Nuffield Health has grown substantially in recent years and its contact centre was no longer up to the task. If it wanted to switch to a new platform December, a traditionally quiet month, would be the ideal time. But, with the year-end fast approaching, Andrea Gray knew there was no time to lose.
Timescales were tight but BT stepped up to the challenge. A BT Cloud Contact solution for 180 agents was implemented in just six weeks. With new-found business agility it’s just what the doctor – and Andrea – ordered.
Nuffield Health is the leading UK health charity. Its mission is to help people get healthy and stay healthy. The company has grown rapidly with the acquisition of the Cannons gymnasium chain, while evolving Nuffield hospitals and its proactive healthcare services. It now offers a wider range of health services than anyone else in the UK, delivered through a network of over 100 facilities. These include private hospitals, health clinics, fitness and wellbeing centres, and diagnostic units, as well as over 200 corporate onsite centres for fitness and wellbeing.
A key focus is providing regular health assessment and screening services, mainly for corporate clients. A contact centre sits at the heart of this business; making outbound calls to people to remind them that a health assessment is due and receiving incoming calls from customers enquiring about services and making appointments. The contact centre also handles calls from people wishing to schedule cosmetic surgery and physiotherapy appointments.
However, limitations had emerged with the company’s existing contact centre arrangements. Andrea Gray, director of service delivery at Nuffield Health, explains: “Our legacy contact centre platform was not sufficiently scalable to meet future business needs, and we had concerns about resilience. Furthermore, retrieving call recordings was a time consuming process, and we couldn’t get detailed management information to help us run the business. We needed something better.”
With limited capital funding the new solution needed to be financed from operating expenditure. Time was of the essence, there being just a short window of opportunity to select and implement the new contact centre platform. “December is a quiet time for us because few people want to think about health assessment in the run up to Christmas,” says Andrea. “That’s the ideal time for us to change over to a new system, but the timeframe was ridiculously short.”
BT Cloud Contact, a fully hosted web-based virtual contact centre solution capable of supporting over 1,000 agents, emerged as the perfect fit. “We chose the BT Cloud Contact platform because it offered all the functionality we needed and its pay-as-you-go model met our operational expenditure funding requirement too,” adds Andrea. “The size, reputation, and capability of BT to respond in the short timescale were other significant factors.”
Offering full multimedia capability, BT Cloud Contact allows incoming voice calls to be blended with email, web chat, co-browsing, and call-back requests in a universal queue. There are no hardware constraints, the solution has the ability to scale up and down and it requires no physical infrastructure or software on site. It also offers a range of advanced features such as interactive voice response for customer self-service and skills-based routing. It can be integrated with back office systems via an open application programming interface.
BT appointed a project manager to work on site and engaged BT Advise Contact specialists to advise Nuffield Health on configuration and set up. Andrea says: “We didn’t simply want to replicate our old environment. BT helped us review our call routing and agent skillsets and gave us some excellent advice to help improve workflow for greater efficiency and productivity.”
The BT Cloud Contact platform serves 180 agents spread across two main contact centres in Chichester and New Malden, as well as some in remote locations such as medical centres. Calls are delivered via BT Inbound Contact, enabling Nuffield Health to optimise call handling using customer specific non-geographical numbers. Outbound calls were consolidated onto BT lines against a calling plan optimised for Nuffield Health. BT provides 24/7 support for the whole solution.
The project took just six weeks from concept to delivery, with workgroups migrating from the old platform to BT Cloud Contact one-by-one over a few days. “The transition went smoothly, helped enormously by the BT people on site supporting us during go-live,” recalls Andrea. “Having a dedicated BT project manager working with us from the inception was also a big benefit.”
The new BT Cloud Contact solution for Nuffield Health regularly handles upwards of 70,000 inbound and outbound calls per month. With comprehensive management information readily available it’s now much easier for Nuffield Health to monitor and manage contact centre performance to ensure the right resources are available at the right time. “It’s so much more efficient,” Andrea reports. “Since we took BT Cloud Contact we’ve seen our cost per call reduce by 15 per cent.”
Agent performance has improved too. With call recordings now easier to access, Nuffield Health has increased the call sample it audits for quality to identify staff training and coaching needs. The result is a seven per cent improvement in call quality ratings, with a corresponding improvement in customer satisfaction. BT Cloud Contact has also met the scalability challenge. Agents can be literally anywhere – any company site, at home, or even on the move. The only equipment needed is a headset-equipped PC or laptop with an internet connection.
Using that capability, Nuffield Health is planning to add more virtual agents across the country, capitalising on spare capacity among its workforce wherever people may be, rather than recruiting additional people centrally. Utilising spare time, particularly to make outbound calls, even for an hour or two each day, will help Nuffield Health generate new business. The introduction of home working, which BT Cloud Contact supports, is also being considered.
With BT Cloud Contact we’ve a more agile and resilient contact centre platform that’s helped reduce costs and increase efficiency while improving customer service.
BT is also assisting Nuffield Health by developing the BT Cloud Contact platform to integrate with its salesforce.com CRM application. This will provide Nuffield Health with better customer visibility across its divisions, enabling it to cross-sell and upsell its services more effectively. Andrea sums up: “With BT Cloud Contact we’ve a more agile and resilient contact centre platform that’s helped reduce costs and increase efficiency while improving customer service.”