A local authority in Australia has commented on the significant benefits it has accrued following its decision to adopt an internet protocol (IP) telephony system across all its offices.
The City Council at Hobsons Bay in the west Melbourne area of the country says it implemented the new communications system just over 18 months ago. It says that its previous telephony set up – like many conventional land line-based business phone systems – was proving both inefficient and costly:
Suzanne Paterson, the council’s customer service manager, explained:
“Any small glitches within the system we were constantly having to go back to our service provider [and there were] old setups that didn’t really facilitate much capacity for change.”
Paterson said that although some of the council’s employees were wary at first of using IP telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol), the technology had now come to be seen as an integral part of the council’s everyday working practices. She said:
“People see it as a tool rather than an inconvenience.”
Among the benefits of the new IP telephony and business VoIP implementation cited by Paterson is its capacity to offer improved customer call management, including the facility to provide customers with a call back option should they no longer wish to queue. This facility had gone down extremely well with callers, as Paterson explained:
“The reason people like it is that you’re not often offered that option.”
Paterson also praised the IP telephony system for enabling management to undertake sophisticated analysis of incoming calls, saying:
“For instance, we’ve looked at what time calls come into the organisation and adjusted staffing appropriately.”
The new IP telephony facility is also understood to have provided the council with significantly lower phone costs.
The potential of the new system is to be further exploited later in the year, with the planned introduction of a Web Chat service.