Multi-channel contact centre supports learndirect’s move to online teaching and learning in the UK and beyond
learndirect is an e-learning business which was set up in 1998. It launched its network of learning centres in 2001, offering courses ranging from the basics of maths and English, to the more complex subjects of IT and business management.Since its launch, learndirect has become a nationally recognised brand for learning with the largest e-learning network of its kind in the world. Its objective is to reach those with few skills and qualifications, who are unlikely to take part in traditional forms of learning. learndirect also aims to equip people with the skills they need for employability, thereby strengthening the skills of the workforce and increasing the country’s productivity.
One of learndirect’s main aims is to meet its objectives through the use of new and innovative technologies. Traditionally, the organisation has offered its online courses through learning centres supported by on site tutors, but more recently it has started to deliver support remotely to provide greater flexibility to people. By doing this, learndirect can target those learners for whom learning at a centre is not suitable, such as single parents, people abroad and the unemployed.
Fiona Benoist, head of technology planning and service for learndirect, explains, ‘Making learning accessible has always been a key part of what we do. However, we wanted to take advantage of the latest communications technology to help make our services available to even more people. Being able to access courses and support online opens up a whole new world of learning for those who are unable to come into our learning centres.’
As a result of this new direction, learndirect launched a new online learning portal which acts as an online classroom environment, where learners are grouped according to the course they are taking and can collaborate with their peers to discuss various topics and to develop coursework. However, with an online service of this nature, there are many instances in which learners need to contact someone from learndirect, whether for support in using the portal, or to discuss specific learning issues. This led to the requirement for a sophisticated multi-channel communications platform.
learndirect selected Damovo to deliver a managed multi-channel communications platform which allows learners greater flexibility in communicating with the organisation in a way that suits them, such as by telephone, email, SMS or Instant Messaging. This not only enables UK based learners to interact with learndirect more effectively, but also encourages more people to access learning and training programmes from abroad.
The new platform provided by Damovo is a bespoke solution based on best-of-breed technology, with the core components being a Mitel 3300 IP platform and Mitel CCM multimedia contact centre.
Damovo also hosts the core communications system, which includes managing desktop applications remotely using a terminal services environment. The local area network, which links agents with the platform, was delivered by Damovo’s technology partner Extreme Networks.
The system has the capacity to support 1,700 agents who could handle around 1.6 million enquiries per year. These agents are responsible for determining learner needs and offer assistance and guidance throughout the entire learning provision and assessment process.
Benefits for learners
This multi-channel communications platform gives learners access to help with everything from customer service and administration enquiries, through to tutor and course learning support. The communications platform is also linked to learndirect’s customer relationship management (CRM) system which logs and manages each individual learner’s interaction with the organisation.
In addition to providing learners with a more flexible way to communicate, the Damovo solution ultimately provides them with an enhanced online learning experience and has proved to be the correct choice for learndirect’s need.
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