>Intelligent outsourcing approach helps Centrick Property improve customer service levels while undergoing significant growth.
“Anyone can deliver an outsourced contact centre service, but we wanted something very different. We needed a service where our calls were answered by people who really understood our business – and hence our customers’ needs. The combination of mplcontact’s proven people skills and innovative contact centre technology has really delivered for Centrick Property.”
James Ackrill, Group Chairman, Centrick Property.
The business challenge
Centrick Property was set up in 2005 with a single goal – to deliver a more accessible and efficient service than other comparable property management companies. It is a formula that has worked well and, since then, Centrick has expanded by around 30 percent for each of the last five years, and has grown to become a leading estate management company with complementary residential sales, lettings and property maintenance divisions. The company now manages client property assets worth over £½ billion nationwide.
Looking after its tenants is very important to Centrick.
According to Centrick Property’s Group Chairman, James Ackrill: “Our tenants have busy lives, and we need to do everything we can to make their tenancies run smoothly. However we also need to make sure we run our business efficiently, and that means being intelligent about matching service provision with anticipated levels of customer demand. Having already used a basic outsourced customer service provider to handle our business overflow calls, we already knew we could gain access to as much customer service resource as we needed,” added James. “However, given the increased scale and complexity of our business, we had to find a way to deliver the right customer service levels without sacrificing Centrick’s commitment to quality.”
Investing in higher quality outsourced call centre services
Following experience with less sophisticated outsourced service providers, James Ackrill felt that it was essential that any agents answering calls on behalf of Centrick should have a good knowledge of the business and its customers. “When our customers call it’s usually because they have a problem with their property and need some help, so the more information agents have to hand the better able they are to respond effectively,” he explained. “It’s also important that agents have access to additional information that can help them make decisions,” continued James. “For example, if we get a call from a tenant saying the water’s off in their block, then the chances are we’ll quickly start getting contacts from other tenants in the same property. Being able to see the full picture is really important for Centrick customer service.”
It was this focus on quality that led Centrick Property to mplcontact, one of the UK’s most innovative providers of outsourced contact centre services – from short-term projects right through to longer-term strategic outsourced partnership programmes.
Delivering higher quality service through intelligent outsourcing
Centrick Property was aware of mplcontact from earlier discussions, and now realised that the company’s high degree of flexibility and scalability was more appropriate for the growing Centrick business.
“With previous outsourcing providers we didn’t feel we were able to offer our customers with a consistent level of service, indeed it was possible for individual agents to only handle one or two Centrick calls a year. We wanted a more intelligent approach that was focused on the needs of our tenants,” explained James Ackrill.
mplcontact works closely with customers to create a tailored approach to contact management needs, and was able to draw on Centrick Property’s experience to build a training programme for its agents to ensure they really understood Centrick’s service requirements, activities and brand values.
Agents in mplcontact’s sites are supported by technology that seamlessly integrates Centrick’s business rules and processes into the call handling application – ensuring customers receive a prompt and professional response, while also meeting relevant service and support expectations.
“mplcontact distinguishes itself from other outsourcers by supporting its agents with an integrated contact centre technology solution that is configured precisely to each organisation’s needs,” added James Ackrill. “For Centrick Property, we felt it was really important that agents had the information and time needed to support our tenants effectively. mplcontact equips the agents with an intelligent desktop that brings together all the technology they need, along with real time tenant data and the right process details. This makes sure that Centrick customer service staff are always free to concentrate on the customer, as the underlying tenant data and process management is automated.”
Flexible approach supports expanding Centrick Property business
The outsourcing service offered to Centrick Property is also flexible and scalable enough to support the property management specialist’s expanding business. “Consistent growth across our ARMA-regulated estate management, residential lettings and residential sales activities mean that total call volumes have increased by over 50% since we first engaged an outsourcing service,” recalled James. “At the same time we’ve also extended our service so we’re now a much more complex business.”
mplcontact has worked with Centrick Property to fine tune its outsourcing offer, and adjust operationally to support the business. Examples include the delivery of Lone Worker Support to help Centrick satisfy increasingly stringent regulations to protect lone workers. “Our Estate Management business operates many facilities with dedicated caretakers, who we need to supervise especially if they’re working alone at night,” explained James.
“Our mplcontact service knows to expect calls every two hours from staff working alone. If this doesn’t happen the lone worker is sent a reminder text, and if there’s still no response they receive a call. This can then be escalated to appropriate management if there’s a concern. It is a natural extension of our out-of-hours mplcontact helpdesk service, and a good illustration of how we’ve been able to refine our outsourced service to meet changing requirements.”
- Cost-effective ability to scale – mplcontact able to deliver quality customer service while scaling to accommodate up to 50% increase in Centrick Property call volumes
- Combination of mplcontact service delivery powerful contact centre technology provides agents with relevant customer and property data to support higher quality service delivery
- Lone Worker support functionality helps Centrick deliver duty of care compliance for remote workers
- Flexible approach means that Centrick is able to consistently modify and improve customer scripts for mplcontact service delivery
- 100% call recording provides full audit trail for optimum service provision