ccord and Ashram Housing Associations, both part of the Accord Group, have launched an award-winning customer contact centre based on technology from Virgin Media Business, previously known as NTL:Telewest Business.
The new Customer First centre has made it easier for tenants in Accord’s 6600 properties across 90 sites to resolve queries about everything from repairs to recycling while also enabling all branch offices to feed information into a single contact centre. The new service also handles repairs calls for properties run by BCHS.
Ian Tinsley, IS manager, Accord, said, “Given the expansion of our housing portfolio in the last five years, our contact points had grown to a number that our residents found confusing.
“While we knew we had to change our internal processes, many residents were still reliant on the old contact points. As a result we needed a supplier that could guide us through the migration process, ensuring that residents did not suffer a drop in service during the centralisation process.”
With this in mind, Accord partnered with Virgin Media Business for the migration to a new contact platform and the provision of a next-generation network which allowed it to share data and voice calls over a single network spanning all Accord Group offices.
Virgin Media Business has connected Accord, Ashram and BCHS’s offices across the Midlands with an IP-VPN product. It has also equipped the Customer First centre with Cisco IP telephony to support voicemail, call recording, call statistics and wall-display boards.
Following the launch of the Customer First centre, the Customer Contact Association has awarded it the Global Standard for its provision of consistent and efficient customer service to customers.
The Customer First centre was scrutinised by an external auditor and reported that Accord was, ‘on top of where it needs to be as a business’. Rob Pike, chair of the CCA standards council, said, “The Accord Group joins a prestigious group of over 200 contact centre operators who are leaders in delivering consistency, efficiency and continual improvement in their customer contact centres.”