Law Firm Makes a Case for Call Tracking
Irwin Mitchell is one of the United Kingdom’s largest and most respected full-service law firms with 11 offices in the UK and Spain. Its telephone system is far-reaching and complex: All 900+ solicitors have direct lines, and the firm runs a large inbound call centre and a debt recovery business that uses an outbound dialler.
Yet, with all that inbound and outbound phone traffic, there was no way to track and trace calls. The firm’s phone system is built on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager), Cisco’s call control platform that captures call data. “All the information was there, but only trained IT people like me could see what was happening and produce reports,” says Sally Webster, the firm’s telephone network engineer.
Irwin Mitchell sought a solution that would enable departmental managers to submit queries, pull call data into a database and produce easy-to-read reports showing where calls came from, where they went, who made them, their duration and their cost. “We have a lot of queries from the business to find out when certain clients have been called or when they called in, and if people are making international calls we need to know,” says Webster. “But we had no way of tracing the calls.”
The firm’s IT manager saw Tiger Communications at an exposition and invited the Cisco Developer Network Solution partner in for a demo. Irwin Mitchell quickly saw the benefits Tiger could provide such as reports that are easily manipulated and readable by departments that are requesting information.
Irwin Mitchell’s system is comprised of Tiger 2020 pro 5.3, which offers real-time IP LAN/WAN connectivity integrated to Cisco Call Manager to monitor calls. An automated Tiger Directory integrates to the Call Manager Directory, enabling detailed reports – daily, weekly, monthly and ad hoc – tailored for individual departments. The reports, available as PDF, Excel, Word or HTML files provide metrics on call traffic to support staffing decisions; enable departmental performance analyses that help maintain key performance indicators and service level agreements; and help resolve customer disputes.
With Tiger, managers can easily set up automated queries for their areas of business, and they can specify what they want to see in the reports. Tiger reporting has a lot of fields that enable managers to choose what they want to search for – calling number, called number, time/date, call duration and whether the number was busy or the call was answered.
The setup was easy, says Webster – just a simple FTP transfer, so that the call data could get to Tiger. Irwin Mitchell had recently upgraded to Cisco Unified Communications Manager 5.3. Integration was seamless because the Tiger backend is structured the same as Call Manager. With a rich, CAXL interface, Cisco is designed as an open platform to simplify and accelerate the development of value-added, web-based applications like Tiger 2020 Pro and the Tiger Directory.
For the first time in Irwin Mitchell’s 100+ year history, the firm can monitor telephone traffic and assign billing to the appropriate departments and clients alike. The ability to track calls helps managers to analyse calling trends, maintain adequate staffing levels and improve service. When hunt group calls come in, management can see when they go unanswered. Based on call volume, they can schedule or hire more staff or cut back on resources. Consequently, Irwin Mitchell runs more efficiently.
Another benefit: “We often hear from clients that their calls to us have gone unanswered,” says Webster. “Now we can look at the calls to verify these claims.” Cisco captures the call data, and Tiger formats the reports so they can be easily accessed and read.
The firm can now track international calls and produce reports that show which calls were related to the business and which were personal – and it can bill these international calls to the appropriate parties.
Key to this success is the Cisco-Tiger Communications relationship. From the Tiger project team that took a deep dive into the legal market prior to installation, to the engineers who installed Irwin Mitchell’s system on site in just a half a day, to the trainers who ensure that departmental managers get the most out of the technology, to the on-going after-care service, Tiger Communications delivers a system that works hand-in-hand with Cisco to track calls and deliver readable reports that save money and improve efficiency for the law firm.
“Like many organizations, Irwin Mitchell had to be accountable for the costs of their telephony,” says Stephen McCallum, Managing Director of Tiger Communications. “Now they can use Tiger to allocate billing and system usage across the organization.”