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 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 team have taken the opportunity to enhance their contact centre operations by introducing the latest Web Chat functionality from Intelecom, a provider of cloud-based contact centre solutions.
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.
In the first five months of use, the Web Chat solution from Intelecom has brought a series of benefits to Affinity Sutton’s employees. It provides an innovative approach to interacting with customers giving them an alternative to voice calls or emails. The platform presents Affinity Sutton’s staff 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.
Borge Astrup (pictured right), Managing Director, Customer Contact Division of Intelecom, said:
“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.
“From a contact centre agent’s point of view Web Chat provides an alternative to voice calls in a contact centre. Not all agents are suited to Web Chat communication but many enjoy a change and the added interest.
“A cloud-based contact centre solution means that skill based routing can switch the relevant agents between voice calls and Web Chat as necessary. However, whatever the channel, great interpersonal skills thorough training and experience are required.”
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.