In an effort to improve its customer service, Saxon Weald identified the need for an efficient CRM solution. As an existing Orchard customer it made business and commercial sense for Saxon Weald to change the way it interacts with its customers by building on existing systems and processes.

This is a more cost effective alternative to purchasing new solutions and managing a series of complicated interfaces. Another advantage of continuing with our solution is that it gives Saxon Weald the joined-up working necessary to work efficiently, including re-using screens which staff are already familiar with wherever possible. User acceptance is much higher when compared to learning a new system.

High on Saxon Weald’s list of objectives was quality of customer contact. In particular they needed to make sure their processes were correct for the call centre operatives, to ensure that repeat calls are avoided wherever possible.

This 18 month project has been divided into three phases. Phase 1, which was purchased in October 2014 and is now live, consists of auditing and consultancy services looking at workflow processes, and Computer Telephony Integration – ensuring the customer always gets through to the right department first time. Phase 2, purchased 2015 and due for go-live this Autumn, consists of Self Service Portal, Self Service Mobile and improvements to existing working processes. Our anti-social behaviour solution will also be implemented during this phase.

Finally, although detailed planning has not been finalised for the phase 3 components, phase 3 is likely to contain our SMS Messaging solution, and the extension of functionality to Case Management processes. Go live is scheduled for Spring 2016.

Saxon Weald has also introduced an internal promotion campaign incorporating the use of a cartoon version of King Harold, the last Saxon King of England. Entitled ‘Ask Harold’, this is a separate knowledgebase system embedded within our Case Resolution screens, which enables contact centre staff to answer questions online. This innovative campaign is running parallel to the Orchard project.

Commenting on the project, Alex Gunter, Head of IT at Saxon Weald said: “Saxon Weald is pleased to have been working closely with Orchard to build a comprehensive CRM solution to improve the customer service experience. Orchard was tasked with a number of health-checks, remedial consultancy and training. Our CRM project was launched in October 2014, with CTI and case resolution launched in March 2015, which has been well received by both staff and customers. We are now halfway through our journey to delivering CRM – our next steps are to deliver Orchard’s Self-Service Portal and also a mobile working solution to enable frontline staff to answer customer queries when out and about.”

Chris Mullis, our Professional Services Manager said: “We are delighted to be continuing our working relationship with Saxon Weald to ensure an improved experience for staff and tenants. Orchard’s solutions, coupled with our ability to deliver long-term projects, means that Saxon Weald’s ongoing investment with us will help realise their strategy of enhanced Customer Service and more efficient processes for staff.”

Saxon Weald is a housing association responsible for the management of almost 6000 affordable homes for rent and for sale across Sussex and Hampshire.