Affinity Sutton Case Study
With over 65,000 homes and a 100-year history, Affinity Sutton is one of the largest housing associations in England. It 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.
As part of the housing association’s “Future Foundations” business transformation programme, Affinity Sutton looked for increased efficiencies and to provide residents with a wider choice of communication channels. To support the programme Affinity Sutton has taken advantage of Puzzel’s (formerly Intelecom’s contact centre entity) web chat solution to build a multi-channel contact centre environment to allow repair enquiries to be handled using web-chat, alongside voice calls and emails.
Customer service representatives at one Affinity Sutton’s two contact centres typically handle 16,000 repair calls a month. A recent deployment of Puzzel technology means a free Web Chat service is now available to residents with repair enquiries via a new online portal. Currently, 3,000 people use the secure portal to view or ask questions at any time of the day and via Web Chat when in operation. Managers plan to maximise the advanced reporting capabilities of the Puzzel system to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measure both agent and contact centre performance.
The Puzzel solution offers greater choice of communication channels to residents and has yielded unprecedented levels of flexibility and scalability, resulting in increased efficiencies and faster response times. Agents will ultimately have the ability to deal with multiple Web Chat enquiries in the time it takes to handle one traditional voice call – saving time and costs associated with telephony interactions. Contact centre staff welcome the opportunity to learn a new skill set and can log into the system from any location helping to maintain consistent levels of customer service.
“These are exciting times for us as the introduction of our new Web Chat service expands our ability to communicate with residents. Our online portal with Web Chat puts greater control in the hands of residents and because Puzzel allows our customer service representatives to deal with more than one enquiry at the same time, residents benefit from a real-time response and speedier contact resolution.”
James Sheppard, Customer Service Manager at Affinity Sutton