• June 1, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Avaya Enhances CET’s Emergency Response

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CET, a claims processor for some of the largest home insurers and loss adjusters in the United Kingdom, won two major insurer contracts in 2013, which instantly increased its business six-fold. With no time to invest in new systems, it upgraded the 10-year-old legacy telephony system in its Home Emergency Contact Center as best as it could, but the system was limited, and it soon became evident that it would be unable to handle the increased call volume.

“The customer experience was not what we wanted it to be,” recalls Stephen Humphrey, CET’s finance director. “We couldn’t queue calls efficiently. Monitoring the staff was difficult, and compiling the [key performance indicators] and management reporting was very cumbersome and time-consuming.”

Not long after winning the new business, CET was presented with the opportunity to move into a larger, more modern facility nearby and quickly jumped at the chance. It chose not to transfer any of its existing technology and instead invested in Avaya’s IP Office Contact Center Server Edition. The switch took place in October 2014.

Included in Avaya’s offering are an interactive voice response system, an auto attendant, digital call recording, and richer reporting capabilities.

The platform has dramatically increased the call center’s capacity—built-in scalability enables the contact center to handle 150 percent of normal call volumes with capacity to spare. The system currently handles about 20,000 inbound and outbound calls per month, though numbers can be even higher during bad weather. The 24-hour contact center, located in central England, operates with 60 agents on rotating shifts.

Amid the telephony upgrades, CET also invested in new claims management software that ties into its call center system and other systems for managing subcontract tradesmen and policyholders. The combination of all of those systems has resulted in a tripling of the company’s operating margins, according to Humphrey.

But for Humphrey, the benefits from the Avaya system are the most tangible. “It allows us to manage our call center so much more effectively,” he says. “We can direct the calls to staff who have the appropriate experience. We also know which of our agents are available and know when they are logged in and out of the system.”

A comprehensive range of features and reports enables CET to deliver against its most demanding service-level agreements, including a contractual obligation to be able to answer 90 percent of calls within 20 seconds. Wall boards, for example, enable the company to monitor queue times and longest wait times.

Additionally, call recording provides access to archived interactions and supports both dispute resolution and agent training. Locating calls with the recording function for audit and review purposes is quick and efficient, Humphrey says.

The system also gives agents more information at the start of each call. Now agents can see exactly which brand the caller is with and answer accordingly, a huge help since CET deals with more than 130 insurers and sub-brands, each requiring a different incoming phone number, recorded message, and greeting from the call center staff. The system also helps agents find the necessary policy information.

Instant access to policyholder information has improved agent morale and streamlined the call handling process.

The Avaya solution has enabled CET to set up a small team for making outbound calls to update customers on the status of claims or to let them know when an adjustor will stop by, an effort that has helped reduce inbound call volumes.

The company could also see how many calls came from contractors sent out to inspect or repair damage. To reduce the number of those calls, it created a mobile app that provides contractors with comprehensive location details and allows them to do health and safety checks, take before-and-after photos, and much more. “It’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do without the Avaya solution,” Humphrey says.

Based on its success, CET wants to augment its Avaya systems with email and Web chat functionality and extend its deployment beyond the call center into sales and marketing. It also wants to implement it at some of its four other sites, according to Humphrey.

“The driver for this is improving the customer journey by improving communications,” he says. “We are delighted with the results [from Avaya].”

The Payoff

Since implementing Avaya's IP Office Contact Center Server Edition in its home emergency contact center, CET has achieved the following results:

  • increased capacity to 150 percent of normal call volumes, with capacity to spare;
  • reduced average claim handling time by a third; and
  • met or exceeded a wide range of service-level agreements, including a contractual obligation to answer 90 percent of calls within 20 seconds.

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