Thames Water doubles contact centre efficiency

Man carrying a larger pipe

The UK's largest water company has doubled the efficiency of its contact centre staff management operation with new scheduling tools.

Thames Water said it had effectively doubled forecasting and scheduling productivity for its customer service operations since deploying new workforce management (WFM) software earlier this year.

Having previously relied on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to plan and schedule front and back office customer service staffing, the company is now using a single central planning tool from Verint that was designed and implemented by contact centre services provider, Sabio.

Will Brown, Thames Water head of planning, said: "Now with the Verint Impact 360 WFM solution we can use a single centralised tool to manage our major planning, forecasting and command centre operations and we're quickly realising the benefits."

Since fully going live with Impact 360 in March this year, Thames Water has been able to double the employees managed by its planning and scheduling teams, delivering 100 per cent productivity levels from its 800 customer service staff across its contact centre and back-office operations.

Brown added: "With Impact 360 we've been able to tighten our schedule adherence across both our contact centre and back-office operations, creating the equivalent of more than 10 employees' additional capacity through better overall time management."

And he gave an example of where WFM automation has saved on the previously time-consuming procedures for holiday bookings. "We've already processed some 15,000 holiday applications providing agents with much more control over their schedules and freeing up team leader time significantly," he said.

And he also said Thames Water was looking to build on the success of the its extend its WFM project and extend its use "into other workforce optimisation disciplines over the next few years".

The project was part of a major technology refresh programme delivered by Tata Consultancy Services, which also covered workflow processing and the implementation of a new automatic call distribution (ACD) platform.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.