Hitchin Dental – part of the Obex Dental Group – is a large network of community dental surgeries located in Hitchin, UK. Established in 2005, it looks after the teeth of thousands of patients at 11 practices all offering a range of general and specialist dental and dental hygiene services.
Multiple locations, huge demand, and an out-dated phone system: it was no wonder that Hitchin Dental realised they needed to modernise. Often, its 11 surgeries would receive 200 calls every day; its busy receptionists and call handlers constantly trying – but failing – to cope with the volume. It was impossible to know just how many calls went unanswered or were abandoned by frustrated existing and potential patients waging their own personal battles with the same unfit-for-purpose system. Managing partners could only guess that the numbers were agonisingly-high – the likely scale of the resultant lost revenue too big for them to want to contemplate, much less calculate.
They knew they were behind the curve when it came to their communications strategy. They knew lots of owners of successful businesses who had embraced the latest technology. Trouble was, they and their teams were too busy fixing
smiles to even start thinking aboutfixing the phones.
The challenges were clear. The existing solution lacked queue management functionality enabling calls to be answered and orderly stacked; call routing functionality enabling internal transfer; and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) enabling the spoken delivery of pre-recorded information to callers who then may not need to speak directly with an agent. It was also tied to immovable hardware – hard-wired phones on reception desks and in treatment rooms – which did not provide any amount of mobility or flexibility which could support, for example, a new, cost-efficient ‘work from anywhere’ remit for any staff able to do so. Finally, the existing solution was also devoid of ability to capture any call data – the new and critical currency for any modern business wanting to convert insight into evidence-led, growth-inducing change.
The Solution From Sangoma
Accredited Sangoma Integrator Partner Dental IT worked closely with the Hitchin Dental team to fully understand the issues. Having identified the key pain points and – most importantly – their causes, Sangoma’s innovative, cloud-based Switchvox as a Service hosted communication platform stood out as the perfect solution.
Replicating all the business’ communication functionality on any connected device, anytime and anywhere via a single
application, it instantly provided rich and powerful unified communication features such as voice, video, Interactive Voice
Response (IVR) and full call management. Selected users got a personalised switchboard, visual voicemail, mobile and desktop softphone for calls and chat, call queueing, contact centre functionality, detailed call reporting, conference calling and auto-attendant capabilities; all included as standard.
The system was teamed with feature-rich, 1Gbps, plug-and-play Digium D60 and D62 entry level and level one desktop phones with 4.3-inch HD colour display, context-sensitive soft keys, and advanced applications specially designed to maximise the power of Switchvox. Hitchin Dental’s staff all received comprehensive and easy-to-understand training on how to use the new system, its live switchboard features, and its call reporting functionality.
Quickly, Hitchin Dental’s missed and abandoned calls nightmare was over. Its once-beleaguered receptionists and
call handlers adapted brilliantly to the slick and seamless new system, answering, queuing, and routing high volumes of calls confidently and efficiently.
They were empowered by a complete, at-a-glance overview of communication activity across the business’ 11 locations via a
single screen; plus, they regained control of call flows and drove up the quality of that all important, business-critical patient experience. No more frustrations. No more missed or abandoned calls. No more lost revenue.
Finally – but just as importantly – the team can deep-dive into newly-captured call data; giving a better understanding of
patient behaviour, enabling more cost-effective staff rota management, and providing evidence on which to base strategic decisions capable of generating additional revenue far more than the new solution’s capital cost.
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