Why Contact Centre Planning Must Take a Business-First Approach

Filed under - Industry Insights,

Rafael Cortes of Foehn shares his advice for contact centre planning, while showcasing the best practices of three different organizations.

All businesses are different. Each has its own set of resources, processes and challenges. Understanding these unique challenges is vital to contact centre design and deployment because it’s these idiosyncrasies that differentiate the customer experience and, ultimately, deliver competitive advantage.

The criticality of business requirements in contact centre planning is often underestimated. Vendors offer the APIs and technical skills to accommodate bespoke requirements.

Equally, business managers know what the company needs. However, bringing the two together, across the IT-business boundary, is not so easy.

Creating a cohesive, business-led contact centre strategy needs input from all stakeholders and, above all, it needs experience.

At Foehn, our professional services team has nearly 20 years’ experience of understanding business challenges and mapping contact centre functionality around requirements.

Arguably, it’s the most important part of our implementation service. The range of challenges is vast but, in every case, their impact on system performance and return on investment is critical.

Here are a few client stories, taken from recent Foehn projects, that demonstrate typical business challenges faced by the modern contact centre.


FirstCare provides absence management services for large UK private and public sector employers.

Besides supporting employee well-being with its unique 24/7/365 nurse-led service, its online portal enables clients to analyse and benchmark absence trends within their business, increasing productivity and driving down risk and cost.

To support its goals and maintain its market-leading position, FirstCare embarked on a digital transformation programme aimed at redesigning the service ‘from the ground up’.

This entailed maintaining all-important standards whilst building growth and improving productivity. The sensitive nature of user data and communications demands the highest levels of quality throughout the service.

To this end, FirstCare’s systems are ISO-accredited for information security, business continuity and quality assurance.

Other challenges focused on dealing with exceptional peaks and troughs in call volumes. For example, Monday accounts for 25% of weekly calls, while 44% of daily calls arrive in the three hours between 6:30am and 9:30am. The system needed to meet FirstCare’s stringent answer speeds on a 24/7/365 basis.

Service targets required integration of FirstCare’s CRM system with both the service platform and the contact centre, to provide a more agile response to client queries. This put more control into the hands of service users and system administration managers.

With improved contact centre capabilities, shorter, simpler tasks could be moved from the customer support and service teams and managed more effectively through the contact centre team.

The new Purecloud system combined voice and screen recordings, halving the time required for quality audits. Automated scheduling and notifications made the nurse call-back process more efficient and enhanced nurse resourcing.

Administration of scheduling was cut, contact centre occupancy increased and, by integrating the CRM, advisor productivity and user productivity were increased.

For the full First Care case study, click here!


Kiwi is an online travel agency with one simple aim – to revolutionize global travel by making it simple and accessible to everyone.

Over a short period of six years, Kiwi has grown rapidly into an organization of 1500 employees based across the world. With revenues growing at an astonishing rate of 25% per annum, Kiwi was named the fastest-growing technology company in Central Europe by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Central Europe during 2017

The immediate challenge required improved customer support skills in the quest for first-contact resolution and efficiency gains. The task was made complex by the wide choice of airlines and numerous destinations available to customers and, consequently, the vast range of different customer interactions faced by the agent.

Fundamental to this task was the need for performance reporting and data analytics. The legacy platform had difficulties in tracking essential metrics such as average handling time, cycle time, agent productivity and customer response data.

Our PureCloud solution allowed all of this information, and more, to be accessed easily and presented simply in a single report on a daily basis.

Additional real-time data lets managers pull reports and monitor performance instantly, at any time of day, without relying on analysts to provide support. This means team managers can reconfigure contact centre features, such as queuing, call routing and IVR, to suit changing requirements and fine-tune performance.

New data analytics measure agent performance and their strengths, for the purpose of skilled-based routing. By connecting the system’s smart IVR capability with agents skilled in given areas, customers can be directed to the agent with the specific knowledge and experience to deal with their call.

In addition to improved queue management and a better customer experience, this delivers significant improvements in agent performance and productivity.

For the full Kiwi.com case study, click here!

Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL)

Established in 1999, BPL is a not-for-profit, charitable trust managed by an independent board of trustees. The business provides affordable, value-for-money, sport and leisure facilities for a region across Barnsley. Income from activities are reinvested back into the business to develop facilities. A digital transformation programme was implemented to help members of the community connect more easily with BPL.

Specifically, new investment was allocated to replace the legacy PBX with a new unified communications system and modern contact centre capabilities. PBX functionality was lacking, reliability was declining, failures were increasing and, with the ageing systems out of warranty, maintenance and call-out costs were escalating.

Furthermore, the legacy system was running on data and voice network connections from a number of different providers, leading to operational inefficiency, uncompetitive pricing and disputes over technical issues.

Support was reliant on a single individual, with knowledge of the system, working for a third-party service provider. Lack of that person’s availability on occasions meant that downtime was becoming more frequent, placing the call centre and customer experience at risk.

With over 400 calls a day going through the contact centre, the risk of lost sales and cancellations was significant.

Quantifying the impact of downtime and other inefficiencies was difficult given the limitations in performance measurement and reporting capabilities of the system.

Call metrics, such as duration and waiting time, were very basic and did little to provide insights on performance improvement.

Implementation of Foehn’s cloud contact centre system, VoxivoCX, addressed these issues, delivering improved sales performance and protection of brand reputation whilst cutting the cost of system maintenance and administration time.

The new system also mitigated the risk of downtime, improved system service levels and ensured business continuity.

For the full BPL case study, click here!

In Summary

Customer experience, brand values, customer loyalty, consumer insights – all top priorities amongst successful businesses today and all governed by the contact centre.

With such a central role in the organization and its objectives, the contact centre has to be synchronized with the workings of business as a whole.

A new contact centre isn’t just a better replacement. It’s the opportunity to reshape operations around the company’s most important asset – the customer. And that starts with a sound business case.

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 16th Aug 2019 - Last modified: 21st Aug 2019
Read more about - Industry Insights,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

A picture of a cloths rail
Do Retailers Need to Rethink Their Approach to Customer Experience?
jargon definition
Contact Centre Jargon and Terminologies
A picture of a happy agent speaking with a headset
First Call Resolution: The Power of Getting It Right the First Time
Why a ‘Voice-First’ Approach Is Key to Your Customer Experience Strategy