“Within just a few working days, we went from nothing to having a fully set-up cloud based contact centre deployed across 180 agents remotely”
Matt Dronfield, Head of Debt Free Advice.
Matt Dronfield, Head of Debt Free Advice.
Debt Free Advice provide debt advice services, helping over 24,000 Londoners with their debt and money problems each year since they formed in 2006.
Their trained and accredited advisors are drawn from 21 partner charities, based across 55 sites throughout London, helping with all types of money worries from rent and council tax arrears to credit card and catalogue debt. They can work with clients to prioritise their bills and debts, supporting them when writing letters and advocating on their behalf.
Debt Free Advice is funded to provide face-to-face debt advise to their clients. Typically, when a client approaches Debt Free Advice, they are in a state of emergency and potentially under the threat of being made homeless; therefore human interaction is critical as a part of their support.
When Covid-19 hit, the UK and the government announced that the entire country was forced into lockdown, resulting in Debt Free Advice having to close their advice centres overnight. Their challenge was to find a solution that would enable them to continue to support their client group using technology to compensate for the lack of direct contact.
This requirement was made harder due to the involvement of 21 partner organisations with no consistent IT infrastructure and no single point of access. Some organisations were using webchat, whilst others were utilising WhatsApp via a personal number. Initially, Debt Free Advice required finding a platform that would give them a single access point with no local IT dependencies and support for home workers due to the lockdown.
Since 2006, Ciptex has been creating and aggregating cloud technologies to deliver secure, resilient and innovative contact centre and telephony solutions. We have successfully deployed projects across the UK, Europe, North and South America, and Africa, with clients ranging from SMEs to Central Governments and NASDAQ.
Ciptex RACE is a rapid deployment solution that can be set up in minutes. It addresses the challenges of deploying agents to work from home. It can support traditional voice and newer digital channels of communication, including native web chat, video chat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, alongside Email and SMS. Ciptex RACE is a true SaaS solution which is fully elastic and highly resilient, supported across multiple AWS locations worldwide.
The solution provides Debt Free Advice with a centralised command and control facility to distribute all communication types to any authorised endpoint with secure access to the internet. There was no requirement for specialist equipment or applications for advisors. Ciptex could leverage single sign-on using Azure Active Directory to keep things simple and secure for their advisors.
The solution seamlessly integrates with Active Pro (Debt Free Advice’s third-party CRM application), to present advisors with the client’s details if they were already known. This has improved the client experience, reducing time on mundane tasks for the advisors.
The platform has an easy-to-use interface that allows the agent to instantly launch a direct video call with their client by sending them a link (no Apps required). iPads have been implemented across Debt Free Advice advice centres throughout London as Kiosks to allow clients to attend the advice centre in person and host video discussions with remote agents.
Ciptex’s solution provides a comprehensive range of real-time and historical reports with the ability to produce bespoke views both in the package and via an export into 3rd party applications such as Power BI. Supervisors can monitor conversations in real-time if required, and the solution automatically records all voice calls which are stored in AWS with secure permissions-based access. The solution also includes Quality Evaluation application, which enables communications to be analysed, scored against templates, and then benchmarked to provide real-time feedback. This further improves advisor performance and client experience.
Debt Free Advice could deploy a single-point access solution across the organisation within a couple of days. This resolved the challenges of moving their support agents to a home working environment within a short time scale.
Most of Debt Free Advice’s 55 advice centres across London were from 10 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday, while some would open for only a few hours a week. Deploying RACE has enabled them to extend their opening times and accessibility, providing even more support coverage.
Ciptex RACE has provided the team with the best technology to create a modern, digital contact centre. As a result, Debt Free Advice has recently recruited an additional 60 advisors to help reach their goal of providing outstanding around-the-clock virtual face-to-face support to the community.
Ciptex RACE is a fully managed contact centre that has reduced IT dependency, ensuring ongoing success with a reliable and secure platform. The flexible services allowed Debt Free Advice to scale up and down the number of support agents during the uncertain time of COVID-19. Charged on an actual consumption basis, they only pay for what they need when they need it.