View All News

Npower Energises with IP Telephony and Contact Centres toDifferentiate its Customer Service

  • Multi-million pound contract sees npower standardise on Avayatechnology to support customer segmentation strategy

Avaya Inc (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of communicationsnetworks and services for businesses, today announced that npowerhas signed a multi-million pound, five year framework agreement,making Avaya its de facto standard for contact centre technologyand services. npower, one of the UK's top three energy suppliers,is standardising on Avaya contact centre technology across allsites to support its 6.5 million customers in the UK. Also, thecompany is implementing an IP telephony trial at its Gatesheadcontact centre to increase productivity and reduce costs with theaim of rolling out the technology to other sites in the future.

Avaya Inc (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider ofcommunications networks and services for businesses, todayannounced that npower has signed a multi-million pound, five yearframework agreement, making Avaya its de facto standard for contactcentre technology and services. npower, one of the UK's top threeenergy suppliers, is standardising on Avaya contact centretechnology across all sites to support its 6.5 million customers inthe UK. Also, the company is implementing an IP telephony trial atits Gateshead contact centre to increase productivity and reducecosts with the aim of rolling out the technology to other sites inthe future.

Following acquisition of five different utility companies since1999, npower was faced with the challenge of creating consistentcustomer service while developing tailored service for itsdifferent customer segments. These services range from prepaymentand environmental packages of gas and electricity to differentcustomer types such as home movers and Small Medium Enterprises(SMEs). npower has rationalised technology suppliers and selectedAvaya as the standard to support its customer service strategy.Avaya will provide contact centre systems across five sites fromStoke-on-Trent in the Midlands to Gateshead in the north of Englandwhich will enable them to act as a single, 'virtual' contact centreto manage over 12 million calls received by npower every year. Thiswill assist npower to manage peaks in call volumes by automaticallydistributing them to different contact centres, ensuring thatcustomers get a fast and effective response to their enquiries. Thesystem will allow npower to optimise contact centre agent resourcesand reduce costs. Also, npower will use the system to monitor callsand develop training for contact centre agents to aid businessdevelopment.

The contact centres will use Avaya's skills-based routingsoftware to tailor service for different groups of customers. Forexample, customers of 'Juice', npower's clean, green electricityproduct — will be directed to contact centre agents with therelevant, specialist knowledge to enhance the service they receive.It is estimated that skills-based routing will facilitate anincrease in customer satisfaction through more effective callmanagement.

John Crabbe, Customer Contact Development manager at npowercommented: "The npower brand has grown quickly and prides itself onexcellent service for customers of gas and electricity. Ourpartnership with Avaya is strategic to underpinning this. Whencustomers contact us at any time of day or night, they alwaysreceive a fast, effective service." Crabbe added: "We believe thatwe can gain significant business benefits from the IP telephonypilot such as increased productivity and reduced costs and thenmigrate further to the technology at our own pace in thefuture."

Avaya is implementing an IP telephony trial for use by over 400staff at npower's Gateshead contact centre. It will use IPtelephony to route calls across the corporate network allowing thereduction of call costs and IT/telecommunication capitalexpenditure. Also, npower is investigating the flexibility of IPtelephony to add other business applications in the future. Anexample is the implementation of multimedia contact centres tohandle customer enquiries regardless of whether via phone, email,fax or Web chat.

Also, Avaya is providing services that involve monitoringremotely npower's communication systems and software 24 hours aday, seven days a week. This optimises network performance andprevents any issues before they impact the business. For example,Avaya's Global Services organisation supports the predictivedialling systems used by the customer retention team. The team isresponsible for calls made to customers considering moving to othersuppliers in the price-sensitive utility market. The servicesensure the reliability of the systems that are critical toprotecting npower's revenues and market share.

Clive Sawkins, vice-president for Avaya in the UK and Irelandsaid: "The utility market is fiercely competitive wherecommunication and customer service are paramount for marketleadership. npower is using converged communication and services toachieve this goal and differentiate itself in the market."

In the future, npower will be able to expand the use ofconverged communication applications like interactive responsesoftware to provide account information such as billing tocustomers.

Avaya has supplied npower with: open standards-basedMultiVantage™ Communications Applications including: AvayaCommunication Manager for IP telephony; Avaya Interactive Responsesoftware to automate basic customer enquiries leaving contactcentre agents to concentrate on more complex aspects of customerservice; Avaya Predictive Dialler software for contact centreoptimisation; services including Avaya EXPERTNet™ remote systemsmonitoring as well as maintenance.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks formore than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent ofthe FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is aworld leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP)telephony systems and communications software applications andservices.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications withbusiness applications — and distinguished by comprehensiveworldwide services — Avaya helps customers leverage existing andnew networks to achieve superior business results. For moreinformation visit the Avaya Web site:

About npower
npower is one of the UK's top three energy suppliers drawing on 50years experience in supplying electricity and gas. npower offers arange of essential home and business services, includingconveyancing, home insurance and loans, to 6.5 million customersacross the UK.

RWE Innogy plc is a leading integrated UK energy business. Thecompany generates and supplies power to both the domestic and thecommercial markets through its retail business, npower. It operatesand manages power stations and runs its own trading business. Formore information you can visit

Categories: Press Releases
View All News