Improve call handling, future proof and save costs
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s ageing contact centre software and channel manager system was costly and unable to keep up with the current demands. It could not provide the functionality to handle multichannel interactions. The Council couldn’t deliver against their programme of transformation with this system.
Blackburn DBC wanted to offer an improved level of customer experience across the Council. Of course, at the same time, they must reduce costs. Their new contact centre software must:
- support their roll out of Skype for Business
- future proof the council for at least 5 years
- deliver immediate productivity benefits
- grow with the council’s evolving needs
- support their journey towards omnichannel contact centre software
How can interactive voice response help?
After a detailed procurement process, Blackburn DBC chose to purchase the Liberty Converse solution with modules for email and web chat. This powerful combination provides a cost effective way to replace their existing systems. It offers the full functionality to meet their current requirements, plus the flexibility to grow their systems over the next few years.
With Converse, the Council has effective call handling, using automated call routing which helps to smooth out daily peaks and troughs.
The ‘general enquiries’ helpline received in excess of 600 call per day. Many of these calls were ‘low value’ – they could be handled by an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. By delivering seamless routing of calls using the Interactive Voice Response the council could save £60,000 per year – the equivalent of 2 or 3 full time staff. It also freed staff to focus on the ‘higher value’, more complex calls.
Automated call routing delivers time savings and improved experience
During local elections the contact centre was inundated with enquiries like “How do I register to vote?” and “Where is my local polling station?”. Using a combination of Interactive Voice Response and voice forms, the system captured relevant information allowing the Blackburn DBC to:
- automated call routing for 65% of calls
- deliver a 75% time saving
- reduce call abandonment rates from 20% to just under 5%
- decrease average waiting time by more than half
- meet 100% of service delivery measures
- achieve zero customer complaints.
Small teams that deliver front-line services were using basic Microsoft Lync response groups to handle customer enquiries. Blackburn DBC found that Converse offered solution to handle all of their phone calls, providing messaging facilities, Interactive Voice Responses, comfort prompts and out of hour’s treatments.
With Converse in pay, Blackburn DBC could manage all of their customer contacts to the same standards available via the contact centre. Approximately 50% of the Converse system users within Blackburn DBC now sit outside of the contact centre.
“Liberty Converse’s multi-media channel manager has allowed the Council to meet the digital demands of our customers. It provides an application that allows us to manage interactions, by whatever media, in a consistent and corporate manner. The solution has also provided us with some ‘Wow’ moments when we found functionality that we didn’t know was available to us.”
— Ross McQueen Customer Services Manager
What’s next for the Council?
Blackburn DBC now plan to implement web chat on their Council Tax helpline website. They forecast 30% of calls received during daily peak periods can be ‘channel shifted’. They estimate that agents will be able to handle up to four web chat sessions at a time. This should enable the Council to answer more questions in a shorter time. This builds improved customer satisfaction.
The success of using Converse for Interactive Voice Response is spreading across Blackburn DBC. After successful deployment in a new leisure centre, the Council is looking at a roll out across three other leisure centres in the area.
Learn more about Liberty Converse.