Acas Improves Customer Service for Helpline Callers

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Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has upgraded its helpline system in response to new Government measures to facilitate the earlier resolution of disputes in the workplace and offer a higher standard of care to customers.

The economic downturn has seen an increase in the proportion of redundancy related calls to the Acas helpline from people seeking independent and impartial advice about employment issues. Working with business partner, BT, Avaya was able to upgrade all 12 Acas helpline locations across England, Wales and Scotland to a new Automatic Call Distribution system in just six weeks without any loss of service.

As a result of the telephone system upgrade, callers to the Acas helpline, which exceed 1 million a year, have benefited from a significant improvement in the quality of service they receive when seeking employment advice.

Andrew Godber, Director of IT, Acas, said: “The economic downturn has inevitably created an increase in the proportion of queries around redundancy to Acas helplines as people seek advice on job security or best practise in redundancy situations. We needed a phone system that was good enough and robust enough to deal with the high levels of demand for our services. By providing a prompt and efficient service we have been able to avoid adding extra anxiety and frustration to our clients.”

Installing Avaya Communications Manager 5.0 has resulted in one centrally managed server installed, so calls to the Acas helpline can now be channelled to any of its helpline advisers using intelligent routing based on either first available or local office criteria.

Meanwhile, with the intuitive Avaya Call Management System in place to monitor calls, Acas now has greater visibility of the customer journey from the initial point of contact with an adviser through to resolution, and can offer staff training and support, as appropriate, to fine tune the customer experience.

Lee Shorten, managing director, UK and Ireland, Avaya, said: “The reliability and scalability of the new communications system alone significantly improves the quality of service callers receive from Acas, but the fact that Acas is taking it one step further and actually using the management information the Avaya systems provides to intelligently manage the customer experience is particularly impressive.”

Customer service standards, and reporting and compliance standards have all been improved as a result of the upgrade and the use of Avaya softphones means the organisation is well placed to move to a multi-media contact centre in the future and the system can grow and adapt to suit the changing needs of this increasingly busy organisation.

Robert Griffiths, BT Global Services account manager for Acas said “BT and Avaya have worked in very close partnership under very tight timescales to deliver the end-to-end solution successfully, which in turn has allowed Acas to meet its deadlines. BT and Avaya were extremely well organised and flexible during the delivery working weekends and evenings to ensure the date was hit.”