By Candy Mizer
The United Kingdom’s South Gloucestershire Council was created in 1996 as part of the country’s plan for the organization of local government. It was formed from the previous districts of Kingswood and Northavon and part of the former County of Avon. As a unitary authority, it now provides all the services that in other places are operated by separate district and county councils.
The Challenge: To obtain advice from the council, the public had to call many different numbers to reach contacts for similar services. This process was not only inconvenient for callers but also inefficient for the council.
The Situation: The council recognized that their customer service could be improved by offering themed contact centers where the same telephone number is used to reach agents handling calls that fall under a certain category umbrella. In turn, the public could then call just one telephone number for similar services.
The Results: After evaluating a number of products, the council made their final selection based on performance, value, ease of use, and support. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities of the selected system offer a large range of menu welcome messages and options designed specifically to match callers to a specific department based on business needs. Using skills-based routing, the caller is directed to the most qualified agent based on the caller’s answers to prior IVR questions.
Therefore, a combination of automated attendant and live agents are used in conjunction with call recording for both business efficiency and advisor training purposes. “The reporting facility gives us a pattern of calls throughout the day and enables us to use our help desk advisors more effectively,” explained Janet Faire, finance and support services manager at South Gloucestershire Council. “The reporting function is also used to assist help desk advisors to obtain their National Vocational Qualifications.”
With fifty-five current contact center agents, the Council is looking to expand over the next few years and is in the process of having all inbound calls handled through the system. Future implementation activities include the extension of call handling to all Council email traffic, as well as the integration to Microsoft CRM.
Customer Reviews: “The Teltronics solution has helped us become more efficient, enabling us to dramatically increase our call answer rate from 25 percent to 85 percent,” explained Brian Goalby, contact center project manager. “Replacing switchboard operator services, the goal is to direct a single caller to the appropriate person in a timely fashion.”
Candy Mizer is the director of marketing communications at Teltronics and provider of the OMNIWorks solution.
[From Connection Magazine – May 2010]