When Which? found they could no longer cope with peaks in call volumes – we didn’t see more lines, we saw an opportunity to win more members.
Which? campaign to get a fairer deal for consumers and each year help to resolve over a million consumer problems.
It is therefore no surprise that they receive a high volume of calls, and when they started a series of TV adverts, this level of demand reached breaking point.
“We needed help to manage call spikes and to gain real-time insight into call volumes to enable us to plan resources more effectively.”
WHAT WE SAW
We did not see a call volume problem; we saw an issue caused by exceptional spikes in demand that required a creative solution and that had the potential to win more members. This creative solution would be to find alternative ways for consumers to contact Which? – the benefit of which would be not only to smooth the peaks and troughs through using SMS and a call back service – but also to embrace a new channel for customer engagement.
WHAT WE DELIVERED
Step one was to help Which? to fully understand the demands being placed on their contact centres. We did this by ensuring that each inbound line was being monitored and managers had access to a web-portal which provided real-time insight into call volumes and how calls where being handled, along with the ability to instantly trigger the overflow of calls between contact centres.
IP Solutions also looked at creative ways of smoothing peaks in demand. We helped Which? to implement a Queue Manager solution; this leverages advanced IVR to enable customers to request a call back rather than wait in a queue.
We also provided a solution that enabled Which? to publicise an SMS number as part of their TV advertising to provide customers with an alternative way to request a service. By offering this alternative, agents could then focus on inbound calls during peak demand and then follow-up SMS enquiries during quieter times.
THE RIGHT OUTCOMES
“By taking this creative approach, IP Solutions have enabled us to increase our calls answered rate from 65% to 99% and deliver a better customer experience.”
The solutions provided by IP Solutions have not only enabled Which? to answer virtually every call during peak periods, it has also saved them money and increased both the volume and conversion rates of enquires.
The network-based call queue system enables Which? to capture up to 1,500 messages per day from consumers – calls that would have likely to have been missed. The use of SMS has also proved to be a great success generating a 25% increase in enquiries that Which? are finding have a higher conversion rate to membership.
“IP Solutions helped us increase our inbound enquiries by 25% through the effective use of SMS and get better value from our multiple contact centres via intelligent call routing.”
Through introducing these smarter ways of working, Which? are seeing savings of nearly a third on operating costs totalling £300,000 per annum. Combined with the increase in new memberships, the outcome has been a very fast return on investment.