About Connexus Group

Formed in June 2017, from the coming together of Herefordshire Housing and Shropshire Housing Group, Connexus has over 600 employees and manages a portfolio of around 10,000 homes.

Along with answering queries about rent, and repairs, Connexus also has an independence trust arm which looks after the wellbeing of tenants, and a 24/7 cover helpline with red button alarm lines for people who are vulnerable in their homes. Delivering a contact centre capability that covers all this is challenging but made more complex by the recent merger.

Project Overview

Both Herefordshire Housing and Shropshire Housing Group had their own contact centres and associated telephony solutions in place. Running these separately at each site was expensive and wasteful of time and resource. Connexus realised it needed to rationalise these solutions into a single streamlined offering.

After a detailed review, it decided to standardise on the Enghouse Interactive Communications Center (EICC) from Enghouse Interactive. As Adam Huselbee, group head of ICT, Connexus, explains: “We were impressed by EICC’s ability to act as an operational hub within the contact centre, seamlessly supporting an omnichannel capability. We liked the intuitive TouchPoint user interface and saw Enghouse’s ability to provide a single point for all call recordings as a key differentiator, helping reduce cost and increase convenience.”

Benefits of chosen solution

In addition, the ability to integrate with Cisco UC, which Connexus already had in place, enabled the housing group to protect its legacy investment, and drive cost savings by eliminating the need for it to buy additional licences.

The Connexus contact centre teams were also more familiar with using it than the main competitive
solution. Therefore, due to it’s intuitive nature, the choice of EICC entailed less training overall.

Another key benefit was that the Enghouse Interactive solution allows Connexus to add additional modules in line with changing budgets and requirements, effectively making it future-proof.

Seeing the Full Picture

Working with long-term IT partner, Voyager Networks, Connexus rolled out EICC at its three main sites, together with the Enghouse Quality Management Suite (QMS) for call recording and quality monitoring.

Connexus now uses EICC to interact with tenants through social media platforms like Facebook and, traditional phone calls and emails as well as for call wrap-ups. Most interactions are inbound around queries or questions tenants have, but Connexus also uses EICC to reach out to them with outbound interactions – often in response to issues highlighted by social media monitoring.

“By leveraging the analytics and insight EICC and its own customer surveys provide, we have gained greater insight into how we interact with tenants, as well as the ways in which our tenants want to interact with us” adds Adam.

The insight provided by EICC also helps enable agents and supervisors to understand the status of queues. Supervisors also have a birds-eye view of metrics, such as how many calls the contact centre has processed over a given period, how many have been answered and how many dropped.

All this translates into a reporting capability of course. Using the Enghouse Interactive solutions enables Connexus to ‘slice and dice’ data in a range of ways, allowing them to analyse the level of certain types of enquiries and complaints, and the most common interaction modes chosen. This insight can then be used by Connexus to evaluate, for example, whether it has the right key performance indicators (KPIs) in place, and, if not, which might be more appropriate.

Working within a fully-integrated Cisco UC environment, EICC also helps Connexus to develop a more connected enterprise and ensure it is routing calls through to employees, who have both the ‘current availability’ and the relevant skills and experience to answer them. In addition, Connexus makes extensive use of the QMS suite’s call recording capabilities, primarily for agent training but also for compliance and dispute resolution. In line with this, the group is evaluating Vocal Coach. It is interested in the capability and impressed by the functionality of what Enghouse Interactive can offer in this area. A final decision on whether to use it in the future will depend on an assessment of business need.

Reaping the rewards

Adam says “We have been impressed with the flexibility of EICC. Implementing it across our three main sites has made any changes or adjustments that might be needed to the system much easier to achieve. Call recording is less complex too because there is now one single point where recordings are saved onto the system rather than the multiple gateways used before.”

An easy and intuitive solution

The solution is also easy and intuitive to use. Agents have quickly got to grips with the functionality and have all the information they need to answer calls efficiently, at their fingertips. They also now have in-depth insight into previous interactions and an understanding of queue times and prior issues tenants may have had. That helps them to deal with tenants in a more informed way during the interaction. The focus is on query or complaint resolution rather than simply answering calls quickly and keeping call times down. Tenants are reporting higher levels of satisfaction as a result.

According to Adam: “It’s a great benefit to us that EICC is easy and flexible to use. Its critically important that contact centre solutions are not cumbersome or clunky but that you can quickly start using them to drive business efficiencies and customer satisfaction. Our experience with EICC has been very positive in this respect.”

“It is also important to acknowledge, however,” Adam continued, “that to get the most out of a solution like this you need to understand what you want the solution to do for you before you start using it.”

The advice of Voyager Networks has been critical to Connexus in this respect. In fact, Voyager has played a crucial role throughout this whole project. It provided impartial support during the evaluation process and helped Connexus achieve a smooth implementation of the Enghouse solutions. It delivered high-quality training on the new systems. Moreover, its support of the solutions since implementation has been of a consistently highquality – and always fully transparent.