Etisalat partnership signals RTA intent to end traffic woe

Dubai’s Road and Transports Authority (RTA) has begun outsourcing its call centre requirements to Etisalat, as part of a major new drive towards enhancing customer service.

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By  Chris Whyatt Published  March 19, 2006

Dubai’s Road and Transports Authority (RTA) has begun outsourcing its call centre requirements to Etisalat, as part of a major new drive towards enhancing customer service. Last week the RTA announced the launch of its new 24/7 call centre in partnership with The Contact Centre (a business unit of Etisalat), which has gone live with immediate effect. Previously, the RTA was served by Dubai Municipality, with a small team working on a limited number of phones during office hours only. The move comes as the government is making real efforts to improve the transport infrastructure of Dubai, especially as construction for the new Metro system gets underway. Based in Ajman, The Contact Centre will initially have 30 dedicated lines set aside for the RTA toll-free phone number — 800 9090 —which will provide a raft of information relating to public transport, parking, fines, traffic congestion and road maintenance. The call centre technology is based on solutio- ns from Avaya and the RTA claimed that 80% of all calls will be answered by a live operator within 20 seconds, with the choi- ce of either Arabic or English. “Creating a smooth and safe transport system for all lies at the core of RTA’s objectives,” said Aysha Al Busmait, RTA’s director of marketing and corporate communications. “Setting up this call centre will perfectly complement our vision, as providing important information to the general public on matters related to public transport and traffic will significantly help them in planning their travel within Dubai. The call centre will serve as a central point of contact for the public who wish to avail information from the RTA,” she added. In the first phase the centre will provide details on public transport and paid parking facilities. With the advanced facilities available at The Contact Centre, this will be upgraded over the coming months, in terms of information sectors — traffic congestion, accidents, fine payments, and so on — and how people access and receive that information. “We will transform the service from a simple call centre to a sophisticated multimedia contact centre, handling everythi- ng from simple inquiries to supporting online transactions,” said Mohammad Wahid Al Bastaki, sector manager of corporate customers at Etisalat. Fax, SMS, e-mail postal and online facilities will be rolled out for the public as the centre gets to grips with the new contract, and the level of demand will also be monitored in case more staff are needed to man more phones. Ahmad Kazim, director of strategy and organisational performance at the RTA, said the department was also in the process of developing an advanced communication system to enable effective communication between the call centre and the RTA. The RTA department is assuming responsibility for handling suggestions and complaints that filter through from the public from The Contact Centre in Ajman. Etisalat’s call centre cost US$60million and has a 600-basestation capacity. Set up in 2002, it currently provides call centre services for organisations including Dubai eGovernment, Thuraya, Emirates Post, Mashreqbank and E-Vision.

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