Bracknell, May 4, 2011 - A Redwood auto-dialler solution is providing essential emergency back-up for the company to which millions of people turn in a household emergency. HomeServe plc has deployed Redwood’s power dialler as a cloud-based solution running on the STORM platform, ensuring continuity of service for outbound sales campaigns at the company's Walsall contact centre.
With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair provider backed by a 24-hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe also supplies households with access to vetted trades people who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.
The company offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating and has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK, with a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.
Four hour delay
Outbound telesales have a crucial role to play in HomeServe's customer recruitment strategy. Any loss of service affecting the teams talking to new customers can lead immediately to substantial lost revenue.
Bobby Khatkar, Technical Project Manager for HomeServe, explains that the company's primary on-premise dialler solution did not provide the level of service continuity required.
"Typically, we might have experienced a delay of up to four hours when we suffered an equipment failure," he says. "That kind of outage can seriously affect your numbers in terms of contacts made and sales closed. Every lost call means we've lost the chance to build a lasting and profitable relationship with a new customer."
STORM's cloud solution
The HomeServe team considered a variety of alternative solutions for their backup dialler requirement. Says Bobby Khatkar: "Most of the alternatives we considered offered basic power dialler functions that would keep us in business while repairs were made."
Redwood's sister company Content Guru, which owns and operates the STORM platform, proposed an auto-dialler hosted in the cloud. The solution enabled Homeserve to enjoy the same sophisticated power dialling capabilities all the time, ensuring complete business continuity regardless of localised outages.
The first key benefit of the Content Guru solution is the speed of recovery made possible by the cloud. Manual failover can be completed within minutes, keeping the cost of service loss of to a minimum.
The HomeServe team were also delighted with the high level of functionality designed into the STORM-based solution. The service enables agents to continue their campaigns with little or no loss of key data or resources.
"We also make substantial savings when the repair is complete," says Bobby Khatkar. "Because STORM auto-dialler is a true bespoke solution we save a great deal of time when we are recovering from a loss of service. Any information which is inputted on STORM is downloaded via the Web-based management interface and imported into our own system when it recovers.
"This makes our operations more efficient by removing the need for laborious manual updates between systems. There is also complete consistency throughout, since no data is lost due to omissions or errors in the process of duplication. We can simply migrate campaign data between the primary system and the STORM back-up. We can restart the full service almost instantly."
The graphical user interface for the auto-dialler makes it easy for services to be designed and modified on the fly. STORM's VIEW™ management interface also gives the Homeserve operational team live statistics and detailed historical reporting, customised to display the information they need in an intuitive manner.
"We can access the platform from any web connection," says Bobby Khatkar. "The platform was recently tested at an offsite DR location to ensure that the functionality was available."
"The web interface makes it quick and easy to load a campaign into the STORM auto-dialler, and then move it back again when we revert to the primary system."
As a hosted solution, the STORM deployment requires minimal capital outlay and operational costs are manageable and predictable.
"This service provides us with far more than we were looking for, at a price that matched our budget," says Bobby Khatkar. "It is an excellent example of using the cloud to complement and enhance an existing service, adding new capabilities and prolonging the productive life of legacy equipment."