DARLINGTON Building Society is investing in a modern, highly efficient telephone system to make communicating with customers easier and quicker.

The new system is web-based, with all staff logged in through their personal computers, so they will always have access whether they are working in head office, one of the branches, or from home.

The project is a positive response to members’ feedback and has been overseen by Sara Robinson, Savings Support Operations Manager.

“Right from the start, the vision was to enhance the customer experience and I’m completely confident it will do that,” said Sara.

The system is being implemented in all areas of the business, with enhanced functionality and unlimited lines, ensuring that callers can quickly be put through to the right person.

A staff group, covering all aspects of the business, was established to work with communications company 8×8 so that all departments had a voice in the system’s design and implementation.

“This project represents a significant investment in the future of the business, so it was important that staff were widely consulted in the way it operates,” explained Sara.

Chief Executive Andrew Craddock added: “Darlington Building Society prides itself on first-class, personal customer service, and this investment is another example of our commitment to go on finding ways to make it easier for our members to deal with us.”

As well as the system being accessed through PCs, each branch will also retain a landline.

Jamie Snaddon, Managing Director, EMEA at 8×8, Inc said, “As organisations shift to a hybrid work model, maintaining and enhancing employee and customer engagement is important. Providing Darlington Building Society with the 8×8 XCaaS integrated cloud communications and contact centre platform enables employees to communicate and collaborate from anywhere while delivering a differentiated level of customer experience.”

The plan is for the system to go live next month, with head office and branch numbers staying the same. Members will then be given options to reach the person they need, with the Society’s helpful staff on hand to help if anyone is unsure.

The options when dialling 366366 are as follows:

Option 1: Savings. Further options are for existing savings and online enquiries to be directed to the support teams; new savings enquiries go to the branch network.

Option 2: Mortgages. Further options are for existing mortgage customers to be directed to the support team; there is also an option for financial support if people want to discuss payments; new mortgage enquiries go to direct sales; or to make a monthly mortgage payment, calls will go to the administration team.

Option 3: General Enquiries. These will be dealt with by the administration team in head office.

Option 4: Darlington Intermediaries support.