A fully digital, cloud-based call centre
Norway’s entire population needs information such as addresses, telephone numbers and opening times, but not everyone uses digital solutions to find this type of information themselves. Nearly 100 customer service agents at Opplysningen 1881 therefore continue to provide services via telephone and SMS. Itera provided functionality for a new, cloud-based call centre.
1 x concept developer and design lead
1 x service manager
2 x developers
What Itera provided
Functions for searches etc (widgets) for the call centre system used by Opplysningen 1881’s customer service agents, as well as design, further development and operations services for the solutions.
The solutions were built in Puzzel, a well-established call centre platform. The widgets were developed as React applications.
About Opplysningen 1881
Opplysningen 1881 is Norway’s largest and most used directory enquiries service. It has provided information such as telephone numbers, names and addresses for more than 100 years.
“Opplysningen 1881 plays an important role in society by providing information such as names, phone numbers and addresses at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is an important service for many people who contact the outside world by phone. We focus on ensuring we have satisfied customers and as quick response times as possible, while high-quality information and good customer service are important as well”, comments Kristian Byrkjeland, System Architect and Business Developer at Opplysningen 1881.
Moving to a modern call centre solutionOpplysningen 1881’s customer service agents use a call centre solution to receive calls and SMS messages, as well as to look up telephone numbers and addresses.
“We needed a modern call centre solution, and we chose Puzzel, which is Norwegian. Puzzel is a fully cloud-based platform, and is a contact-centre as a service solution. It did not, however, have all of the functionality we needed integrated into it, and we therefore worked to develop new functions”, comments Kristian.
Customised using widgets
Puzzel’s solution is the call centre’s foundation and manages all incoming calls and SMS messages from customers, in addition to extracting information from Opplysningen 1881’s database. In order to adapt Puzzel to Opplysningen 1881’s requirements, Itera built new functions, called widgets, into the framework. Opplysningen 1881 is the first customer of Puzzel to have its solution specially adapted.
Of all the widgets that were developed for the customer service agents, one of the most important was a search application for the Norwegian telephone directory (names and numbers of all Norwegians). It is this widget that makes it possible for customer service agents to look up the information that their customers ask for.
Itera also developed a ‘shopping basket’– when customers call up and ask for information, they can choose between being put through to the person they want to reach, having the number read to them or receiving it by SMS messages. Their choice is placed into a virtual shopping basket, which they are then charged for once the call is over
Engraving Alexander Graham Bell making a call on antique telephone
Focusing on the userA key part of the development work was engaging with users, and both Itera’s designers and developers worked with customer service agents from Opplysningen 1881 in order to learn as much as possible about how they work, and how the new system could support them with their tasks as efficiently as possible. The new solution was also made simpler and more intuitive than the previous version, resulting in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to train customer service agents.
“Involving the solution’s users was essential to delivering a high-quality outcome. Those of us with management roles were to some extent on the side lines, as those that actually have to use the solution were given the opportunity to speak and provide their thoughts. The work of customer service agents is repetitive. They receive numerous, short enquiries and they have to do the same things many times. The system has to function as optimally as possible. If it doesn’t, we ultimately risk having exhausted employees and a higher level of absence due to illness”, explains Kristian Byrkjeland.
– Involving the solution’s users was essential to delivering a high-quality outcome. Those of us with management roles were to some extent on the side lines, as those that actually have to use the solution were given the opportunity to speak and provide their thoughts.
System architect and business developer i Opplysningen 1881
What it was like to work on the projectBoth experienced consultants and new graduates worked on the project.
“As a new graduate at Itera, Opplysningen 1881 was my first proper project for a customer. What I particularly liked about this project was that the changes to which I contributed improve and simplify the day-to-day life of the company’s customer service agents”, comments Thomas Øiseth, a graduate and developer at Itera.
“I really enjoyed working in an interdisciplinary way with designers, which was a big contrast with studying where you spend a lot of time working on your own”, he adds.