Town & Country Housing Group (TCHG) has gone live with Microsoft Dynamics CRM from public sector and housing CRM specialists Optevia. The solution, based on Optevia Social Housing Essentials (OSHE), enables users to better handle workload through automatic prioritisation; to better align services with customer requirements; manage individual employee capacity and empower the Customer Service Centre (CSC) to answer customer queries at the first point of contact.
The new solution is in use by more than 85 staff including CSC, housing and income managers. CSC staff now have access to a series of built in FAQs so when customers call, queries can often be dealt with at the first point of contact. All queries are recorded in Dynamics CRM and reports can be produced highlighting the most popular query, enabling TCHG to better align the service offering with customer need.
Previously, the CSC would send customer requests via email to the income and housing managers and response times to requests were often dependent on the order in which emails were read. Now, TCHG has identified which service requests require prioritisation enabling income and housing managers to deal with the most pressing tasks first.
Jamie Barker, Project Manager at TCHG comments: “The system has been live for only a few weeks and we have seen significant benefit already. It was our aim from the outset to increase CSC’s resolution rate to 80% and I am confident we will achieve that.
“Already income managers and housing managers are commenting on the significant decrease in their volume of email and in their ability to deal with customer queries within service level agreements. The system is enabling us to ensure that the most urgent cases – offensive graffiti, domestic abuse etc – can be dealt with far more quickly and efficiently.”
Managers can instantly see the progress of queries and which tasks are approaching the SLA limit and can take appropriate action. The system also provides more transparency on individual workload and can help allocate work based on individual capacity.
Fran Merrin, Customer Services Adviser, who works in the CSC and was involved in testing the CRM design prior to go live, said: “The main difference between CRM and the old system is that now I have everything in one place and I don’t have to constantly switch screens to deal with a customer’s query.
“It is far easier to select the right case type – be it anti-social behaviour or special service requests – and the system routes requests automatically to the right income officer or housing manager. The FAQs also make it very easy to answer queries on the phone. I am on the frontline and being empowered to deal with customer queries quickly and efficiently helps me do my job and ensures our customers are happy with the service they receive.”
Phase two of the project – currently under way – will provide service charge enquiry handling, email and deeper integration into the Housing Management System.
Using OSHE, the solution was designed and deployed within six months. OSHE has been designed specifically for social housing providers. It reflects the business processes and workflows of providers and includes a predetermined set of templates to enable rapid deployment. Templates and workflows in OSHE include tenancy and estate management; complaints; ASB and financial and social inclusion. OSHE provides highly enhanced use of standard case management in CRM enabling housing organisations to build additional service lines and case management templates much more quickly.