First Step Finance choose ConvergeOne

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UK Personal Debt restructuring firm First Step Finance has teamed up with Manchester-based communications specialist ConvergeOne to ensure that its telephone system is not only state of the art but also fully industry compliant.

First Step Finance offer a complete personal restructuring debt advice program and will also, where possible, challenge any unlawful debt arrangements on behalf of their clients. The firm has experienced substantial growth over the last two years and needed a new communications system that would grow with the business. Due to new FSA regulations that came into effect on 14th November this year, it was also important that the new telephony system had the capability to record all calls including those received on business mobile phones.

ConvergeOne, a Cisco Premier Partner, recommended and implemented a back-office IP telephony platform and agent based contact centre application. At the hub of the solution is the IP PBX based on Cisco Unified Communications Manager coupled with an advanced messaging application using Cisco Unity Connection. The contact centre was deployed using Cisco’s mid-market offering, Cisco Unified Contact Centre Express.

The product runs a high availability contact centre application and offers features such as skills based routing, reporting and advanced routing capability. Connectivity was supplied by a combination of SIP and ISDN with security being a large factor in the design to prevent malicious toll fraud.

Mark Johnson, Managing Director commented, “As First Step Finance are a regulated financial business, which deals with its clients primarily over the telephone, it was imperative that they chose a supplier and a best of class telephone system that meets their needs now and as they continue to grow. We worked closely with First Step Finance and recommended a Cisco based solution which is trusted and proven.”

First Step Finance operates a 130 strong call centre and their priority is to ensure that every call is answered quickly and efficiently. One of the key aspects of the new system was that it would be able to monitor any missed or abandoned calls and also that it would have the capability to record calls to business mobiles.
ConvergeOne recommended a Cisco validated call recording solution, which records all inbound calls. With this technology, First Step Finance can now monitor calls picked up, dropped or missed, allowing them to monitor and improve their call response times.

Adrian Crymble, Senior Operations Manager at First Step Finance commented that the new system has contributed to an approximate 20% increase in business efficiencies. Crymble said “Our clients are seeing the benefits as our call pick up time is now 3 times faster than with our previous system. The new telephone system will also enable us to better track and monitor our missed calls as well as recording all client calls.”