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For more information contact:
Jennifer Peacor (206) 298-3185
SEATTLE -- November 18, 1997
a computer-based telephony system created to provide customers increased flexibility and service options when calling customer service. Customers may now choose to use the automated attendant or speak directly to a customer service representative (CSR). Either way, they will receive rapid, personalized responses to their questions and needs when calling customer service.

At the heart of CUSTOMER FIRST is a software program developed by Airborne system specialists. Based on Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), it immediately utilizes data provided by the phone company and matches it with customer information Airborne has stored on a database. When the call is received, Airborne automatically knows who the customer is and their account information.

"On average, 160,000 customers call Airborne every day," said Gary Reynolds, Airborne vice president of customer service. "CUSTOMER FIRST will dramatically enhance our ability to respond to their needs quickly, accurately, and personally."

CUSTOMER FIRST allows customers to reach a CSR at any time during their call without working though an automated menu maze. When a customer chooses to speak to a CSR, their account information automatically follows the call to the CSRs screen customer information literally "pops-up." Data transfer capabilities eliminates the need for customers to repeat details of their account and inquiry to a CSR.

"The customer has a choice with CUSTOMER FIRST," said Maureen Shea, Airborne systems analyst, "They can use the automated attendant when it is more convenient, or talk to a CSR whenever they need to. Its all about people using the technology, instead of the other way around."

CUSTOMER FIRST can actually predict problems before they happen. For instance, if a customer schedules a pickup too late in the day for a driver to reach their office, the system will automatically note the conflict and transfer the call to a CSR, who can suggest a nearby drop box or arrange for an alternative pickup.

After its initial launch in the Phoenix area, CUSTOMER FIRST will expand to Airborne service centers in Tampa, Florida and Alexandria, Virginia. Over the next two years, it will be integrated into 11 regions, nationwide. "The underlying beauty of this technology is it will allow us to better serve our customers in a one-on-one manner," said Reynolds.

For more than 50 years, Airborne Express has served shipping needs of business customers around the world. Today, Airborne offers total distribution solutions by providing time-sensitive delivery of documents, letters, small packages, and freight to virtually every U.S. ZIP code and more than 200 countries. Customers can select from a variety of services including same-day, next-morning, next-afternoon or second-day delivery, ocean service, and logistics management.


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