RealTime IT News

Sprint Expands Business With Bloomingdale's Parent

Expanding a previous working relationship, Sprint will provide call center infrastructure and support for "Bloomingdale's By Mail" business.

Specifics of the multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal were not disclosed.

Bloomingdale's parent, Federated Department Stores, has been using Sprint's high-speed data, audio conferencing and international voice services for more than a year, a Sprint spokeswoman said.

"Given our close relationship, Sprint was the logical choice to provide our call center solutions as we looked for a partner who has the same strong commitment to customer service that we do," said Larry Lewark, a Federated group president.

Under the new pact, the Overland Park, Kansas-based telecom will provide voice services, including dynamic routing to handle calls through the 800 number, prioritizing based on volume, time of day/week/year and the caller's phone number. The system should also improve billing and quality service, the companies said.

Gary Linsin, a Sprint vice president, said the project will streamline the retailer's call center operations. Call centers, while an important component of retailers' businesses, can be expensive to operate. Companies are looking at ways to trim costs, from negotiating better service agreements to encouraging customers to use self-help sections of their Web sites.

Increased business with an existing customer is a vote of confidence for Sprint. Federated, with offices in Cincinnati and New York, has sales of $15.6 billion and operated more than 460 stores in 34 states.