SmartAgent Customer: FirstGroup

Best practice Amazon Connect migration for First Shared Services.

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About FirstGroup

FirstGroup is a multi-national transport company, based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Carrying over 2bn passengers per year the group operates, manages or maintains combined fleets of 50,000 vehicles and employs over 100,000 people.

The group’s strategy is to leverage the scale and breadth of its expertise for the benefit of local markets, working with national governments, state and local authorities and school boards to provide transportation services that meet their needs.

The Challenge

SmartAgent engaged with First Shared Services in mid-2018. First Shared Services is First Group’s contact centre for all First bus services across the UK. The business unit was quickly reaching end of life with its legacy, on-premise contact centre solution and was beginning to experience reliability issues including a number of outages. As a forward-thinking business First also had an eye on the future needs of its contact centre. It needed to specify and implement a flexible solution that would work in harmony with AI and machine learning technologies, whilst helping to reduce ever-increasing costs of contact.

How we've helped so far...

Amazon Connect migration & retirement of on-premise hardware

We helped First Shared Services with the successful migration of its 40 contact centre agents to Amazon Connect. SmartAgent’s proven migration process involves gaining a deep understanding of the client’s needs through onsite discovery sessions and mapping out all existing contact structures.

This initial discovery phase on site with the agents, supervisors and management team enabled our expert team to consolidate existing contact flows and processes to a streamlined approach, providing FirstGroup with a best-practice and future-aware contact centre installation from the get-go.

To drive continuous improvement in agent and contact centre efficiency, FirstGroup required much more in-depth reporting, so the SmartAgent team extended Amazon Connect’s standard reporting suite via integrations with AWS S3, Athena and Redshift and we then surfaced the data by developing an integration into Microsoft Power BI, and our own off-the-shelf SmartAgent Wallboard, for real-time reporting.

Once the development and customisation work had been completed in Amazon Connect SmartAgent then provided tactical, hands-on support for go live. We recommend a phased rollout approach, which is designed to safely test the new environment and ensure optimal performance and functionality before full migration takes place. To do this we trialled the new setup with one controlled line, directing only a portion of inbound calls for a period of time. Then, once SmartAgent and FirstGroup had completed testing we deployed for the entire contact centre, and ported FirstGroup’s existing phone numbers into Amazon Connect.

A key part of our migration service is Amazon Connect enablement training for business users, as well as a detailed project report, explaining exactly how the contact centre instance was developed. We also adopt Enterprise best-practice in environment set up and change management which empowers FirstGroup staff to make alterations to the contact centre set up in the future, without ever jeopardising the live operation.

In addition to the implementation of Amazon Connect for First Shared Services we also extended the contact centre experience with automated daily email performance updates for managers, and automated SMS messages to customers who may be experiencing long queue times, advising on other options for finding answers and getting in touch.

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