The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder (the ‘City’) had been struggling with an ageing phone system and contact centre infrastructure. Its on-premise PABX was unreliable and required a lot of support. “We had to restart it every single night to keep it working. If we didn’t, during the day the phone calls would just drop out,” said Alyce Spokes, ICT Manager, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Limitations on the phone system also meant that calls between some of the City’s sites had to be made externally.
Covering a land area roughly the size of Iceland, the City operates and manages most of the facilities and services in the remote WA region, including the airport, golf course, and waste water systems. As one of the most diverse and geographically dispersed local governments in Australia, voice communications is an essential service.
In addition to a reliable voice platform, the City needed an integrated contact centre that would enhance customer service.
“We wanted the ability to easily configure the IVR to give our ratepayers a better customer experience, and for all our sites to be on the same internal platform so that anyone who rang in on one of our numbers could use the IVR to be transferred to the right spot,” said Spokes.
Two other important solution criteria for the City were having integration with Microsoft Teams and a mobile application for the phone so that a user’s device could also operate as a full company phone, explains Spokes. “A lot of our staff are rarely in the office or at their desks, but only having a mobile phone or simply transferring calls to our mobiles doesn’t always make it easy to contact someone. It also doesn’t give you any awareness or visibility on what’s coming through to our phones.”
After selecting RingCentral, the City completed a rapid migration to RingCentral MVP and RingCentral Contact Centre. For the first time, that gave the City a single, integrated voice platform across all sites in the region, even with the limited connectivity available at its more remote sites.
The decision to move to RingCentral was facilitated by the City’s ability to purchase through WA Local Government Association (WALGA) Preferred Supplier Panel. That saved the City time by avoiding the need to undertake a tender process and ensured cost savings by getting the best price available from the supplier in the market.
“The WALGA panel is good for local governments because it has already vetted the suppliers, so it does take some of the steps out for us. We started the process in July and August 2021, and we had implementation in September,” said Spokes.
Improving the Customer and Employee Experience
The biggest benefit from the RingCentral implementation has been the improvement in customer experience, says Spokes.
“The ability for our staff to be contactable anywhere, the communication between all of our sites and being able to connect our ratepayers with the correct person have made a big difference in the experience ratepayers have when they are dealing with us.”
One of the side benefits for the City has been the increased adoption of Microsoft Teams across the organisation. While all staff had access to Teams, only 5-10% had been using it prior to RingCentral, but the percentage had increased to 83% Teams utilisation in just three months with the addition of RingCentral’s embedded contact functionality.
Now that the solution is in place, the City will be focussing on using RingCentral’s reporting to tailor its internal training, and making sure that ratepayers are getting the assistance they need when they are contacting the City. That will be augmented by plans to integrate RingCentral with the City’s TechnologyOne Ci Anywhere platform when ratepayers call in for advanced record keeping and deeper business insights.
Originally published 18 Oct, 2022