Southwark Council Cuts Wait Times in Half

100-2,499 Employees
Customer Engagement

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The Southwark Council is the third biggest landlord in the United Kingdom with some 55,000 properties under management.

Benefits

Improved Customer Service
Reduce Cost
Increased Productivity

In-house savings

By ending its outsourcing contract and setting up a brand new customer contact centre in-house, Southwark Council has not only reduced costs but improved performance, with 16% more calls answered and wait times cut by half.
 
Like every public sector organisation, Southwark Council has had to tighten its belt in recent times. The last three years have seen a significant reduction in Southwark Council’s overall spending power, but the Council has also identified improved customer service as one of its key principles. It decided to move away from its previous volume-based outsourced contract to provide customer services, and instead chose to bring key elements such as the Council’s customer contact centre back in-house.
 
“The decision to move customer services back in-house wasn’t just about saving money: it had became increasingly clear that a volume-based approach was no longer applicable for today’s customer service requirements,” explains Langa Ncayiyana, Southwark Council’s Customer Services Manager. “Instead we wanted a best practice operation that would allow us to take control of customer journeys and provide a better experience for Southwark citizens.”
 

“We wanted a best practice operation that would allow us to take control of customer journeys and provide a better experience for Southwark citizens.”
 
– Langa Ncayiyana, Customer Services Manager, Southwark Council

A solution for the overall customer experience

Having worked in a similar role for two other major London Boroughs, Langa had a clear grasp of the kind of technology solution that could work for Southwark Council.
 
“After putting the solution out to tender, it quickly became clear that a proven Avaya Aura™ Contact Center customer contact solution would give Southwark Council the control and flexibility we needed. A key factor behind our preference for the Avaya platform was its ability to fully blend support for multiple channels, allowing us to improve how we managed the overall customer experience, bringing together both agent-assisted and automated interactions to gain a single view of customer issues.”
 

“A proven Avaya Aura™ Contact Center customer contact solution would give Southwark Council the control and flexibility we needed.”
 
– Langa Ncayiyana, Customer Services Manager, Southwark Council
 

The greatest blend of experience and skills

But to ensure continuity of service following the cancellation of its outsourcing contract, Southwark Council needed to have its new in-house contact centre up and running by June1st 2013. The Council then looked for the right specialist contact centre technology partner to support its deployment of the platform. “Once we had decided that an Avaya-based approach would work best for the Council, we quickly established that Sabio offered the greatest blend of experience and skills,” recalled Langa. “Sabio’s proposed solution and capabilities gave us the confidence that we would be able to meet our demanding timescales.”
 
Sabio’s technology solution for Southwark Council’s 180 customer service centre users integrated a core Avaya Aura® Contact Center customer contact platform to handle voice and e-mail interactions, Avaya Voice Portal to enable customers to transact simple requests automatically, and two key Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation components: Workforce Management and Quality Monitoring.
 

“Since deploying our Avaya communications platform we’ve already seen a 16% improvement in calls answered, and our wait times are down by 50%.”
 
– Langa Ncayiyana, Customer Services Manager, Southwark Council
 

Instant savings, impressive service

The decision to operate its own customer contact operation has proved immediately successful, resulting in an annual £3 million saving for the Council. Equally importantly, only six months after the Council’s new Peckham-based contact centre went live, the Southwark Council customer services team are already achieving impressive results.
 
“Since deploying our Avaya communications platform we’ve already seen a 16% improvement in calls answered, and our wait times are down by 50%,” Langa confirms. “When we first opened the contact centre we set a target for 80% First Contact Resolution, and within just a few months we’re already hitting an impressive 78%. A continued emphasis on Quality Management and agent training will ensure we break through that barrier shortly.”
 

Seamless transition

For Southwark Council, however, perhaps the most impressive achievement was the seamless transition from to the new contact centre operation. “On June 1st, we switched to our new Avaya communications platform, and no one outside noticed any difference at all. From a technology point of view, that’s the best thing that could have happened!” Langa grins.
 
“When it comes to customer service technology, the industry experts and technical team at Sabio are top class,” he concludes. “There’s no one else I’d rather have on board. It’s good to know that Sabio will be on hand to support the next stage of our contact centre development, as we develop our offering to integrate further council services and support emerging channels such as webchat and social media.”
 
 

Products and solutions

  • Avaya Aura® Contact Center
  • Avaya Voice Portal
  • Verint Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation and Quality Management
 

ABOUT SOUTHWARK COUNCIL

Southwark Council is the local authority responsible for the London Borough of Southwark. It provides a full range of public services including housing, environmental services, waste collection and recycling, social services, planning and regeneration to a population of 288,000 people. The Council is the third biggest landlord in the country with some 55,000 properties under management. In 2011, it set out ten promises for A Fairer Future – one of which was to improve customer service.www.southwark.gov.uk
 

ABOUT SABIO

Sabio, Avaya’s Partner of the Year for 2014, is a customer contact technology specialist focused on delivering exceptional customer service strategies and solutions. Partnering with leading organisations such as Avaya, Sabio offers business consulting, systems integration and managed services working with many major organisations across the UK. For more information, visit www.sabio.co.uk
 

The Southwark Council is the third biggest landlord in the United Kingdom with some 55,000 properties under management.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
Southwark Council Logo
  • Headquarters:

  • United Kingdom

  • # Employees:

  • 180

Southwark Council is the local authority responsible for the London Borough of Southwark. It provides a full range of public services including housing, environmental services, waste collection and recycling, social services, planning and regeneration to a population of 288,000 people. The Council is the third biggest landlord in the country with some 55,000 properties under management. In 2011, it set out ten promises for A Fairer Future – one of which was to improve customer service. www.southwark.gov.uk

What our Customers are saying
“A proven Avaya Aura™ Contact Center customer contact solution would give Southwark Council the control and flexibility we needed.”

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  • Langa Ncayiyana

  • Southwark Council

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