Swale Heating

Enquire now


Specialist BT knowledge helps a major independent UK gas services company capture and respond to lost incoming calls

“Pensioner suffers in freezing flat” is not a headline anyone wants to see. And certainly not Chris Riley. He’s responsible for keeping things running at the largest Independent Gas Service, Maintenance and Installation company in the South of England

With over 100,000 properties under contract, Chris couldn’t afford the small risk that an abandoned call might be from someone vulnerable desperate for help. BT upgraded the company’s contact centre, which now automatically presents agents with the phone number abandoned calls were made from (where available).

A call back means Chris can be sure potential emergencies are not missed, while he’s getting higher sales and happier customers into the bargain.


We’re a services business. At peak times we can take over 2,500 calls a day at our contact centre. Each and every one is important, be it a customer in distress or a sales enquiry. BT is like-minded and, with its help and insight, we’ve managed to capture more calls and keep even more customers safe and happy.”
- Chris Riley, Operations Director, Swale Heating


A faulty boiler may be an inconvenience for some, but for the elderly and the vulnerable it can be a genuine emergency. As the largest independent gas service, maintenance and installation company in the South of England, Swale Heating takes that issue very seriously. With over 100,000 properties across south east England to look after, it has to be certain it can react day and night, seven days a week. From its Kent headquarters, a friendly voice has always to be there to offer advice and direct the company’s 300-strong field engineering team.

Swale Heating prides itself on enhancing the customer experience through the intelligent application of IT, and its contact centre is a critical component in that quest. With a target of 90 per cent of callers answered inside 20 seconds, few incoming calls are abandoned. Those that are should be assiduously recorded and followed up. Just in case.

Chris Riley, Operations Director at Swale Heating, explains: “Although relatively few in number, the consequences of missed calls can be significant. Breaking the lifeline for those most at risk is the greatest worry, but we also clearly have a commercial imperative to respond to new orders as quickly as possible.”


The ability to display calling line identity (CLI) information from the public network has been available for many years, but its use as a safety net and analytical tool is much more recent. Already adopted as such by the emergency services, companies with similar civic responsibilities like Swale Heating are rapidly following suit.

We recognised there was an issue and that it was time to act,” says Chris Riley. “As a service-led company we need a communications supplier with a similar mindset. That’s the basis of our long-term relationship with BT.” BT supplies Swale Heating with a complete communications solution including ISDN bearer circuits, incoming Freefone services, and a BT Onsite Contact solution, featuring Avaya Aura Contact Centre 6.

Given a clear mandate to enable the capture of abandoned call details, a BT specialist team sprang into action. Product upgrades were identified to enable the contact centre hardware platform to process the required CLI information. Integrated with a BT-developed reporting application, this meant that Swale Heating outbound calling agents would be able to immediately see CLI details in a user-friendly format, and quickly call customers back.


Call abandonment can happen for many reasons, but one thing’s clear. With today’s pace of life people are less patient and expect to be answered within a few seconds. Typically, 50 per cent of customers do not disclose their CLI data for privacy reasons. However, the 50 per cent who do are more likely to get their problem solved or their order processed even if they do abandon the call.

The BT solution thus maximises risk avoidance for Swale Heating, while ensuring sales and service opportunities are followed through to a successful conclusion. The results will significantly improve customer service, and may even save a life or prevent serious injury in an emergency.

Implemented in just six weeks, delivery was accelerated because BT knew the Swale Heating infrastructure well and did not need to climb a steep learning curve. Chris Riley sums up: “This is a great example of BT – individually and collectively – doing a fantastic job. They always pull out all the stops to make sure we get what we need, when we need it.”

Core Services

  • BT Onsite Contact featuring Avaya Aura Contact Centre 6
  • BT Inbound Contact
  • Configuration of reporting and management software to generate a list of abandoned calls with their CLI