Case Studies

Avaya selected to power Citizens Advice Scotland's helpline service

Service needed scalable and solid solution, even in remote areas

Avaya has been chosen to host Citizens Advice Scotland's helpline on its unified communications platform, enabling residents to easily give feedback, raise concerns about or comment on Scotland's NHS service.

The Patient Advice & Support Service (PASS) has been developed to ensure patients get the support they need, should they wish to make a complaint or provide positive feedback about the care they've received. It's been rolled out across 26 locations in the country, offering residents to either pop into their local Citizens Advice Bureau to access the service or use it from home.

It runs on Avaya's IP Office, which provides an all-in-one software interface, allowing patients to contact the PASS via phone, email or web chat. If they start the conversation on web chat, for example, they can quickly switch to a phone call with the click of a button and be put through to the patient advisor instantly.

Working with Avaya has enabled the service to roll out a scalable and secure solution, equipping advisors to deal with callers faster, while ensuring the user is getting the attention they need, in real time.

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A crucial element of the unified communications platform Citizens Advice Scotland needed to address was remote access. Because many of the locations are in remote places where connectivity is poor, CAS needed to find a solution that worked, even if the connection was shaky.

It also needed to find a platform that could deal with rapid scaling, so when the service was receiving a lot of interaction, it could handle it. This is now being put to work, as the service is receiving three times more calls per month than was originally anticipated.

"The distributed telephony network allows a group of advisers in diverse communities across Scotland to work in a virtual team to provide a blend of face-to-face, telephone-based and online advice," Anne Lavery, Chief Operating Officer for Citizens Advice Scotland. "This uses the skills of the advisers nationally, without undermining local delivery, and removes the requirement for a large and expensive centralised call centre."

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