Using a cloud-based contact centre can be great during the good times, but during the difficult times it’s invaluable.

This is the message from Alan Garratt, Head of Operations at Arco. In an interview conducted by Rob Scott from UC Today during RingCentral’s virtual CC Expo event, Alan explained the critical unforeseen benefits a cloud contact centre has brought to the business.

Arco is a fourth generation family-owned business that has grown to become a leader in health and safety and is the leading supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the UK. In 2019 Arco transitioned from a legacy on-site contact centre to a cloud-based system. In a video clip from last year Sacha Redman, Director of Customer Experience, explains how important it was to unify the company’s customer service delivery by connecting its multiple contact centre sites.

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Adopting a cloud-based contact centre allowed Arco to deliver a more enhanced customer experience to meet the expectations of national customers dealing with multiple Arco customer service points. Moving to RingCentral Contact Centre also gave the customer engagement team valuable insights into customer dispositions and needs, which could then be suitably addressed by using the platform’s workforce management capability.

The move to a new contact centre technology assisted in the creation of a new company culture, with greater transparency, and the opportunity to develop and adopt new ways of working to match the scale of Arco’s operation. 

Fast forward to March 2020, and the introduction of isolation measures in the UK meant contact centres up and down the country had to figure out how to maintain operations outside of closed office buildings.

Reliance on a cloud platform was what enabled Arco to send its 200 contact centre agents to work from home as soon as lockdown measures came into place. As Arco is taking huge numbers of contracts for PPE from the NHS and emergency services as well as food producers and supermarkets, The company’s cloud-based contact centre has proved critical to maintaining customer contact and meeting demand throughout the pandemic.

As Alan describes in the interview, there was no way Arco could not keep working; thankfully, RingCentral’s cloud-based technology has fundamentally allowed them to do just that. “The biggest success story for us is the transformation of our customer engagement centre from entirely office-based to entirely home-based,” says Alan.

Alan explains the company would never have imagined the scenario just a few months ago; it was without a disaster recovery plan covering anything near the scale of the coronavirus pandemic, and the vast majority of colleagues were relying on desktop computers rather than laptops. However, in the space of pretty much 10 working days the company was able to prepare its entire customer engagement workforce for remote working, thanks to the flexibility provided by using a cloud solution.

The ability to move seamlessly from entirely office-based to entirely home-based has opened the leadership’s eyes – not only in terms of the capability of the technology they are using, but also in terms of forming their strategy for the customer engagement centre. Arco is now actively looking at having a core of 20 colleagues home-based at any one time.

Interview in full

If you’d like to hear Arco’s story in detail, you can watch the full interview here:

You can now get free contact centre seat licences to help get your agents working from home.Apply today

Originally published May 22, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023

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