Cheshire and Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), an NHS shared service, has reduced its average IT support response times from over 15 minutes to less than five minutes.
The CSU, which supports roughly 20,000 NHS staff and 11,000 devices across 218 locations, was formed in March 2013 in a merger between two previous shared service bodies. The organisation is responsible for providing back-office function to the NHS such as IT, finance and HR.
When the two service desks were first brought together, it became clear they had very different focuses, solutions architect Criss Richards explained.
The desk he ran, Cheshire, was focused on call throughput and customer service, ensuring calls were answered quickly but often requiring waits for visits or remote support, whereas the Merseyside desk was focused on getting fixes first, so customers got fixes when they called but had to wait on the phone longer.
Richards’ objective for the merger was to achieve the wait times of the Cheshire desk with the fix rate of the Merseyside desk.
After a procurement exercise, the CSU chose a single remote access solution from Bomgar. Richards said: “It ticked all the boxes. It had appropriate levels of security and information governance but also the flexibility of being able to initiate remote sessions in various different ways.
“I worked with the guys on the merger team and we conceived an idea of having customer service staff working on the desk handling the calls, but then creating a sort of virtual handshake that would put them through to technicians with local knowledge.
“Now when someone calls, the service desk picks the most appropriate geographic support team and gets the customer to initiate an online chat session with them. When the user gets through to the remote support technician it’s a name they recognise and someone geographically close to them.”
Another advantage of the new solution, Richards explained, is that it has allowed the organisation to cut travel expenditure by 70 percent, by increasing the remote fix rate from roughly half to 82 percent. Although they have yet to quantify the precise savings, he confirmed that they have achieved a return on investment, and added that they plan to reduce their van fleet as it is in far less frequent use.
“It’s gone down really well with customers and our satisfaction surveys regularly average at around 90 percent,” Richards said.