Liquid Voice, a highly respected enterprise call recording and contact centre solutions specialist has been working with Spelthorne Borough Council as part of a transformative telephony project that has drastically reduced call volumes, increased responsiveness of contact centre staff and reduced costs through better staff utilisation and reduction in expensive third party service contracts.
Serving a community of around 90,000 citizens within the county of Surrey, Spelthorne Borough Council has for the last few years enacted a programme to improve its customer services functions to make it easier to engage with the council and reduce costs through efficiency savings.
One area identified as offering potential for improvement was its telephone contact centre which along with a merger of its revenue collection and customer service departments offered an opportunity to deliver an integrated service along with new telephony technology to improve accessibility for the public.
With an initial contact centre volume of over 200,000 calls a year, a low 70% resolution rate and a higher than desired abandonment rate of 14%; for the first phase, Spelthorne brought in Liquid Voice to help deliver an IP based call recording and Automatic Call Distribution system to replace the legacy system. This would create a foundation for more innovative call management processes and enable new features such as call shadowing along with more visibility on call duration, completion and other trends to help with staff allocation and training.
For the next phase, Liquid Voice delivered a seamless integration with Spelthorne’s Civica CRM system along with enhanced CTI to help automatically route calls based on the callers’ preference while giving contact centre staff much faster access to relevant information.
For the third phase, Liquid Voice enabled automated call routing based on CTI to better direct calls, for example customers with outstanding debts, directed automatically to a small number specially trained debt recovery staff. This change allows more effective debt recovery and is due to go live at the end of October 2015.
Also within this phase, Liquid Voice delivered a set of features to meet the Borough’s new disaster recovery and business continuity guidelines which allows remote activation of call handling, messaging and redirection in the event of an incident such as a site evacuation or regional issue such as flooding.
“In our work with Liquid Voice over the last 2 years, the major improvements to the telephony system have been instrumental to the transformative projects that have helped to improve customer services for the citizens while reducing costs for the borough,” explains Linda Norman, Head of Customer Services for Spelthorne Borough Council.
Linda points to some key statistics including a reduction in call volumes by 30%, an abandonment rate slashed to less than 7%, with a resolution rate of over 95%. In addition, over 80% of calls are now answered within 5 rings, “The improvements in the systems means we no longer have to use third party “out of hours” and “queue buster” services or replace staff lost through retirement which combined equates to savings of over £30 thousand pounds each year.”
“Liquid Voice were simply fantastic to work with and listened to what we needed and provided suggestions and improvement along the way,” adds Linda, “The next phase is about finding out what the public think and we will be running surveys and benchmarking our processes with the aim of finding ways to get better and make more savings which is always the goal for the borough council.”