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South Lakeland and Eden district councils in Cumbria have deployed a virtual contact centre solution to support home and flexible working for agents.

South Lakeland and Eden district councils in Cumbria have deployed a virtual contact centre solution to support home and flexible working for agents.

The virtual solution allows home-based agents to integrate into the contact centre and supervisors to manage and monitor operations from any location.

Implemented by Gateshead-based IT Professional Services, the MiContact Centre for Lync solution from Mitel integrates with the Microsoft Lync unified communications platform. It delivers advanced contact centre applications for the district councils’ 25 customer service agents across their shared service, all in a familiar and easy-to-use Microsoft Office interface.

Features including presence-aware telephony, conferencing and messaging have "significantly improved" the contact centre experience for customers, say the councils.

Caroline Metcalfe, contact centre team leader at South Lakeland’s site in Kendal, said: “The Mitel solution has had a positive impact on the quality of service and has been very well received by customers using our contact centre.

"We can provide much richer information to callers and the ease of transferring interactions and collaborating with knowledge workers throughout the council has increased first call resolution rates and reduced call times.”

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The virtual contact centre environment gives home-based agents complete access to all the voice and data capabilities of the contact centre and ensures customer service is not impacted if agents cannot reach the council sites. The management capability has also been extended to the home, enabling supervisors to spot problem areas, analyse trends, make decisions in real-time and also help to take calls at peak times.

At Eden district council, Linda Methven, customer services and transformation manager, said: “Officers working in virtual offices, in the field, on location and working at home, are benefitting from the ability to access full telephony using their laptops and Lync.

"Mitel’s Automatic Call Distribution is opening up opportunities for home-based contact centre staff to improve both operational efficiency and customer service. This has been a hugely beneficial and positive change for the contact centre, officers and customers of Eden district council.”