Founded nearly 40 years ago, Shaw Trust is a UK charity and a specialist in helping disadvantaged people into employment and independent living.
The Challenges: Three legacy systems
Backed by £238 million in funding, the UK Government began rolling out its Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme. This would provide advice, guidance, and support to job-seekers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
To get involved with JETS, Shaw Trust needed to transform quickly. While it had the expertise to help, the charity lacked the virtual contact center tech required to support the delivery of the services.
The charity was an amalgamation of three organizations — each with its own IT team, on-premises infrastructure, and delivery approach — plus six existing contact centers with separate contracts.
“Our tech was costly, not really fit for purpose, and outages could sometimes take a week to fix,” says Alan Webb, who’d become Director of Business Technology and Information Systems. “We needed a new direction and synergy across the charity.”
With the JETS opportunity in sight, Webb and his team accelerated their search for a new platform.
The Solution: Agents enabled rapidly
Shaw Trust’s technology partner, CDW, recommended the cloud-based 8×8 Contact Center, which supported remote-working for agents, voice with call recording, plus video, messaging, callback, and a full suite of omnichannel capabilities and analytics.
“We imagined what the contact center of the future would look like,” says Webb. “And it became clear that 8×8 was the hands-down leader in this area.”
Now the race was on. Shaw Trust secured the JETS contract for three regions across the UK — and needed over 600 agents to be up and running within six weeks.
8×8 got to work and ensured the new solution went live on time. Agents found the interface easy to use — and the early users could train their colleagues quickly.
But the story didn’t end there. As contracts expired for legacy systems elsewhere in the business, the charity began switching more contact centers over to 8×8.
“As soon as our business colleagues saw the performance and stability of 8×8, they wanted it too,” says Webb. “There was a point where we couldn’t keep up with demand!”
The IT team also moved its own service desk across to 8×8 — as part of an overall strategy to bring the whole charity onto a single, unified platform.
The Benefits: Greater business agility
Within 12 months of going live with JETS, Shaw Trust handled 105,000 calls and helped 16,300 people back into work — a remarkable success that’s led to the Government extending its contract to 2023.
“Within our sector, some contracts are for 12 months only, but now we’ve got the agility to compete for these too, scaling easily,” says Webb.
“8×8 has given us a modern, secure, and stable platform that’s always improving — with a host of extra features we can explore.”
Already, easy access to call analytics and recordings have proved valuable for monitoring quality and assessing the wellbeing of callers.
Next, Shaw Trust plans to integrate its CRM with 8×8 so it can better personalize its services and map complete customer journeys.
Ultimately, Webb believes a unified platform across its business could create major consolidation opportunities. “We could have agents working on five, six, or seven contracts at the same time — all from the same console — providing flexibility for Shaw Trust and an awesome experience for every caller.”