Toowoomba City gets virtual contact centre

By Lilia Guan
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) in Queensland has chosen to deploy Interactive Intelligence’ IP communications software suite, Customer Interaction Centre (CIC), at its customer service call centre due to open in early 2011. 
TRC’s decision to build a new 35-seat ‘virtual’ contact centre follows the merger in 2008 of the Cambooya, Clifton, Crows Nest, Jondaryan, Millmerran, Pittsworth and Rosalie shire councils with Toowoomba City Council. 
Up until now, the customer contact points were scattered throughout the organisation, both within Toowoomba and each of the original shires.
TRC’s customer service manager, Malcolm Angell told Government News the Council went through a thorough analysis of a number of products before going with Interactive.
“Most of the products offered the same things or the ones with bells and whistles cost a bit more,” he said.
“Interactive package was attractive and the work for the bundled product is all done up front.”
Mr Angell said when complete, the Interactive Intelligence product will allow TRC’s contact centre to have a single point of contact for all council enquiries, maintain a presence in each of the service centres and provide automated routing to the correct facility or relevant department.  
“TRC’s located in a fairly large area geographically and we need to maintain the use of customer service in other areas,” he said.
“The Interactive software offers virtual presence in other areas and not just in a central service centre.”
The SIP-based CIC solution provides the Council with automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, unified messaging, desktop faxing, softphone, presence management, multi-channel recording and blended dialling within the contact centre.
“Interactive Intelligence enables us to monitor customer calls and review our potential for efficiencies in satisfying callers at their initial point of contact with council, regardless of the method of contact,” Mr Angell said.
Deployment of the Interactive Intelligence solution commences shortly in a phased rollout and will be completed in early 2011 when the council finalises its main contact centre to the new location in Toowoomba.
TRC has 157,000 residents and is one of the seventh largest Council in terms of population of the 73 Queensland Councils. The Council itself has a combined workforce of over 1600 employees.

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