Town & Country Housing Group has developed its own money support and service charge enquiries system using Optevia’s Social Housing Essentials software and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.
Following just two days of training and online learning sessions, Town & Country Housing was able to design, configure and deploy its new service charges system within days.
Jamie Barker, project manager, Town & Country Housing Group, said, “Like all housing providers, we have to send out service charge notices twice a year. Previously, we would send out a letter explaining what the service rate charge was with a breakdown of all costs. Our call-centre team would then be inundated with queries. Calls would be logged on disparate and siloed Excel spreadsheets, which were then difficult to query and also often tricky to locate.
“Using Social Housing Essentials and Dynamics CRM, we worked with the various teams involved and designed a full end-to-end process, with associated SLAs and intelligent workflows, to ensure any queries were routed to the right individual or department to deal with. By developing an integrated view, we were able to rationalise the existing 42 service charge items to only the ones that were relevant to improve the user experience and the speed at which we can answer tenants’ queries.”
The second service launched and developed by Town & Country Housing’s own team was a money support service. Tenants facing financial hardship often require support to consolidate debts and help in developing a debt repayment programme.
Barker said, “Last year, we managed over 500 money support cases and, in the two weeks since we have been live, we now have 40 cases logged. It’s clear that with the pressures caused by welfare reform, this figure will increase further. Our new money support service lets us look at outstanding debts at the end of a repayment programme and determine whether tenants need additional support from our team.”
Steve Lyon, business director for health and housing, Optevia, said, “Town & Country Housing has taken ownership of the system and entrusted its future development to Dynamics CRM so it is imperative that they understand it and are comfortable with it.
“Where it can, Town & Country Housing will take on development of the system itself using Social Housing Essentials but for more complex change requests or new development lines, we will work with them as their selected partner.”
Barker said, “We can now set expectations internally about system delivery times and new service lines, with a 6-8 week release cycle for introducing new processes and functionality within the CRM system.”