met with the sales representatives at Allstream who presented the benefits of switching to a Unified Communications (UC) service that would support their needs into the future. As the company’s sales increased, Bob and his team also required reporting capabilities which they could use to better track and drill down into in order to better understand how to improve efficiency with their sales and customer service teams, and ultimately improve the metric that matters most: customer satisfaction.

“One of the biggest pain points with our old PBX system was that every time we needed to make even a small change to the system – something as simple as changing the holiday greeting message – would require us to call our IT consultant and hope they would come by when they said they would. We were growing tired of the expense and hassle of having to do this so it was also important that we chose a solution that would allow us to make system changes ourselves – whether it’s how a certain inbound call is routed or adding and deleting employees to the company directory.”

“The switch over from our old system to the new one was totally flawless with the Allstream team on site. We never even had to shut down the phone system during the transition.”

Bob Thornfeldt, CFO Episciences Inc

Solution

Once Bob and his team decided that Allstream’s UC Cloud Voice was the right fit, they started planning to migrate their existing PBX system. Sales engineers from the local office of Allstream were soon on their way to conduct a site survey to ensure that the Episciences offices were properly equipped for the new system.

Once the migration plan was in place, a trainer from Allstream came into their offices to help employees learn the ins and outs of the new phone models that would be deployed. Bob remembers the day, “The switch over from our old system to the new one was totally flawless. We never even had to shut down the phone system during the transition. I’m currently in the process of migrating all our data to a new server and I can only hope that it goes as smoothly as our phone system upgrade went. We also really appreciated that the Allstream sales engineers came back the next morning to check that everything was working as expected. It was clear that they weren’t going to leave until everything was running smoothly and all of our employees fully understood the new system.”

“Allstream has a high-touch low maintenance UC solution. They’re there when we need them, though we rarely do.”

Bob Thornfeldt, CFO Episciences Inc

Results

Over the past seven years since becoming an Allstream customer, Episciences has grown both in terms of headcount as well as customer base. As their business has expanded across geographies, so have their telephony and data requirements. Since the Allstream UC Cloud Voice service is cloud-based, Episciences has been able to easily customize the service to meet their evolving needs. This has allowed them to tailor the solution to do things like fully customize the way customer service calls are routed and rotated through the system to reduce customer hold times and consequently, resolve issues faster.

Voice quality also remains a top priority for everyone at Episciences. “The quality of our voice calls remains excellent and we haven’t seen any difference between the quality of our cloud-based IP calls versus our old, on-premise PBX system. At the same time, Allstream has enabled us to scale our capacity as needed and have since upgraded our data plan to 100 Mbps. This is especially important for our younger employees who have grown up with the Internet and have little patience for slow connectivity.”

Allstream has proven to provide very responsive support. If an issue comes up or the need for a new solution arises, Episciences knows an expert support person is available to help them. For instance, when employees wanted the option to forward their landline calls to their individual cell phone numbers, the support engineers at Allstream were able to add this capability in a matter of hours. “Phone systems and data connectivity may not be glamorous but they’re critical in terms of enabling us to run our business in a smooth and efficient manner. Allstream has proven to be more than just a vendor but rather a trusted partner that is helping to propel our business forward.”

Benefits

Service

Increased business agility, productivity and superior voice quality from a cloud-based Unified Communications solution that supports the company’s objectives into the future.

Scalability

Prepared for the future with the ability to easily scale as the company adds new employees or experiences higher call volumes.

Savings

Reduced reliance on expensive and unpredictable outside consultants that were needed to make changes to their phone system.

Support

Improved productivity with new reporting and analysis capabilities helping to manage customer service calls.

Other Benefits Include:

  • Reduced customer wait times with streamlined call rotation into the customer service department so customers spend less time on hold.
  • Excellent call quality allows Episciences to answer customer calls confidently.