Together Housing Group, which handles over 38,000 calls a month, has successfully migrated the telephony platforms of its five constituent housing organisations onto a single system from Mplsystems.
After the group’s formation in 2011 to join five separate housing associations, it found that the various customer service centres were all using different telephony platforms, with some centres having up to 15 different phone numbers for customer service enquiries. This made it very difficult for the group as a whole to deliver consistent levels of customer service. Together Housing therefore decided to aim for a ‘one call for all’ service offering.
Working with Together Housing’s team, Mplsystems has designed a contact centre solution that brings together all calls from the multiple housing brands within the group into one secure system. Although currently operating on an East/West basis, the system allows for the possibility of the five regional contact centres to work as one virtual team, with calls being intelligently routed from one call centre to another, enabling them to effectively share resources and significantly improve productivity.
With the implementation of an intelligent desktop, the customer service team can now resolve customer enquiries regardless of the housing association involved, while maintaining the local identity of each association. The agent’s desktop identifies the customer as soon as the call is connected and presents their data on a single user interface, allowing the agent to deal with the call more efficiently.
Stephen Batley, group head of customer services, Together Housing Group, said, “Each of the housing providers was operating separate telephony systems, which was clearly not suitable if we were to realise the benefits of a group structure. Mplsystems’ IntelligentContact has allowed us to achieve this, while ensuring that we can maintain the local identity of each individual association.
“The system from Mplsystems has also ensured that we are connecting the customer to the most skilled agent using intelligent skills-based routing. This was important because in the past agents specialised in certain areas such as repairs or lettings, so we can now maximise their knowledge in a more productive way across the group.”
The new systems also gives customers a call-back option; once their enquiry reaches the front of the queue, an agent will call them back, avoiding the need for customers to spend a long time on hold. The call-backs are usually within 15 minutes and subsequently over-exceed customer expectations.
Batley said, “Mplsystems’ solution has played a big part in helping us transform the service we deliver through our customer service centres. We can now work as a group, rather than as separate organisations, benefiting both us and our customers.”
The next phase of Together Housing’s project is to integrate email, social media and web chat into Mplsystems’ IntelligentContact to provide an omni-channel customer experience.