Case Study Cloud Contact Centre: FirstCare


FirstCare provides absence management services for large UK private and public sector employers. Besides supporting employee wellbeing with its unique 24/7/365 nurse-led service, its online portal enables clients to analyse and benchmark absence trends within their business, increasing productivity and driving down risk and cost. FirstCare celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2019.

Over recent years, the business has experienced exceptional growth, with user numbers continually increasing as the service is rolled out across the workforces of new and current clients. With plans to continue expansion by 300% in the short term, FirstCare has already relocated from central London to larger offices in Watford.

To support its goals and maintain its market-leading position, FirstCare embarked on a digital transformation programme 3 years ago, aimed at redesigning the service ‘from the ground up’. At the time of writing, the programme is nearing completion, with clients conducting trials of the upgraded platform and a full rollout scheduled across the coming months.


The priorities of FirstCare’s transformation programme presented several key challenges:

  • Building growth and improving productivity while maintaining all-important standards in an increasing competitive market. The sensitive nature of user data and communications, for example, demands the highest levels of quality throughout the service. To this end, FirstCare’s systems are ISO-accredited for information security, business continuity and quality assurance.
  • Dealing with exceptional peaks and troughs in demand. For example, Monday accounts for 25% of weekly call volumes, while 44% of daily calls arrive in the three hours between 6:30am and 9:30am. The system would need to meet FirstCare’s stringent answer speeds on a 24/7/365 basis.
  • Delivering a diverse range of client-requested features.
  • Integrating FirstCare’s CRM system with both the service platform and the contact centre, to provide a more agile response to client queries. This would be key to putting more control into the hands of service users and system administration managers. With improved contact centre capabilities, shorter, simpler tasks could be moved from the customer support and service teams and managed more effectively through the contact centre team.
  • Making the system easier to operate and more flexible in adapting to future requirements. The new system would need to meet FirstCare’s business goals, while offering the very latest voice and contact centre technology.

Summary of Business Challenges

  • Scaling to meet the demands of a rapidly growing business.
  • Meeting service levels in an increasingly competitive market.
  • Handling wide fluctuations in call volumes and workloads.
  • Improving productivity of customer services by moving simple tasks to the contact centre.
  • Meeting quality standards for service users dealing with sensitive issues.
  • Making the contact centre easier to use through integration with CRM and management platforms.


Procurement considered a set of contact centre priorities, heavily focused on end user experience, now and in the future:

  • Routing calls via an ACD function
  • Auto attendant
  • IVR
  • Call recording
  • Configurable wallboard
  • Real-time reporting and analysis

Simple scalability, open source architecture and availability of APIs were considered important requirements for development of the system over the lifetime of the solution. Service levels were required to meet 99.99% availability on a 24/7/365 basis, particularly for those users employed by organisations working around the clock, such as airports and manufacturing plants.

Other requirements included SIP implementation; 4G back-up and resilience; and ISO security compliance as applied to encryption, GDPR and other standards. It was recognised that all these services needed a professional, technical support team that had the skills to understand the unique nature of FirstCare’s business and keep track of ‘what’s happening on the ground’.

Business Outcomes

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant scoring gave FirstCare an early indicator of PureCloud’s exceptional capabilities. Product features more than matched requirements and placed the Genesys system ahead of the others in a seven-vendor shortlist.

When it came to implementation support, the selection of Foehn was based on recommendation from Genesys and acknowledgement of Foehn’s accreditation as a UK-based, Genesys Gold Partner. Foehn’s skills and technical support services were instrumental in awarding the contract.

Following an extensive supplier selection process, the combination of Genesys PureCloud technology supported by Foehn’s experience and deployment services was identified as the best solution.

Taking a value engineering approach to implementation, Foehn experts aligned PureCloud with FirstCare’s KPIs, working collaboratively to map the business processes and goals to drive better business outcomes, improve customer experience and measuring performance.

Within 10 months, PureCloud was fully deployed and delivering important business benefit:

Minimised quality audit time

FirstCare’s ISO Quality Management accreditation demands an independent audit twice a year, examining client interactions in the contact centre. PureCloud transformed the compliance procedure by bringing screen and voice recording together, halving the time required by an assessor to undertake a call audit.

Improved call-back management

The call-back procedure for FirstCare’s nurses – often working remotely – has been streamlined by integrating PureCloud with the company’s service platform. Queuing is now controlled within PureCloud, which has streamlined the nurses’ workflow, delivering the work like an inbound call and increasing the occupancy of the team. This has also enhanced the level of insight into nurse staffing demands.

Workforce management

PureCloud has simplified workforce management, with its advance forecasting toolsets enhancing accuracy of schedules to demand. With its ‘all-in-one’ solution integrated with telephony, the process requires minimal administration and benefits from the continual release of new features and functions.

Improved advisor occupancy

PureCloud’s multi-channel capability enables voice, call-back and email to be managed alongside each other, with further expansion options such as message and chat that can be implemented with ease. It empowers advisors to take on a broader variety of work, while saving time and maximising utilisation. It also provides opportunities to upskill, cultivating motivation in the workforce.

Improved advisor productivity

By integrating PureCloud with FirstCare’s back-office system and CRM platform, the process of administering incoming calls has been greatly simplified, reducing call times and enhancing user experience. Caller ID verification can now be automated, and advisors are able to access information and link call recordings within the CRM quickly and easily.

Improved user experience

PureCloud’s IVR functionality has enhanced service user experience in a variety of ways. Call times have been reduced through automated ID verification, and there is now the opportunity to interact with the service via the IVR, to check and manage the status of call-backs, for example.

Improved contact centre performance measurement

It is crucial that FirstCare can assess its contact centre performance in a variety of ways, particularly its responsiveness to callers who may be in distress. PureCloud has improved the company’s ability to monitor such measures – historical records and trends, for example – to identify future improvements in the quality of outcomes to FirstCare users.

Summary of Business Outcomes

  • Combined voice and screen recordings have halved the time required for quality audits.
  • Automated scheduling and notifications have made the nurse call-back process more efficient and enhanced insight into nurse resourcing.
  • Minimised scheduling administration and enhanced forecasting toolsets.
  • Increased contact centre occupancy.
  • Integrated CRM, improving advisor productivity and user experience.

Final Word

At the time of writing, the transformation programme is nearing completion, with PureCloud deployed and FirstCare’s upgraded service platform undergoing customer trials. The business is on course to meet its expansion targets.

John Coyne, FirstCare Head of IT, Data and Compliance, summarises:

“Foehn’s true understanding of business issues and KPIs was immensely valuable in our regular meetings where we discussed design considerations and future roadmap developments. Without doubt, collaboration between our two teams helped us make the right decisions and avoided double-up on development work. Also, our combined teamwork provided an economical and flexible solution where Foehn focused time on their design expertise whilst our in-house team did the heavy uplift work at lower cost. Implementation was critical and, with Foehn’s help, we got it right.”