Eighteen months after Walsall Housing Group’s implementation of a new IP-based communications platform from Siemens Enterprise Communications, independent research from Forrester Consulting has found that, over five years, the housing group can expect a return on investment of 121 per cent and 90 per cent first-time customer call resolution.
Walsall Housing Group installed Siemens OpenScape systems in November 2007 to create a single IP-based communications platform across the organisation, including the consolidation of five contact centres into one new centre. After a two-month pilot, the system was deployed across the wider organisation over six months.
Sebastien Selhorst, project director, Forrester Consulting, said, “Public sector organisations are continually looking for ways to improve service and lower costs and it is clear that an IP-based communications platform, such as Siemens OpenScape, can tackle both issues. This study rigorously investigated both Siemens’ offerings and the impact on WHG’s services to reveal a significant rise in customer service levels when the communications infrastructure is centralised and streamlined.”
Forrester’s research found that the project would pay for itself within two years, with a five-year RoI of 121 per cent. The research also highlighted reduced call-centre operational costs and lower cabling costs as additional benefits.
As well as the cost savings and increased staff productivity associated with this move, the single platform is expected to enable WHG’s contact centre staff to resolve 90 per cent of tenant calls, leaving only 10 per cent of calls requiring subsequent follow-up, thereby avoiding around 68,000 follow-up calls each year.
Phil Pettifer, head of information services, Walsall Housing Group, said, “Siemens and Forrester have quantified the significant benefits achieved by shifting to a single IP-based communications platform. Customer service is imperative and the introduction of a single contact centre will ensure enhanced responsiveness to customer calls, greater operational efficiency and reduced need for colleague follow-up calls. Customers will get the right response first time.”