Accent Housing Case Study

Requirement: Skype for Business, UC Analytics and integrated omni-channel Contact Centre with PCI-compliant Call Recording

Accent required a new Unified Communications and Contact Centre solution to offer a modern, connected communications infrastructure and deliver efficiencies and culture change whilst improving customer experience.

The Client

Accent Housing is a Housing Association with homes for rent and sale across Yorkshire, the North East, North West, East Midlands and the South of England. For more than 50 years it has provided homes and services for a diverse range of customers, including those in acute housing need, others taking their first step onto the housing ladder, people wanting a solid base to bring up their family or those requiring sheltered accommodation. Accent believes that safe, secure and affordable homes are a basic human requirement and strives to provide accommodation and services to improve the lives of its customers, managing 22,000 properties and providing homes for 37,000 residents.

Accent had a PBX phone system which had reached its natural “end of life”, and the company was looking for a cost-effective, scalable and easy-to-use Unified Communications solution with an integrated multi-channel Contact Centre that would connect office-based, front line and Contact Centre staff, with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience and enabling channel shift. Leading Converged ICT Services Provider GCI were invited to tender for the PBX’s Contact Centre replacement, with Accent selecting them for the project thanks to their wealth of experience in the sector, proven track record of deploying hundreds of thousands of Skype for Business seats, focus on user adoption and the technical capability to deploy the solutions required.

Technical Solution

GCI recommended a controlled migration to Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB) with Enterprise Voice and Geomant’s Contact Expert multi-channel Contact Centre. It also incorporated Verba call and screen recording, affording Accent Housing an advanced communications and collaboration solution to replace its existing PBX. The solution offers a wealth of benefits and features not realised in the company’s legacy system, such as presence, document sharing, instant messaging, video and audio conferencing – all in one easy-to-use platform and available regardless of the user’s physical location or device. An Edge server was also deployed at the company’s Head Office in Shipley, Yorkshire, allowing Accent’s employees to connect with users outside the organisation and staff working offsite, as well as supporting SfB functionality on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Additionally, GCI installed a Geomant Contact Expert Contact Centre solution; an omni-channel, future-proof communications platform designed to seamlessly integrate with Skype for Business and Accent’s Housing Management System, MIS ActiveH. The new platform would handle and report on all customer interactions into and out of the Contact Centre, whether via voice, email (including scanned inbound post and housing management tasks), web chat or responses to outbound campaigns. Finally, GCI recommended its UC Analytics solution to provide comprehensive reporting on the adoption of its new investment, with business-critical information around call quality and employee productivity all available in one user-friendly dashboard.

Success and Company Benefits

Accent Housing now has a sophisticated Unified Communications and Contact Centre solution that enables it to provide an omni-channel communications service to its customers, as well as enhanced collaboration for its geographically-dispersed staff. The company has disposed of its legacy phone hardware and ISDN lines, instead leveraging the investments made in mobile devices, DR provision and SIP. Having full visibility of the volumes of customer contacts and Contact Centre performance - coupled with the integrated CRM data – has also enabled Accent to strive for excellence in customer experience and progress its ambitious digital strategy.

The project and solution also won the company “Best use of technology” at the prestigious HANA (Housing Association National Accountancy) Awards, which recognised the lengths Accent has gone to in using technology to improve services for its customers.

Steve Dungworth, Director of Digital Transformation, said: “This project was about modernising our voice communications internally and helping us work more efficiently in order to better serve our customers. The HANA award win was recognition that our solutions from GCI have done just that, offering technology that is easy for staff to use, is resilient to ensure business continuity and - most importantly - improves customer experience through the Contact Centre.”

 

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