Case Study: Scaling Citizen Support During a Crisis


Scaling up concept with cylinders

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There’s no doubt that the pandemic brought with it a phenomenal amount of pressure for customer service teams. People needed advice more than ever before on personal finance, insurance, medical care, well-being – the list goes on.

Time was especially crucial for teams providing essential services and support.

In other words, every minute had the potential to make a life-changing difference, particularly for areas of government like the Department of Health and Social Care. As a major outsourced contact centre provider for this government department, Sitel Group needed to make service more efficient to help as many citizens as possible.

How exactly did Sitel Group set out to achieve this? The team knew they needed to connect all the systems that customer service agents used. To do this, they sought out the support of RingCentral’s Professional Services team.

But before we explain the clever development stuff, let’s start at the beginning. What did the agent experience look like before Sitel Group and RingCentral made any changes?

Switching Between Apps for One Task Alone

As you’d expect, the Department of Health and Social Care operates an inbound and outbound service for citizens.

This was no different during the most pressing times of the pandemic. When it came to outbound operations, agents made calls with a solid understanding of the person they were calling, thanks to the web page tool (named CTAS) created by the UK Government.

Any customer service agent needs to understand their customer, but this is even more important in government services due to the sensitive nature of the conversations.

While CTAS gave agents access to the citizen information they needed, the process of calling was particularly manual. So much so that agents had to switch between multiple windows for each call.

What Did One Call Look Like?

  1. CTAS identified and pulled up details of a citizen for the agent to call.
  2. The agent viewed information about the citizen (including the number to dial).
  3. The agent memorized the phone number.
  4. The agent switched to the RingCentral desktop app for Chrome to manually dial the number.
  5. The agent switched back to CTAS to refer to any information about the citizen during the call. All of this for one call. Can you imagine the to and fro for 1,000s of calls?

How Did RingCentral Help Sitel Group Make Positive Change?

The End of Endless Switching

RingCentral improved Sitel Group’s existing workflow applications using RingCentral Embeddable. For background, RingCentral Embeddable is a web widget that allows you to quickly build workflows with message, video and phone capabilities with a single line of code.

How exactly did RingCentral do this? The team set up an integration that enabled CTAS to determine when an agent should make the next phone call.

In other words, rather than an agent flipping to the RingCentral MVP desktop app to make a call, the RingCentral team made the dialler part of CTAS. This meant agents no longer needed to move between windows and applications.

“This freed up our agents to have more meaningful conversations with citizens – which meant we also delivered a better experience for our clients.” Ian Conduit, Sales Director, Sitel Group.

Creating an Automated and Scalable Environment

RingCentral added a number of custom features and automation to CTAS. What did this mean in practice? Once an agent wrapped up a call, a 30-second timer appeared on the CTAS window. The agent could take more time to write up case notes by clicking an ‘extend wrap-up’ button.

If the agent didn’t extend the wrap-up time, CTAS automatically dialled the next citizen and pulled up their information.

The government department also required features that enabled agents to identify types of breaks. For example, giving agents options like ‘meeting with manager’ or ‘lunch’ to click on the screen.

Something to bear in mind is that all contact centre agents were working remotely and using their own devices so everything had to be rolled out virtually. Therefore, it was essential that onboarding was as simple as possible, easy to scale and highly secure.

RingCentral made this possible by building the embedded phone capability as a Chrome Extension just for Sitel Group. Sitel Group installed this extension across all devices within the Amazon Workspaces remote managed desktop.

All of this significantly impacted things like productivity and the citizen experience.

“When your support operation generates 15 million minutes of calls per month, and you can use automation, integrations, and other elements of your contact centre software to save agents a few minutes per call, that can add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds saved.” Steve Rafferty, Head of International Sales, RingCentral.

These integrations also generated more data for reporting dashboards.

Insight on a Whole Other Level

Sitel Group already pulled some data (e.g. the number of calls) into the Department of Health and Social Care reporting dashboards. But the new features and integrations RingCentral introduced (such as the ‘extend wrap-up’ button) meant more data.

The RingCentral and Sitel Group teams worked together to bring all of this data into bespoke dashboards. In a nutshell, this meant the government department had more insight than ever before in one place. The government used this insight to see where agents needed more support and training.

The Cogs That Power the Machine

There are many moving parts to everything RingCentral and Sitel Group built to support the Department of Health and Social Care. While RingCentral has over 300 out-the-box integrations and a comprehensive app gallery, the features we covered highlight the open nature of the RingCentral Platform APIs that developers can use to create bespoke solutions.

As John Celoria, Senior Enterprise Engineer at RingCentral, points out, “If you have a development team and want to build something like we did for Sitel Group, you can. The RingCentral Embeddable code is open source to the world.”

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of RingCentral – View the original post

To find out more about RingCentral, visit their website.

Published On: 1st Mar 2022 - Last modified: 2nd Mar 2022
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