Newcastle Building Society is turning more phone enquiries into sales following the roll-out of a £500,000 converged voice and data IP network.
The building society has just completed the installation of the network, which includes a Nortel Symposium contact centre system and a converged voice and data network from from BT.
"We chose to upgrade to increase flexibility and to distribute the calls to where the resources are available," said Colin Greaves, general manager at the Newcastle Building Society.
Since the company started installing the network six months ago, 83 per cent of all inbound calls have been answered without referring to another call centre agent, and the number of missed calls has been halved.
This has increased the conversion of enquiries to mortgage sales by 45 per cent, according to Greaves.
The system's skill-based routing ensures that calls are directed to the appropriate member of staff, with the worker's log-on telling the system what their abilities are.
"We can now direct calls to the available resources regardless of whether they in the central office, branch office or at home," said Greaves.
The technology has enabled the building society to measure the number of calls that come in and how much business it gets from them.
"We have seen an improvement in the amount of calls converted to business because we are getting to customers at the right time," said Greaves.
Once connected the consultant can deal with the customer smoothly with all details at their fingertips. "The voice and data is posted to the call centre operator at the same time, which enables them to deal with the customer quickly," added Greaves.
The new system is in the call centre but will be extended to all branches in 2002 and 2003, at an additional cost of between £150,000 and £200,000.
"The new system enables calls into the call centre to overflow into the branch office when busy. This controlled overflow ensures that we do not lose any potential business," said Mike Farnham, account manager at BT Business Information Systems.
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