A new knowledge management tool developed by IT specialists Technology Services Group (TSG) has saved Home Group £220,000 in its first year of operation and reduced the training time for new call-centre staff by almost 70 per cent, from one month to just 10 days.
Home Group receives over 24,000 repair calls every month. Inefficiencies within its call centre’s processes meant that non-specialist staff ran the risk of sending the wrong information to tenants and causing unnecessary repair visits.
Paul Fitton, senior IS manager, Home Group, said, “Before the introduction of TSG’s knowledge management tool, if a plumbing-related problem came through to us, the solution offered to the tenant might have been different depending on the varying levels of experience of the different call-centre agents.”
TSG recommended a knowledge management solution using Microsoft’s SharePoint Online. A system was configured for Home Group’s customer services centre to deal with in-bound calls from its customers more efficiently. To enable its immediate use, the system was initially deployed as a cloud-based SharePoint solution via Microsoft Office 365 before being migrated to Microsoft SharePoint to fit in with Home’s preferred on-premise IT strategy.
Fitton said, “When a call comes in, the call-centre agent collects information which kicks off a workflow, coaching the agent through a series of questions. Depending on the caller’s answers, the agent is led step-by-step to the correct solution, which might be anything from noting that the rent has been paid to sending out the correct repair person and automatically booking the time on the Home Group calendar.”
Donna Middleton, director of customer experience, Home Group, said, “We don’t need to have everyone fully knowledgeable in every area because the call-centre staff are guided along by the knowledge system. As long as they’re asking the right questions and putting in the right answers, they’ll find the solution.
“The system guides staff through every eventuality, narrowing down to a single answer which tells them what to do and where to go. It also integrates into the business contractor software and pops the proper appointment on the right calendar, reducing the need for second or even misplaced maintenance calls.”