Wandsworth Borough Council
slashes transactional costs with virtual agent

Read the full case study

The challenge

Wandsworth Borough Council aimed to capitalise on its existing direct debit hotline number by providing an extended 24x7, user friendly service to meet customer needs and ensure calls were not abandoned. Cost savings were also necessary to reduce its reliance on temporary staff.

Project outcomes

  • The virtual agent has helped to reduce transactional costs by a significant 86.6% - a year one saving of more than £100,000
  • Within 11 months of implementation, the project paid for itself, saving 8.5 man-hours per day
  • Instant reporting facilities for management to monitor solution performance.

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The solution

A 'virtual agent' was introduced into the Council from a speech recognition system, answering telephone calls into the direct debit hotline. The solution combines speech recognition with the phone keypad, thus ensuring confidentiality and data security. Accounts can be updated in ‘real-time’ ensuring the system is fully self-sufficient from start to finish.

The result

There was an immediate improvement; the debit take-up increased by more than 40% over the prior period. The virtual agent handles an average of 170 daily calls which allows the team in the council tax department to focus on more important and complex tasks, and the direct debit setup requires little management.

“Results and customer feedback have been very positive...with no one rating the system less than four out of five.”

Download Wandsworth Council's full case study

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