Swift community response to Covid-19, thanks to agility of Intellicom’s hosted Contact Centre solution

Hosted call centre and call routing provided by Intellicom

Swift community response to Covid-19, thanks to agility of Intellicom’s hosted Contact Centre solution

Intellicom have deployed a hosted call centre solution with advanced call routing in less than 48 hours for local authority, Offaly County Council. Our team needed to provide a cloud-hosted contact centre fully operational for 25 remote workers, allowing all agents work from different locations. Moreover, the contact centre required a dedicated helpline freephone number for the citizens of the county.

 

Business Challenge

 

 Like many towns and cities around the country, Offaly’s citizens and businesses were hit hard when the first national lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus was announced in mid-March, 2020.

With little notice from the authorities, county councils were given the unenviable task of co-ordinating assistance for their inhabitants.

The council convened a community response forum, and quickly identified the need for a telephone helpline to assist with, in particular, vulnerable groups within the community.

While online information was going to play a pivotal role, older members of society would be very much dependent on telephony services to ask questions, get assistance in relation to food and medication deliveries and reach out for other forms of help where required.

SPEED was of the essence.

 

“The brief at the time was that a lot of people were going to be working remotely. So, the CRM had to be cloud-based and the telephony service had to be cloud-based also.”

Ray Bell, Head of Information Systems, Offaly County Council.

 

Solution

A hosted call centre solution with advanced call routing deployed in less than 48 hours.

 

ON SATURDAY, 28th MARCH, 2020, the team at Intellicom received a call from Ray Bell, the head of Information Systems with Offaly County Council, who needed to deploy a contact centre with a dedicated helpline number for the citizens of the county.

BY LUNCHTIME ON MONDAY, 30th MARCH, a cloud-hosted contact centre was fully operational for 25 remote workers, quite a feat with deployment completed in less than 48 hours.

A dedicated freephone number was assigned; 1800 818181. This number represented a happy coincidence in that 1981 was the year that Offaly first won the all Ireland hurling championship and so is a very memorable number for the people in the county.

The Intellicom team worked through the weekend, using a proven project management methodology to build, configure and deploy the system in the quickest possible time. This blueprint for project success addresses all stakeholders and has been finely tuned over many years of managing similar deployments across multiple industry sectors. Having said that, we have never been faced with such a mission-critical operation where every minute had such an acute impact on certain vulnerable sections of the midlands community.

Intune offers a feature-rich, scalable and flexible contact centre telephony solution with a simple licensing model. The service was divided up into four pods of six agents, each working from a different location. All agents were equipped with a soft client or app on a laptop and a headset, which the Intellicom procurement team managed to source, despite severe product shortages worldwide.

Distributed call queuing across a number of remote locations allows efficient handling of calls with average wait times kept to a minimum.

Assignment of a freephone number for the campaign and configuration of caller ID in case callers were disconnected.

Message recording could be done in-house by county council staff, without the need to raise support tickets.

 

“I wanted the system to be able to manage calls, have queues and offer all the functionality you’d expect from a modern contact centre solution. That’s exactly what we got.” 

Ray Bell, Head of Information Systems, Offaly County Council.

 

 

Benefits

 

Call CenterSwift deployment with remote teleworking capability and advanced call reporting.

How do you measure the benefit of a calming voice on the other end of the telephone line? How can you quantify the effect a helpline has when an elderly or immunocompromised person is dependent on it for food or medication?

Our telephony service, delivered through Offaly County Council, has provided a real lifeline for the community and its timely deployment and consistent, reliable operational status has kept the community connected at the most basic level, since the start of the Covid crisis.

The flexibility of our architecture recognised the unique circumstances of Covid-19, which required most of the agents to work from home.

The Intellicom Intune service is built for a distributed workforce and seamlessly queued calls and managed them effectively, as long as the agent had an internet connection and had downloaded Communicator, the Intellicom soft client.

This ‘anytime, anywhere’ connectivity was invaluable.

 

Advanced call reporting

A combination of powerful real-time and historic call reporting, allows Ray Bell and his team to streamline calls. This helps to monitor agent productivity, boost overall call handling and also significantly reduces call waiting times and call abandon rates.

It was also central to the decision to pivot the helpline to include local businesses, providing information to commercial companies on the raft of business supports available to assist them during this difficult time.

By assigning a new telephone number, the contact centre now provides two discreet services, to citizens and businesses in the county.

 

“The system worked really, really well. And at the time, it was very important to have that memorable telephone number for people. The key to it was the speed with which Intellicom set up the system. It was just so easy.”

Ray Bell, Head of Information Systems, Offaly County Council.

 

Future

 

The beauty of Intellicom’s hosted telephony platform is its flexibility. Ray Bell and his team can decide to spin up the service for other functions within the council when required. Social media, email and messaging can also be integrated to provide the county’s inhabitants with a choice of communication channel when interacting with their local authority.

 

“One of the benefits we see as an organisation is, if we need to set up a call centre again, in response to a weather event for example, we can basically start it up, get people logged on and get it going again very quickly.”

Ray Bell, Head of Information Systems, Offaly County Council.

 

About Offaly County Council

 

Offaly County Council is the local authority responsible for the county of Offaly and its population of approx 77,000 people.

The authority provides a range of services to citizens and businesses including housing, environment, emergency and fire services, business support and enterprise development.

With almost 9,000 persons aged 65 years and older, the impact of Covid-19 was felt strongly throughout the county but the authority pulled together a variety of community stakeholders including the HSE, An Garda Siochana, SVP, Civil Defence and other voluntary organisations to deal effectively and successfully with the crisis.