Town & Country Housing Group has developed its own money support and service charges enquiries system built using Optevia’s Social Housing Essentials Software (OSHE) and Dynamics CRM 2015. OSHE enables social housing providers’ internal teams to quickly develop bespoke service lines as and when the business requires them.
Following just two days of knowledge transfer training and online learning sessions, Town & Country Housing was able to design, configure and deploy its new service charges system within days.
Jamie Barker, Project Manager at Town & Country Housing comments: “Like all housing associations, we must send out service charge notices twice a year. Previously, we would send out a letter explaining what the service rate charge is with a breakdown of all costs. Our call centre team would then be inundated with queries. Calls would be logged on disparate and siloed excel spreadsheets, which were difficult to query and also often tricky to locate. We did not have a true reflection of service demand.
Using OSHE and Dynamics CRM, we worked with the various teams involved and designed a full end to end process, with associated SLAs and intelligent work flow – ensuring any queries were routed to the right individual or department to deal with. By developing an integrated view, we were able to rationalize the existing 42 service charge items to only the ones that were relevant to improve user experience and the speed we can answer customers queries.”
The second service launched and developed by their own team was the money support service. Customers facing financial hardship often require support to consolidate debts and help in developing a debt repayment programme.
Jamie continues: “Last year we managed over 500 money support cases and, in the two weeks since we have been live, we now have 40 cases logged. It is clear that that with the pressures caused by welfare reform, this figure is set get increase further. Our new money support service enables us to look at outstanding debts at the end of a repayment programme, and determine whether customers need additional support from our team. Essentially, we can be much more proactive and supportive of those customers that may find themselves in financial hardship.”
Steve Lyon, Business Director (Health & Housing), Optevia comments: “We wanted Town & Country Housing to see that we were listening to them, were willing to offer ongoing support and were not going to put the system live and leave them with it. We considered their feedback, designed the system and that went live in early July, and worked very well. During the time of that happening, our team spent time on-site with their project team to provide skills transfer of the OSHE capabilities to help them manage the system configuration going forward.
They have taken ownership of its system and entrusted their future development to be on Dynamics CRM and it is imperative they understand it and are comfortable with it.. Where they can, they will take on development of the system themselves using OSHE and for more complex change requests or new development lines, we will work with them as their selected partner.”
Jamie concludes: “We can now set expectations internally about system delivery times and new service lines. We now have a 6-8 week release cycle for introducing new processes and functionality within CRM. We are now better positioned to take the design requirements from our business and provide feedback on feasibility and timescales.”
OSHE is a fully cloud enabled solution that reflects the accumulation of the many years experience of Optevia in delivering CRM into the public sector. The OSHE configuration uses CRM managed solutions to provide a rapid and flexible way of implementing a Housing CRM framework in Microsoft Dynamics. This enables Housing Organisations to get the very best out of the Microsoft solution.