How customers can benefit from a virtual contact centre

How customers can benefit from a virtual contact centre
Prospect Union has built a new virtual contact centre to help it service over 140,000 members 

Richard Humphreys |

This article first appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of The Record.

Prospect Union is a trade union for professionals with 141,000 members spanning engineers, scientists, managers, and specialists. Its staff help members with a variety of often complex enquiries covering all facets of their working lives including career development, contracts of employment, hours, leave, maternity, pensions, performance pay, promotion procedures, privatisation and company takeovers.

The company recently turned to GCI to help it overhaul its communications by replacing 12 different phone systems across 17 locations. Instead, all its 200 staff now collaborate via Skype for Business wherever they may be.

“GCI has helped us transform the way we work,” explains Paul Xuereb, head of information and website systems at Prospect Union. “The previous mishmash of phone systems meant that internal communications were challenging and we could not run an integrated contact centre. By deploying Skype for Business, it means that we have just one system that all our staff use.”

This overhaul has paved the way for a new, cutting edge contact centre. Based on Enghouse Interactive Communications Centre (EICC), which natively integrates with Skype for Business, GCI has helped Prospect Union develop a new virtual contact centre that enables just 25 members of staff to be dynamically assigned to helping over 140,000 members as and when needed. It replaces a system of regional help desks and Prospect Union expects to make time efficiencies of 20%.

“Now, instead of members calling the regional centre nearest to them, they get routed straight through to one of 25 specialists, depending on the nature of their query,” explains Xuereb. “It means they get quicker, more tailored answers and a more personal service. We think it will give our help desk staff 20% of their time back and mean they can work on other parts of their job when not on calls.”

“We are proud of our nine-year relationship with Prospect Union – such a length of time is very rare in the IT sector,” adds Mike Constantine, CTO at GCI. “For those organisations wishing to collaborate seamlessly, Skype for Business is the best solution on the market today. By adding Enghouse Interactive to this mix it means that organisations get a contact centre instantly with none of the challenges associated with running a ‘traditional’ set up. By being a gold partner of both Microsoft and Enghouse Interactive we have the specialist expertise to deliver projects to forward-thinking organisations like Prospect Union.”

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