Housing Association benefits from unified communications
Hightown Housing Association is a regional housing association which owns and manages more than 3,000 homes in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. A charitable association that aims to help people who cannot afford to buy or rent housing at market values, Hightown provides a wide range of housing and support services for families and single people, including those with special needs.
The association required a transparent system that would enable its managers to drill down to gather data on how employees work and when they were busiest, to allow them to make business decisions based on the resources available. As well as the reporting feature, Hightown Housing Association wanted voice recording functionality to help ensure that the correct information is passed on to clients. However, as a registered charity, Hightown had to work to a tight budget.
Hightown was relocating to new premises and wanted to upgrade its communications infrastructure to a more robust system. The association also wanted the ability to monitor the new system to provide essential information on the business, with an eye to increasing productivity and reducing costs. Also, features like Callback help extend business operating hours and manage unexpected peaks without adding costly staff; ideal for improving services and utilising the charity’s resources.
“We spoke to other housing associations that use the same system, and they recommended the NEC SV8100 for its functionality and its affordability,” explains Mark Salmon, Procurement Manager at Hightown.
The SV8100 with UCB means that employees have far greater flexibility; that the reception staff have a real-time overview of where their colleagues are – and how busy they are – enables more efficient handling of incoming calls, saving time and significantly improving customer service. It also ensures the fair distribution of calls to the repairs department. Meanwhile, cordless headsets ensure that staff can answer their phone away from their desk.
“The ‘last called agent’ feature will send a repeat caller back to the last customer service representative they spoke with, instantly improving customer experience”
The reporting function also means that Hightown managers have a complete overview of when employees are at their busiest, and can make decisions that best utilise their resources.
Meanwhile, Hightown also benefits from top-level technical support from Daly Systems.
After deciding that the NEC SV8100 with UC for Business (UCB) software was its system of choice, Hightown went out to tender and Leicester-based NEC specialist supplier Daly Systems won the contract.
Reception staff can see at a glance from their desktop if an employee is at their desk, away or on the phone – and then deal with the call appropriately. This delivers a huge commercial advantage and helps to manage Hightown’s clients’ expectations.
Included is the MyCalls Desktop application, which offers a range of telephone functions direct from the desktop. As well as familiar functions such as dialling and call transfer, the application offers more complex features such as call parking, forwarding and do not disturb – all at the click of a mouse.
The call management software means that when clients call Hightown regarding repairs, for example, the ‘last called agent’ feature will send a repeat caller back.
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