Raven Housing Trust
With RingCentral Contact Centre, This Social Landlord Is Improving the Customer Experience for its Thousands of Residents
Migrating to RingCentral allowed us to consolidate systems and manage all our phone calls on a single cloud platform that employees can access anywhere. And thanks to the integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365, RingCentral Contact Centre has also helped us improve our customer experience. Overall, this has been a terrific move for our company.
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Providing affordable housing to UK residents for two decades
A registered UK social landlord, Raven Housing Trust builds, manages, and maintains affordable housing for thousands of families. Since its founding in 2002, the nonprofit has been focused on a simple objective: Building homes, changing lives.
To date, the nonprofit has built more than 1,000 new homes, invested more than £170 million to improve existing homes, and is on track to develop another 1,100 properties by 2023—many of which will be available for affordable rent and social rent.
The organisation also partners with other landowners, including the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, to provide quality maintenance and care for thousands of additional affordable and social rent properties. Underscoring the organisation’s commitment to outstanding service, Raven maintains a 100% record of completing emergency repairs for its residents within 24 hours.
Maintaining outstanding customer service required a better telephony solution
Raven builds hundreds of new rental homes each year, in addition to serving as the manager for thousands of properties. With responsibility for the homes of so many people, Raven’s customer support team fields an enormous number of inquiries from residents. To cite just one example, in 2020, the organisation responded to 11,979 requests for property repairs.
Martin Honeywood, Raven’s Programme Director, explains that as the company grew and added more rental customers, the increasing call volume placed pressure on its legacy phone system. Nor, he adds, was that the only challenge.
“Over time, we had built up an infrastructure of disparate phone systems. For our primary telephony solution, making even simple changes, such as updating our main greeting, required asking the vendor for help. And the system couldn’t support our customer service agents working from home—an issue that became a top-priority problem during COVID.”
RingCentral provide the right solution
Martin turned to the consultants at AllThingsCX to help Raven find and implement a unified cloud communications solution both for employees’ business telephony needs and the company’s contact centre operations. Having a respected third-party expert, he notes, made what could have been a difficult transition very smooth. And when that strategy led Raven to RingCentral, Martin explains, AllThingsCX served as an excellent partner in helping the company roll out their new unified communications solution.
From a business telephony standpoint, Martin explains, RingCentral helped Raven make many of its regular workflows more efficient than ever. “Our department managers are thrilled with how easily they can manage and update the phone system themselves,” he says.
“Whereas before they had to wait for help from the supplier, they can now add users, or change phone menus, immediately and from any device. That’s a massive operational advantage.”
Additionally, having the RingCentral softphone on their laptops and mobile apps on their phones is also giving Raven’s staff more mobility than they’ve ever had. “For our employees out in the field, meeting with customers, or just working from home during the lockdowns, RingCentral has given us the ability to stay accessible to each other and to our customers in ways we never could before.”
Improving the customer experience with RingCentral Contact Centre
For Raven’s high-volume customer support department, Martin points out, the company has seen even more significant operational improvements—particularly in terms of delivering outstanding customer service, Raven’s number-one company goal.
“Our old phone system just didn’t have the sophisticated menus or the skill-based routing that we now have with RingCentral Contact Centre. For customers calling with a question that required specific knowledge, we’d often have to transfer them around or ask them to call back. With Contact Centre, we can get those callers to the right people on the first try—which is both creating a better customer experience and reducing our overall call volume.”
Creating more efficiencies: integrating RingCentral into Dynamics 365
Raven’s customer support team is enjoying even more workflow improvements, Martin explains, after implementing the RingCentral integration for Microsoft Dynamics 365, Raven’s CRM.
The RingCentral integration into our Dynamics 365 CRM environment is excellent. Now when a customer calls our support team, the agent answering can see the person’s profile and what they’re calling about even before they pick up. That’s another huge advantage—both for our agents and for the customers they’re helping.
In fact, Martin notes, Raven’s customer support phone system is now so intuitive, the organisation is in a better position to help its most vulnerable customers. “The tenants who have more serious issues or need our help more urgently are also, unfortunately, often less likely to seek it if they don’t believe they can reach the right people when they call or that they’ll need to wait for a callback. The fact that RingCentral helps us direct these people right to the employees who have the answers they need means we’re able to help those who need it most.”
One of my favourite aspects of RingCentral is its ability to scale with us no matter how much or how quickly we grow. We’re an ambitious company, and we know we’ll need more communications capability over time. With RingCentral, it’s going to be so easy to add users, expand our Contact Centre operations, and spin up new offices if needed. And that gives us tremendous peace of mind.