A UK leader in social housing partners with Exponential-e to power exceptional service quality for residents across the country

About the Sovini Group

The Sovini Group delivers a growing range of world-class construction, property, and facilities services across the UK's public and private sectors, including a number of social and not-for-profit enterprises, employing more than 800 staff. One Vision Housing, part of the Sovini Group, manages more than 14,000 homes across the north-west of England, with more being built each year, and actively works to make a positive difference to the communities it is involved in.

The Challenge

Working with social housing residents across the north-west, One Vision Housing, part of the Sovini Group, rely on seamless communication with their tenants, whether that's for routine administration, scheduling maintenance, or ensuring emergencies are dealt with quickly and effectively. The need for a secure, resilient, and highly intuitive platform that would support close collaboration between advisors and communication with residents was further driven home during the COVID-19 lockdowns, when face-to-face meetings became impossible.

As a result, once lockdowns ended, the decision was made to seek out a next-gen unified communications platform that would transform the way Sovini supports their residents, replacing the legacy PBX system. Having already successfully adopted Microsoft Teams, gaining buy-in from employees across the company, the resulting RFP sought to build on this success. This meant exploring how processes could be further optimised by tools like call recording and analytics, with ample scope for future development. The employee experience was also critically important - the new system needed to be as user-friendly as possible, allowing advisors to focus on the needs of residents, especially those considered vulnerable.

Exponential-e's well-established contact centre and unified communications pedigree, comprehensive service wrap, and consultative approach that focused on Sovini's operational strategy made a strong impression throughout the tender process. As a result, they were awarded the contract, with a dedicated account team immediately beginning work to establish themselves as Sovini's key communications partner.

The Solution 

Working closely with Sovini's own IT team and customer service team leaders, Exponential-e began scoping out the new customer service platform. Service continuity was a critical priority, with measures established to ensure advisors would be able to continue working in the way they were accustomed to, while enjoying a range of additional tools to support successful resolutions. To this end, as the project specifications evolved, in-depth training was provided for staff via Microsoft Teams. Based on these conversations, comprehensive user guides were created and distributed.

Key to the success of the project was ongoing consultation around potential opportunities for improvement, which strong partnership between both organisations and the inherent flexibility and scalability of Exponential-e's contact centre has continued to support following the go-live date. In particular, the solution's ability to deliver bespoke, real-time reporting, drawing on data generated across multiple channels.

Utilising the high volumes of data generated throughout interactions with residents to optimise service quality and ensure advisors are properly supported has become a key element of Sovini's day-to-day operations. This has proven especially beneficial during interactions with vulnerable residents, as team leaders are able to monitor the quality of interactions - both live and through analytics - to ensure appropriate training is provided for advisors, and that residents are always properly supported.

This is very much an evolving process, as Sovini's teams continue to explore the full range of the contact centre solution's capabilities and how they can complement and enhance their strategies for optimising service quality across existing channels, and those in the process of being deployed (social media, for example). This includes automating routine processes (where possible and appropriate) and integration with other systems, to achieve a holistic view of the entire operation.

In this way, Sovini continue to utilise leading-edge technology as a means of enhancing the expert support and personal attention their residents have come to expect from their advisors, rather than as a substitute for it. As their teams work with their Exponential-e account team to identify and execute further improvements in the years ahead, the full potential of this new model for customer service excellence will continue to reveal itself, helping establish new standards of best practice across the entire housing sector.

Solution benefits

  • A seamless transition from the legacy PBX system
  • A highly intuitive user interface, supporting faster resolution times, and a better employee experience
  • Hands-on consultation and training from contact centre experts to maximise performance impact and project success
  •  Ongoing partnership that drives continuous improvement, with a focus on performance outcomes
  • Real-time analysis of call data drives ongoing service improvements and process enhancements
  • Data analysis and quality allows for identification of and better outcomes for vulnerable residents, including the creation of specialist training for advisors
  • Intelligent automation to minimise wait times and optimise efficiency 

As an agile organisation it is essential that our systems enable us to support our staff working remotely. This solution very much supports that as well as providing all the necessary functionality we require for a busy, customer-focused contact centre environment.

Jan Conroy
Head of Customer Services, One Vision Housing

The actual migration from one system to the other was seamless for both the customer and the team using it. Our advisors adapted with ease and much prefer the functionality of the new system. There's much more information available to them, and it's very user friendly. When you're handling calls it is important to have all the information you need at your fingertips to provide excellent customer service and this system supports that.

Jan Conroy
Head of Customer Services, One Vision Housing

If I was to sum it up, I think it's a really great partnership. It doesn't feel like a contractor and a client relationship, it feels like a partnership relationship and that works very, very well.

Jan Conroy
Head of Customer Services, One Vision Housing

Helping housing associations drive digital initiatives that transform the tenant experience, underpinned by robust data security

To succeed in a digital world where quality of service is under increasing scrutiny, housing associations need to rapidly transform by adopting modern technologies, redesigning operational processes and increasing collaboration across multiple channels. By investing in a digital future, housing associations can streamline costs, improve operational efficiency and concentrate on creating an improved tenant experience.
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