Capita’s Controlworks incorporating Boomerang’s threaded technology


September 20th, 2017

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Meeting a fast-paced messaging requirement


The way that we communicate has changed massively over the past 20 years. Today, consumers don’t just use the phone or traditional mail to get their message across; they make themselves heard through email, text messaging and social media.  Because consumers are using these media to communicate in their personal lives, it is inevitable that they now expect the same from their business interactions. The problem, of course, is that call centres struggle to keep up as they have difficulties identifying which channels they should focus on, and often don’t have the resources available to manage the different channels effectively.

Customer attrition is a huge problem for call centres, with research from Genesys-EMG, Alcatel-Lucent revealing that a massive 73% of UK consumers have, at one point or another, deliberately chosen to end their relationship with a goods or service provider. Open Market reports that 8 years ago, 41% of customers stated that they would tolerate a bad experience with an organisation, whereas 4 years ago this figure dropped to 14%. With this rapid change to consumer attitude and Customer Services Call Centres being the critical touch point for organisations, it is here that there is clearly no room for error.

Tight budgets have been a perennial problem for call centres, thanks to the high costs associated with staffing them; the issue has burgeoned in recent years against a backdrop of global recession. In many cases, senior executives no longer regard call centre efficiency savings as a ‘nice to have’; instead, they are demanding them as standard.  This is particularly relevant to public sector call centres, which are often being asked to slash their budgets by 25%, in line with central government targets.  According to benchmarking firm Dimension Data, the average annual absence rate in contact centres across the globe is 11%.

In order to overcome these issues, many companies are now employing automated messaging technologies to cut down the number of staff required to take calls from customers. A conventional automated question and response messaging service is burdened in three areas:

  1. It relies heavily on a ‘one-in, one-out’ protocol in order to maintain a lucid conversation. The process risks being stalled by not completing one conversation correctly and therefore preventing a second conversation being started between the customer and the database.
  2. Overcoming the ‘one-in one-out’ problem is achieved by forcing all correspondence pertaining to one topic being labelled with a key-word in the subject line. This imposes a tedious burden on the user and is open to errors if the strict protocol is not followed.
  3. The full audit trail (history) of a customer’s interaction isn’t always totally transferrable between operatives, once handed over from the automated system to agents.

This was the case for Capita’s Controlworks application for SMS-based interaction, before the introduction of a Proof of Concept (POC) which leveraged intelligent threaded messaging.

The introduction of Boomerang’s patented technology has addressed the major limitations listed above.  Instantly, all communication threads have been made unambiguous and the handling and management of calls becomes far more streamlined.

Threading ensures that every message conversation maintains its own unique thread, allowing a recipient to maintain several concurrent conversations with an automated application or database without fear of cross-over of replies.

As part of the POC, Capita has interfaced Boomerang’s technology within their ‘Controlworks’ product to add a powerful and adaptable triage workflow for emergency operation centres.  In this particular guise, it is aimed at non-emergency community engagement with any agency (such as the police), to inform and report incidents and events.  As an incident or event is reported by a member of the public, an automated, interactive workflow is triggered, which is used to triage the nature and severity of the incident (or event); a resulting report is then passed to the relevant office within the police to be dealt with accordingly. This is crucial to increasing the availability of telephone operators so that they are free to deal with emergency situations.

Furthermore, the solution can manage the communications across several concurrent cases, and if so desired, across multiple operators.  With its inherent recording, the product is able to manage the transition of information between operator shifts (providing an end-to-end conversation trail to the incumbent case officer) and giving the full history of the report when passed to the field. The added benefits of the introduction of a digital messaging solution are manifold:


  • Customer choice and therefore convenience can be delivered
  • Communications are recorded on the client-side, maintaining FCA compliance
  • Customers can interact when it’s convenient to do so and pertinent information is stored on their device
  • The solution delivers a consistent approach to customer engagement
  • A seamless transition of information between operators ensures quality of service
  • Emergency incidents are systematically prioritised and the impact of non-critical enquiries is removed from the call centre
  • The process is flexible and can be easily tweaked to improve or manage non-critical communications during crises


The adoption of this turnkey technology has allowed Capita to take its market-leading Control Works product and deliver an auditable, unambiguous and efficient messaging solution that produces real cost savings, whilst improving the end user’s experience. Using this technology will deliver tangible results for customers of Capita. It will allow true emergencies to be prioritised whilst delivering a consistent and efficient service to other calls of a less time-critical nature.  Boomerang’s intelligent messaging is not limited to deployment in an emergency services scenario, it is eminently applicable to any call centre service. Using specialist communication tools improves the ability to deliver a first-call resolution and using simple immediate actions can assist help desks to reduce call queue waiting times and staff overheads.

Employing this effective turnkey solution or using any combination of Boomerang’s products which are all underpinned by its threaded technology delivers noticeable benefits immediately: cost savings, customer satisfaction and workforce efficiencies.

Setting up a free trial with any of the Boomerang products either as a stand-alone turnkey solution or embedding the technology into an existing product or service is quick and easy to achieve.


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