The RSPCA slashes response times from 2 days to 20 minutes

The RSPCA is a highly respected organisation in the UK. When animals are suffering abuse, RSPCA inspectors swoop into action and animal cruelty cases can result in criminal convictions.

But the RSPCA usually replies on calls or messages from the public, to alert them to suspected cases of cruelty that might be worth investigating. They receive so many reports of possible abuse of neglect that it typically took over two days to reply to an email.

The organisation recently deployed a scanning system that ensures the computer systems can do much of the initial scanning of emails – with a dedicated team of officers providing backup. This change in approach has resulted in the ability to respond to emails within 20 minutes.

This is an astonishing improvement – from two days to twenty minutes just by allowing the computer system to determine urgency and who needs to see an email. The computer system is not taking decisions about action to take, but it is ensuring that messages are diverted to the most appropriate person to deal with the email – ensuring that the first person who sees the email is usually the person who can take immediate action.

It’s a great example of people and technology working together to improve customer service and this approach offers additional benefits too, such as being able to detect major issues of campaigns where many people are in touch about the same issue – then ensuring those people receive follow-up messages.

When I look at my own in-box I wish I had the same kind of technology, but I’m afraid almost all of my email is intended for me, so the scanning system wouldn’t help much! Have you heard of a way in which a technology system is dramatically improving customer service? Message me here on the blog or on Twitter if you have an example.

Photo by Ingy the Wingy licensed under Creative Commons

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