Northampton Borough Council has launched a new choice-based lettings service based on its Macfarlane Telesystems unified communications infrastructure.
Northampton, the largest district council in England, manages almost 13,000 properties and employs 33 staff in its dedicated call centre, handling over 6000 customers per week.
Having used call handling and unified communications technology from Macfarlane since 2006, Northampton has added Macfarlane’s choice-based lettings module to give its tenants a flexible and automated means of bidding for new homes.
The software enables tenants to register their interest in a property by entering details on the council’s web site, calling an automated phone service, or by SMS texting. For SMS applications, the Macfarlane system automatically texts individuals to confirm that their bids have been received, whereas for phone applications the caller is given a live update on their home choice.
Northampton has also integrated its call centre with workforce management software from Q-Max, enabling the council to calculate in advance the number of advisors required to meet customer demand, ensuring there are sufficient advisors with the right skills available at all times.
Macfarlane CallPlus sends real-time data to Q-Max, enabling Q-Max to run an alert window that constantly monitors call traffic and compares it to historic traffic patterns for the same period. This allows Northampton’s call centre managers to immediately see changes in call traffic trends and use Q-Max to suggest ways of responding to them.