Orbit Group


Keyfax, providing the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements

Orbit is one of the larger social housing organisations in the UK, providing over 42,000 homes to those in greatest need in the Midlands, the South East and the East of England.

With over 50 years of experience in social housing, Orbit employ over 1,200 staff and provide a range of social housing services. At the heart of everything that Orbit does, is Customer Service. They operate a full 24/7 Customer Service Centre and believe in working in true partnership with their residents and communities.

The Challenge

In 2000, Orbit centralised its customer contact service at a new Corporate Customer Service Centre in Coventry, to handle not just repairs, but all first contact calls which could cover every and any aspect of their service.

The challenge was how to equip their advisors with the knowledge required to accurately log repairs and raise work orders. An audit found that there was little consistency in the way repairs were being logged and prioritised, and they were often inaccurately logged and ‘costed’.

The Solution

After a full review of what technology was available, as well as consultation with other Housing Associations, Orbit selected Keyfax Repairs Diagnostics and Enquiries as the solution they needed.

What Orbit liked about Keyfax was that it had been specifically created for social housing and therefore came with all the intelligence built-in regarding aspects of housing, including repairs. Orbit also liked the flexibility it provided. “The fact that we can develop and enhance scripts within the Customer Services Team has enabled us to do more, far quicker than expected,” said Daphne Arnold, CSC Support Manager.

With Keyfax, advisors do not need to be technical experts in every element of the home; they just need to understand the basic process of recording a repair and the system guides them through the detail, resulting in greater consistency. It is the system that determines whether a repair is an emergency, urgent or non-urgent, therefore removing the pressure previously placed on the advisor.

“The Keyfax system is fully integrated in to our MIS ActiveH CRM and Housing Management system, so we are equipping our advisors with all of the information they need to better serve the customer,” explained Marian Honan, (previous Housing Support Manager at Orbit).

The Results

Orbit believe that with Keyfax Repairs Diagnostics and Enquiries, their Customer Service Centre is now more efficient and effective. A higher proportion of enquiries are being resolved on the first call, with a consistent and high-quality service delivered, every time.

Advisor training and the time that it takes to induct a new advisor has been significantly reduced, because the breadth and depth of knowledge required by advisors is provided in real-time by the system. This has enabled Orbit to do things differently. All first line IT calls are now being put through the Customer Services Team and the 24/7 customer service operation is being extended to other housing organisations to offer Out-of-Hours services to their tenants, as well as services to a contractor and a home finance company – all generating income for the Group.

“This is only possible through the use of Keyfax,” stated Marian, “The process enables our advisors to manage any type of call and the flexibility allows us to meet our clients’ requirements.”

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It is very difficult to imagine how we could operate without Keyfax. It has enabled us to continually improve the quality and breadth of services to our residents and has also enabled us to keep tighter controls over our costs.

Daphne Arnold, CSC Support Manager

Omfax is one of the best companies I have ever worked with. They have been absolutely excellent; they never say they can’t do something; they say let’s see what we can do. By using Keyfax Repairs Diagnostics, we are finding that advisors are far more accurate in the diagnosis of a repair, this in turn ensures we always have the right schedule of rates assigned and that the information passed to the contractor is concise and snappy - just what they want.

Marian Honan

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