Automated, secure payments plus omnichannel solutions bring huge benefits


Industry: Retail Employees: 585 Turnover: £117.3 million

Business: Ideal Shopping takes a multi-channel approach to TV and web retailing. They sell general merchandise for home and garden.

Challenge: To manage the huge peaks in call volumes generated from TV and web promotion of its products. Simultaneously they sought to enhance the customer experience with Web Chat.

Solution: EckohPAY for automated self-service payments and PCI DSS compliance plus effective call distribution, IVR plus Web Chat


  • Increase of £1.8m in sales from Web Chat and reduced basket abandonment
  • Reduced agent handling time through automated identification & verification
  • Differentiation from the competition.


Ideal Shopping (Ideal) provides a personal, informative, and convenient home shopping retail experience with a distinct personality, via their digital television shopping channels and websites. They sell a range of general merchandise; everything from products for the home and garden, to kitchen and technology goods, through to health and beauty and craft buys.

They operate two contact centers in Mumbai and Manilla with 150 agents. The contact center manages significant peaks in demand, depending on the popularity of the items sold on the TV and web.


Ideal sought to make it easier for their customers to order by improving the telephone ordering process. They wanted customer-friendly ways to offer online and offline channels as well as automate, route, and manage incoming calls and orders.

The growing popularity of online channels meant Ideal wanted to offer an omnichannel approach to offering the customer's channel of choice, remain competitive and meet customer experience expectations.

Key objectives:

  • Achieve even call distribution between contact centers and IVR
  • Identify and verify repeat customers effectively and securely
  • Secure customer payments and achieve Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance
  • Embrace Web Chat for faster responses to inquiries without adding to call volumes.


A multichannel to omnichannel journey.

Together we've made a real difference in omnichannel customer engagement, embracing online and offline channels. By building our Multichannel customer engagement journey over the years we've created a mutually beneficial omnichannel experience with a positive impact on customers and sales.

Finding the solutions to challenges has led Ideal to embrace what technology can do to improve the customer and agent experience. Simultaneously, Eckoh's technology expertise and innovation creates and delivers both multi and omnichannel solutions that meet Ideal's needs and maintain their sector-leading position.

Automated secure payments - EckohPAY is a self-service solution that lets customers make secure payments whenever convenient to them, over the phone, mobile app, and web. It's PCI DSS compliant providing customer reassurance that their data is protected.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Orderline and Customer Service Line
The service provides inbound telephony including advanced speech recognition and interactive voice response (IVR). This simplifies the product ordering process and improves customer service.

The service is fully integrated with Ideal's database ensuring that up-to-date information on products, stock levels, and membership details are available. When 100% of agents are busy, all calls switch to the automated scalable service.

The Customer Service line identifies and verifies customers and gives them personalized options based on their order/purchase history, such as product tracking and delivery information, and tracking a refund.

Virtual Automatic Call Distribution (VACD)
Eckoh provides a system that gives Ideal the ability to overflow and queue calls between the two contact centers and overflow to the Eckoh IVR when all agents are on calls and unavailable. The UK customer services team can monitor progress through a real-time wallboard.

Omnichannel engagement
As well as inbound telephone calls, Eckoh has provided a solution for agents to engage with customers through Web Chat and Social Media. This will deflect calls from the contact center when semi-complex inquiries can be handled online.

Future proofing engagement
Ideal can add additional engagement solutions whenever they need them via the Eckoh Experience Portal, providing simple and continuous evolution of customer experience tools.


Improved customer experience

Web Chat appears on Ideal's login and basket pages delivering an end-to-end service without hindering the customer journey. It's been a success with customers, has supported complex promotions, and captured feedback to improve the experience. It's user-friendly for agents too, quickly becoming embedded in the contact centers. With Web Chat supporting login and basket inquiries, other agents can handle complex or personal customer interactions.

Boosted sales
Web Chat has boosted sales revenue by £1.8 million net sales in 2018 as well as reducing basket abandonment.

Providing any time, secure payments, and a smooth customer journey seeks to exceed their customers' expectations - differentiating Ideal from their competitors and increasing customer loyalty.

Always open
Automated payment lets customers make payments 24x7x365, increasing revenue, improving CX, and providing differentiation from competitors.

Handle more inquiries
The Orderline and Serviceline take over 1.5 million calls per year, enabling customers to fulfill orders and requests without using phone or email.

Sharing the workload
The VACD system provides an even call distribution over Ideal's two contact centers and IVR so all contact centers and agents are properly utilized and at peak call times, calls overflow to the IVR. Crucially, no sales are lost. Callers are routed correctly and answered quickly. No calls are lost, and callers are routed correctly.

Reduced agent handling times
Automated identification and verification reduced agent handling time by an incredible 1.5 minutes per customer. It's cheaper to operate per minute than a human agent and has saved time and money. As a result, agents can now spend more time securing sales through outbound calls e.g. offering customers alternatives for out-of-stock items, and extended warranties on certain products.

In addition, existing customers now benefit from a more personalized and quicker caller experience. Automated responses are tailored to their past purchase history meaning the system can predict their reason for calling. Owing to the accuracy of this system, customer call length is vastly reduced.

Personalized customer experience
Automated responses pick up customer purchase histories meaning the system can predict their reason for calling - reducing customer call length.

Risk reduction
Secure payment solutions make achieving PCI DSS easier and contribute to GDPR compliance and minimizing risk to the businesses.

Key outcomes...

  • 56% conversion rate from Web Chat to order, resulting in £1.8million additional revenue
  • 80% of callers using the IVR successfully make a purchase or have their queries resolved (The remaining 20% are not able to be handled by the IVR or Agent due to query type)
  • 70% of customer service calls completed ID&V before being routed to an agent
  • 280,000 orders per year are made through the IVR and chat
  • 1.5-minute reduction in agent handling time per customer

Looking Forward

As a solution unique to Eckoh, we recognize that this example is likely a challenge many other enterprise organizations struggle with when they begin tackling payment security within their contact centers. Some organizations may even feel like their only option is to either deploy hardware on-premise – likely disrupting long-term cloud transformation strategies – or only achieve partial PCI DSS de-scoping.

As a result, the methodology innovated for The Client is now part of the Eckoh architecture. In fact, multiple other clients have also taken advantage of this solution, allowing them to maintain their existing telephony architecture while maintaining the strictest possible standard for payment security.

To learn more about how Eckoh secures payments across all engagement channels, please contact one of our trusted advisors.

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