5.4 Government

5.4 Government

Company: Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC)


Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is a municipal government organization that manages 57,500 residential rental units in the city of Toronto. TCHC sees the key to its success as the ability to operate at the community level to respond to customer issues quickly and effectively. Inquiries include housing availability, waiting list status, rent payments, maintenance requests, and safety concerns, among a variety of other tenant-related issues.


After years of striving for a better operational model, TCHC recognized it required a community-based approach to service more effectively its diversified client base brought about by the amalgamation of two municipal housing organizations. TCHC faced the challenge of providing personalized, responsive service from multiple locations at a lower cost, which required an innovative solution to address the infrastructure requirements, increase the level of customer service, and provide flexibility for future change while mitigating the associated costs. In addition, TCHC wanted to eliminate the numerous phone numbers it currently listed for contacting the company, thus making it easier for customers to get in touch.

The company has 16 community offices throughout metropolitan Toronto supported by one central response/contact center. The challenge was getting a call to the "right resource the first time" with minimal effort. A superior enterprisewide call management solution was needed to provide seamless information flow regardless of physical location and to provide the capability to track, report, and analyze all customer interactions.


TCHC needed a long-term, flexible, and expandable system. It selected the Apropos Interaction Management Solutions (IMS) to meet its challenges. With its sophisticated call-handling features, IMS enabled the organization to manage the following business activities:

  • Route calls across Toronto to the best resource using just one phone number, regardless of whether that resource was located at a central or remote site.

  • Facilitate amalgamation and decentralization to community offices by reducing negative customer service impacts but without reducing CSR productivity.

  • Change the number of locations and size of the community offices/ contact centers in the future without significant infrastructure costs.

  • Provide 24-hour service with live CSRs via a virtual contact center without the need to operate all 16 community units after hours.

  • Manage a centralized system by installing a single point of configuration and administration.

  • Gain openness and flexibility by integrating with existing infrastructure and allowing migration to new systems resulting from amalgamation.

  • Gain PBX independence by interfacing with existing PBX and Centrex lines.

  • Route calls effectively through an integrated, robust ACD.

  • Identify the client through calling line identification (CLID) and route the call to the appropriate community office based on data in the corporate client database.

  • By identifying callers through CLID, find matches over 70% of the time, saving staff time and providing the added "security" that staff are speaking with the correct party.

  • Through the caller preview function, allow agents to preview caller information, such as caller name, building, and suite number, prior to answering; agents know at a glance who, why, how many, and how long customers are waiting in queue.

  • Integrate with the corporate database applications to provide an application-specific screen-pop of the customer's data on the legacy system.

  • Determine instantly in the visual queue which building is experiencing an emergency and is calling over the special phone line that deals specifically with elevator emergencies. Since emergency calls are taken out of queue and dealt with immediately, agents can speak "live" with persons who may be trapped inside the elevator and keep them calm until help arrives.


The integration of the Apropos solution has greatly improved customer service and productivity at TCHC. The solution has had a positive impact on TCHC's services in these specific, main areas:

  • The volume of calls is down from 17,500 per month to 15,000 over a 12-month period, mostly because of improved client interactions resulting in reduced repeat calls.

  • Busy signals have been eliminated.

  • Average hold times have been reduced by 50% over the last 12 months.

  • 85% of TCHC tenant callers receive automated, personalized service.

  • Rapport with customers has improved.

  • Flexibility allows menu options designed to meet the characteristics of each community.

  • Clients need to dial just one phone number to get answers to their inquiries.

  • The centralized database makes it easy to track customer issues, thus constantly improving service and ensuring a consistent and seamless flow of information.

Call Center Operation(c) Design, Operation, and Maintenance
Call Center Operation: Design, Operation, and Maintenance
ISBN: 155558277X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 90
Authors: Duane Sharp
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