Relationships Australia Queensland

Relationships Australia Queensland

How Synergy helped Relationships Australia Queensland modernise their contact centre telephony platform

It’s changed the way we see and do things, and you can see it in our metrics. We’re getting through to more clients, we’re giving them a better experience, and our staff love it. It has truly surprised and delighted us.


Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ) is on a mission to promote healthy relationships, particularly where people and communities are at risk or vulnerable. The organisation provides services from over 20 venues across Queensland, with clients typically making initial contact over the phone through their Virtual Services team.

“Our job in the contact centre is to provide clients with either enough information to self-manage their issue, refer them to our services for ongoing treatment, or provide a brief solution-focused intervention over the phone,” said Joshua Ellis, Head of Virtual Services and Technology at Relationships Australia Queensland. “The problem was that people couldn’t get their calls answered, let alone access the advice or treatment they needed.”

It was this ongoing issue along with the implementation of a new CRM system that kicked off the search for a cloud contact centre telephony platform.

Legacy system leaves agents’ hands tied and calls unanswered

The new platform had to integrate seamlessly with RAQ’s new CRM and help address fundamental issues around the customer experience. This included growing wait times, high abandonment rates, and a lack of visibility of client history while taking calls.

“We had almost no capability to manage our workflows or integrate with our CRM as our on-premise solution was outdated and lacked capability,” said Joshua. “Relatively straightforward changes, such as amending an IVR, took three days to make. Our staff had to jump in and out of different programs to get basic client insights while on a call. We couldn’t set up virtual holds, omnichannel communications, or skills-based routing – basically all the things our clients wanted, and our business needed”.

Finding the right partner after a 12-month false start

Before working with Synergy, the RAQ team had what they describe as a discouraging experience updating their platform with another vendor. “We tried to implement their solution, but after 12 months of going back and forth, we still couldn’t get it off the ground,” said Joshua. “This left us significantly behind schedule, so the pressure was on to find the right partner.”

The team reached out to Synergy following a recommendation from their CRM partner. “Synergy understood the not-for-profit space and related budget considerations really well,” said Joshua. “They had a secure, robust solution that could adapt and grow with our business. On top of that, they showed a genuine interest in building a partnership. It made the decision to partner with them easy”.

First phone line implemented within weeks

To kick off the project, the Synergy and RAQ teams worked together to map out the requirements for 13 different phone lines, each with its own contract and flow methodology. “Synergy was very good at understanding our requirements from the start, as well as guiding us through how things should look and how we could use the system,” said Joshua.

The first phone line solution was implemented after just four weeks. “It was really important that our clients didn’t notice we were learning a new system and that internal transfers were seamless,”’ said Joshua. “Because Twilio Flex is so easy to use, our staff were able to learn the new system quite quickly. Synergy was right there to help us make sure any problems that came up were dealt with quickly and effectively.”

It was built in record time. We spent almost 12 months with the previous vendor and ended up with nothing. With Synergy, we had the first phone line up and running after four weeks and the other 12 up and running a few weeks later.


30% increase in answer rates kick-start a transformed customer experience

Since implementing Twilio Flex with Synergy, RAQ has been able to:

Increase answer rates by 30% with virtual holds

Since offering virtual hold, answer rates have jumped up 30% and 20% of clients have taken up this option. “This means more clients are being serviced the way they want, and we can reach more clients, which not only benefits our business, but the sector as a whole,” said Joshua.

Accelerate staff development with real-time coaching

Team leaders and supervisors can provide real-time coaching thanks to whisper, barge, and hold functionality. “Our people work in a complex environment and that can be tricky for newcomers,” said Joshua. “So, in terms of developing our people and making sure they’re doing the right thing for our clients, it’s been a real game changer”.

Effective workforce planning with data-driven rosters

The adoption of Twilio Flex means RAQ can now draw on data from their telephony system into their workforce planning system. “Being able to roster effectively four weeks in advance was not something we could do,” said Joshua. “It takes much less time to produce rosters and we can be more available for clients when they need us most”.

Improve call routing with self-service IVRs

Self-service IVRs allow RAQ to quickly adapt to changes and manage the customer experience. For example, if there is an issue with another legacy system, the team can quickly post messages to advise clients of what’s happened and divert traffic to the right areas.

Enhanced service delivery with a 360-degree view of clients

Equipped with a 360-degree view of clients and their history, agents can better connect with and serve clients. “It’s all happening automatically now, so we can better service our clients within the relatively short time we have them, and we can get through to more calls,” said Joshua.

Preparing for the next level of customer experience

For the team at RAQ, the transformation of the customer experience is just getting started. Omnichannel communication is next on the agenda, with the introduction of email, web chat, and social media, so RAQ can help clients via their channel of choice.
“Moving to the cloud with Twilio Flex has given us endless possibilities from an automation, efficiency, operations, and customer experience perspective,” said Joshua. “The platform offers a competitive price without compromising the bells and whistles. And if you’ve got people from Synergy working with you on developing that system, you get a lot more value than you expect”.

Interested in learning more about Twilio Flex? Get in touch to talk to our team about how we can help deliver excellent customer experiences.