Consumer Council for Water Responds to 99.5% of Customer Queries within Five Days
 
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Consumer Council for Water Responds to 99.5% of Customer Queries within Five Days

Consumer Council for Water was established in 2005 to represent water and sewerage customers in England and Wales. It is a nondepartmental public body sponsored by the United Kingdom (UK) Government Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government.

Consumer Council for Water works on behalf of consumers and businesses to ensure they receive the best value and to improve service provided by water companies. In addition, it resolves complaints from individual consumers. Since its formation, it has responded to more than 100,000 customer complaints about water and sewerage companies and has secured more than US$24.3 million (£16 million) in customer compensation and rebates.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Consumer Council for Water

  • “With Oracle RightNow Cloud Service, we have real-time visibility into all customer queries across seven regional contact centers. With a centralized system and a color-coded dashboard, we are now responding to 99.5% of all customer queries within the five-days our service-level agreement stipulates.” – Bill Woodall, IT Manager, Consumer Council for Water

  • Implement a cloud-based, centralized, customer management system to improve management of incoming complaints and inquiries from businesses and consumers regarding water and sewerage services while keeping IT to a minimum
  • Centralize and coordinate customer contact management through seven regional contact centers across England and Wales
  • Enable water consumers to make contact via multiple channels, including telephone, postal service, and e-mail, as well as to find answers to questions online

Solutions

  • Benefited from flexible licensing, with the ability to buy licenses on a month-by-month basis and adapt the number of user licenses required to meet business needs, helping the organization to reduce licensing costs and operate as a lean, low-cost organization
  • Lowered proportion of inquiries received by telephone from 85% to 79% by enabling customers to use self-service through dynamic, web-based question and answer functionality
  • Allowed over 170,000 consumers to resolve their inquiries and complaints regarding water services through a centralized, cloud-based contact management system between 2012 and 2013, enabling 7x more consumers to be served per year with the website than through direct telephone contact
  • Improved query management with a color-coded dashboard to immediately show which queries should be answered first and raise the percentage of water and sewerage queries responded to within the agreed service level agreement (SLA) limit of five days to respond, 20 days to resolve a query, and 40 days to investigate an issue
  • Improved number of responses five-days, in accordance with the SLA, from 98% (2006 to 2007) to 99.5%, (2012 to 2013), from 72% to 79.7% within 20-days, and from 86% to 91.6% within 40-days
  • Enabled contact center workers to share workloads across multiple geographic locations for the first time via a cloud-based service and thin client technology, speeding responses to customer queries and improving customer service at busy times
  • Allowed staff to access Oracle RightNow Cloud Service from any location, including their homes, in line with the UK government’s drive to reduce costs by encouraging an increase in home-working
  • Replaced multiple manual and paper-based contact systems with one centralized solution, improving overall visibility of number, type, and locations of water and sewerage queries and complaints and providing, for the first time, a centralized view of inquiry-handling
  • Trained new staff within days with easy-to-use interface and guided assistance

Why Oracle

“We chose Oracle RightNow Cloud Service, as we are a very lean organization. All our IT is hosted offsite, and we needed a service that we could manage remotely. In addition, we wanted a solution that would be flexible to our changing requirements, and Oracle RightNow Cloud Service enables us to quickly and easily add further modules to expand our service without significant vendor intervention. No other supplier could provide the same benefits,” said Bill Woodall, IT manager, Consumer Council for Water.