PRESS RELEASE: Intelecom announced that Affinity Sutton, one of the largest housing associations in England, has incorporated Intelecom Web Chat capabilities into a new online portal for residents as part of the company’s digital transformation programme. Over 3,000 people have registered with the new portal. As further roll-out continues, the number of users is expected to rise along with increased efficiencies, reduced telephone call costs and the ability to deliver enhanced interactive customer communication.
Affinity Sutton provides affordable housing across 120 Local Authorities to 161,000 residents up and down the country from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East, to Plymouth in the South West. The organisation is currently migrating to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that will manage all business activities from one central hub as part of a corporate-wide initiative known as the Future Foundation Programme. The project is encouraging greater use of digital technology and communication. As a result, the customer service department has taken the opportunity to enhance its contact centre operations by introducing the latest Web Chat functionality from Intelecom.
The new communication channel is currently in use in one of Affinity Sutton’s contact centres which handles approximately 16,000 repair calls a month from residents of the organisation’s 65,000 properties.
James Sheppard, Customer Service Manager at Affinity Sutton commented, “The introduction of a new Web Chat service based on Intelecom expands our ability to communicate with residents in ways that suit them best, including a large proportion of customers who like to self-serve. Using our online portal with Web Chat puts greater control in the hands of residents. They simply key in a secure password to view their rent account or tenancy agreement all in one place at any time of the day. With Web Chat residents can benefit from real-time response times and speedier contact resolution.”
In the first five months of use, the Web Chat solution from Intelecom has brought a series of benefits to Affinity Sutton. It provides an innovative approach to interacting with customers giving them an alternative to voice calls or emails. In addition, it presents Affinity Sutton’s customer service representatives with a fresh challenge, encouraging them to learn a different skill set that fosters enthusiasm and a positive mindset. Finally, in the event of telephony issues arising or if bad weather were to prevent staff from getting into the office, customer service agents can simply log into the Intelecom system from home with no interruption to the Web Chat service.
Next on the horizon, Affinity Sutton intends to extend the use of the Intelecom Web Chat solution by rolling it out to the larger, second contact centre that focuses on non-repair related enquiries and receives around 32,000 calls a month.
Borge Astrup, Managing Director, Customer Contact Division of Intelecom Group AS concluded, “These are exciting times for Affinity Sutton as it transforms itself for the future. However, like many companies it faces tremendous challenges as it looks to grow whilst adapting to new digital processes and infrastructure at the same time. Our technology provides the flexibility and functionality needed to add agility to corporate operations and boost customer interaction via a true multi-channel environment to drive the next generation of customer service.”