Connect Helps Utility Maintain Customer Service During Pandemic

Connect Helps Utility Maintain Customer Service During Pandemic.

Communications partner Connect is helping one of the UK’s largest utilities respond swiftly to the service challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connect is working to replace the utility’s legacy contact centre with a flexible, feature-rich cloud contact centre that enables the customer service team to work as normal from their homes. The solution offers a far lower cost option than enabling home working on the on-premise platform and provides the basis for future CX transformation and innovation.

The project began during the first lockdown when the utility discovered to its frustration that its existing on-premise solution could not enable full home working for the whole team. As a result, it had to de-prioritise less critical queries and implement stopgap arrangements for staff that ensured their health and safety. While this was acceptable for the very short term, the company knew it needed a more agile, longer term option – which, thanks to its solutions-focused approach, Connect was able to deliver quickly.

Connect’s team worked closely and swiftly with the utility to understand the essential requirements of its contact centre operations – with compliance a key factor – and the limitations of the current platform. The team helped the utility carry out a full assessment and provided consultancy to evaluate and compare various industry leading Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. Based on this, Connect recommended a Genesys Cloud solution that could be deployed at speed and meet all those requirements.

Comprehensive functionality for home working

Using Genesys Cloud, the utility’s 450 agents can work freely from home, using intuitive browser-based apps and absolutely no on-premise equipment – meaning minimal training has been required. This is supported by intelligent call routing and contextualisation functionality that means the utility can personalise every call.

The chosen solution also offers comprehensive real-time and historical reporting capabilities and has been configured to interact seamlessly with the utilities company’s CMS and billing systems for overall operational management and control. Initially, it is being rolled out for inbound and outbound voice communication, but there are plans to expand into other digital communication channels, and also offer self-service and automation.

A platform for digital transformation

This is one of several planned developments for the solution, which will help accelerate the utility’s digital transformation and deliver a true omnichannel capability. The utility is looking at using the platform as the basis for improved customer self-service and to make use of automation and AI within customer interactions.

Furthermore, Connect’s recommendation of a cloud platform will mean the utility can break away not only from its restrictive on-premise technology stack, but also move away from the practicalities and overheads of maintenance and upgrade cycles – offering not only a lower total cost of ownership but also a far more flexible approach.

As Connect Sales & Marketing Director Steven Fricker explains, that sort of flexibility and agility will be crucial as the utility – like others in its sector – responds to the evolving restrictions on workplace access and interactions. “The cloud platform will make it easy for our client to combine remote working with on-premise teams and to manage the entire contact centre workforce in the same way, regardless of where they are working. It’s a future-facing solution that aligns perfectly with their cloud-first strategy.”