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Stockley Park, London, 4 October 2001 – Aspect Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:ASPT), the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue, announced today that Surrey Sports Direct, part of the Sky-owned Sports Internet Group, has chosen the Aspect Contact Server for its Harrogate-based contact centre operation. The Aspect solution will enable Surrey Sports to more efficiently and intelligently handle customer contacts via phone or email, so improving agent productivity and enhancing customer service.


Since its acquisition in 1999 by Sports Internet Group, Surrey Sports Direct has evolved and grown from what was a relatively small, regional business – Surrey Racing – into a major, national, direct betting operation.


The key part of this transition was the establishment of a centralised contact centre able to service customer contacts from anywhere in the country and, ultimately, through all media channels from the telephone to the Internet. Renamed Surrey Sports Direct, the company opened its new, 130+ seat contact centre for business in May 2000.


Surrey Sports deputy managing director, Keith Oliver, says, “The Aspect contact centre complements the existing Surrey Sports Web and Wap operations (www.surreysports.co.uk). The contact centre also hosts the very successful, world’s first fully interactive TV betting platform launched in conjunction with BSKYB in December 2000 which is available through the Sky digital text service.”



Surrey Sports Direct receives a steady stream of calls each day, peaking at weekends and for major tournaments and races such as The Grand National and Euro 2000. When required, additional personnel cover is provided in the call centre by liability controllers and supervisors, particularly in the case of specific and/or unusual betting requests.


The Aspect Contact Server will manage all incoming calls to Surrey Sports Direct and intelligently route them through to the first available agent. The agent will receive all details of the bet and delete payment from the customer’s Switch or Delta account. All ‘wins’ are automatically credited to the customer’s account. Comprehensive call reports are generated by the system to give details of call type, volume etc.


Currently a telephone based service, Surrey Sports Direct plans to introduce additional channels of customer communication to include the Internet, email and fax. To enable this multimedia-working, the company will use the Web Interaction and Customer Email components of the Aspect Contact Server software to prioritise, link and integrate all forms of customer communication centrally, whatever their source.


Surrey Sports Direct also plans to make use of the Aspect technology to more intelligently route and prioritise customer contacts. By comparing customer database information with calling numbers, it will be able to categorise customers by, for example, frequency of contact or size of bet and so determine the priority attention that customer should receive.


Surrey Sports Direct is also considering the introduction of more tailored services so that, for instance, customers can immediately get through to place specific bets about specific clubs. This could even see queuing music being tailored to, for instance, play a particular club theme.


Paul Tollan, UK managing director, Aspect Communications, comments, “Here’s another good example of how the Aspect Contact Server can provide a business with a second to none, future-proof solution for current and evolving contact centres where multi channels of communication will form a critical part of a client’s longer term business strategy.”


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About Aspect Communications


Aspect Communications Corporation is the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue. Aspect is the trusted mission-critical partner of 76 percent of the Fortune 50, daily managing more than 3 million customer sales and service professionals worldwide. Aspect is the only company that provides the mission-critical software platform, development environment and applications that seamlessly integrate voice-over-IP, traditional telephony, email, voicemail, Web, fax and wireless business communications, while guaranteeing investment protection in a company’s front office, back office, Internet and telephony infrastructures. Aspect’s leadership in business communications solutions is based on more than 16 years of experience and over 7,600 implementations deployed worldwide. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices around the world as well as an extensive global network of systems integrators, independent software vendors and distribution partners. Aspect’s UK offices are in Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Middlesex and be reached on 0800 ASPECT (i.e. 0800 277328).


For further information, please contact:


Michael Gray/Adrienne Routledge
Gray Associates
Tel: 020 8744 9168
Email: michael@grayassociates.co.uk, or adrienne@grayassociates.co.uk

Stephanie Hazan
Aspect Communications UK Ltd
Tel: 020 8589 1127
Email: Stephanie.hazan@aspect.com



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