Warwickshire County Council’s service transformation project has received a boost with the announcement that the council will be installing Macfarlane’s automated speech dialler.
The council will use the dialler to answer incoming calls and ask the customer for the name of the person they wish to speak to. The system will then use speech recognition technology to identify the name and transfer the call. If the caller does not know the name of the person they wish to speak to, or if the system does not recognise the name, the caller is transferred to a live operative.
The council began a trial of the system in January 2008 and the database contains around 5,000 employees. The accuracy rates during the trial were around 90%. Adrienne Bellingeri, customer contact manager at Warwickshire County Council, said: The speech recognition system trial has been very successful from a usability and accuracy point of view. We are looking to fully deploy the system for switchboard calls in June 2008.
Warwickshire County Council’s service transformation project is aiming to improve customer services across the organisation. The council has invested heavily in new technology over the last few years. It opened a new Customer Service Centre (CSC) in 2002 with what it described as a basic call handling system and a rudimentary Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, developed in-house.
Its CRM system was upgraded in 2004, when the council implemented Macfarlane’s CallPlus system. The council has also invested in other systems from Macfarlane, including Q-Max Workforce Management System, a call recording/quality management service, and Customer Survey, software that takes customer feedback and measures customer satisfaction.
Bellingeri said: Using Macfarlane, we can see who is calling, what calls are about, what agent skills we have available, and a lot more. It gives us more options and enables us to handle calls more effectively.
Paul Skinner, sales director at Macfarlane Telesystems, said: Over the last five years, Warwickshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre has moved from a start-up to one of the most advanced operations in the whole of the local authority sector in terms of the way it has harnessed technology to create a modern, integrated and high-quality operation. We are delighted to have played a part in such an exciting and visionary project.