For Optimax, the UK’s leading laser eye surgery provider, the primary reasons to upgrade its contact center were to increase flexibility and improve customer support. Avaya IP Office Contact Center helped the company reduce costs, route calls more intelligently to improve first contact resolution, and make better use of its multi-skilled agent workforce. It’s also contributed to a measurable rise in overall customer satisfaction.
Optimax, a laser eye surgery pioneer, has recognized that in a competitive market, customer service is an important differentiator. Its contact center team is crucial to providing that difference, managing hundreds of inbound and outbound calls every day to book appointments at 20 sites, as well as providing vital post-surgery support and advice. But while the team was working to a high standard, the company’s contact center platform was not.
“When we needed to change anything, it was a slow and costly process,” recalls head of contact centers Andrew Ayres. While he’d been able to teach himself how to access relevant management information from the system, it wasn’t intuitive from the user perspective. The system was not intuitive or user friendly as such, accessing relevant management information from the system was onerous. Furthermore, IT Director Brendon Parkes reveals, Optimax was increasingly experiencing technical problems with the contact center and the mix of telephone systems installed across the business – which in turn risked creating customer service issues.
With the Avaya system, we’ve been able to make incremental changes that improve the customer journey
The time had come to replace the contact center platform and move to a single IP voice system for the business, which would offer greater consistency and lower costs.
Optimax began discussions with Avaya business partner ICA, who proposed a solution that included not only Avaya IP Office and an on-premise IP Office Contact Center, but also a move from ISDN to SIP trunks for its communications to provide extra capacity and resilience. The potential cost savings generated through the move would fund the investment in IP Office Contact Center. The business case was clear, and Optimax decided to proceed.
“I was worried that any change would impact on our performance in the short term,” Ayres admits. “But even where things were unfamiliar at first, we quickly found how to do everything with IP Office Contact Center that we had done with the previous solution.” Reliability increased and other KPIs remained the same, while monthly communication costs were reduced by over 20%. With the fundamentals in place, Ayres began to explore the new features that IP Office Contact Center offered.
To date, the opportunity to enhance the way Optimax routes and manages incoming calls has been invaluable. With the previous system, Optimax was only able to offer callers two options; book an appointment, or “anything else”. Now, it offers three primary options, each of which has a sub-menu, taking customers to new bookings, existing bookings or queries and support. “It means that we can route most calls directly to the agent best equipped to answer them,” says Ayres. The agents themselves then know what options the customer has chosen when they pick up the call.
The new platform’s automated routing has two clear benefits. First, the system makes better use of the diverse skills of the Optimax team — from booking specialists to problem-solvers or those with more knowledge of potential issues after surgery. Second, it has boosted productivity, as agents no longer spend time fielding calls they will then have to forward to a colleague with greater subject knowledge. Both lead to higher customer satisfaction, as callers are more likely to get the information they need from the first point of contact.
Optimax can also readily adapt the menus and scripts to include new offers and options, or just to help triage patients. “For me, the question is always whether a change will improve and simplify the customer journey,”Ayres reflects. “With the Avaya system, we’ve been able to make incremental changes that achieve that bigger goal.”
The reliability has been excellent.
Avaya IP Office Contact Center provides a valuable live reporting facility that gives detailed information on contact center performance. As well as replicating the reports that could be generated by the previous solution, the Avaya platform has given Optimax patient journey — and the impact of different wellness campaigns.
This new insight and the solution’s overall dependability have given Optimax the confidence to start exploring IP Office Contact Center’s multichannel capabilities, again with a view to improving the patient journey.
But at present, the focus remains on delivering superior customer service — and the evidence indicates that Optimax is doing so. Patients attending clinics are asked for the opinions on the whole journey, from initial enquiry to the surgery itself, and the contact center routinely receives positive feedback. “We’ve put a lot of effort into continuously improving and measuring service, beyond the contact center,” Ayres states. “But we’re now benchmarking first contact resolution, which we couldn’t do before — and that is related to the contact center.” With more callers getting the answers they need first time, the all-important patient journey keeps getting simpler.
Optimax is a UK laser eye treatment specialist. Founded in 1991, it has performed over 380,000 treatments at its network of clinics nationwide. It has recorded over 600,000 aftercare results and offers approximately 800 treatment appointments each week. Its founder was the first Optimax patient.
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