Swapping IT complexity for autonomous customer experience innovation

Maintaining over 36,000 homes throughout Western Australia, Housing Direct has improved agent productivity and collaboration, while reducing IT faults annually from 1,200 to just three. Now, firmly in control, it can quickly turn on new services and has reduced training lead times from four weeks to days.

Reduced IT faults

annually from 12,000 to three

Improved productivity

and collaboration

Reduced training time

for agents, from four weeks to days

Ability to innovate

and improve services

Once we met the Genesys team and saw what Genesys Cloud could do, we stopped looking.

Tracy Thompson


Housing Direct

Rebuilding lives

The Department of Communities provides affordable housing for people in Western Australia who would otherwise struggle to rent or buy. The Housing Direct contact center is a dedicated team of 76 people who schedule and manage maintenance work for more than 36,000 homes and 64,000 tenants. Many of those customers live on low incomes in remote, hard-to reach locations.

“Often our customers turn to us because they need help getting back on their feet,” said Tracy Thompson, Manager for Housing Direct. “We receive all sorts of inquiries, from email requests for property repairs and disruptive behavior complaints to emergency calls for fires and floods.”

But failing legacy contact center technology made it difficult to deliver a consistently great customer experience. Faults bounced back and forth between five different providers before finally disappearing into a black hole. The situation was made worse by a lack of basic features, such as queue configuration, forecasting, call recording and survey tools.

Firmly in charge of customer experience

Everything changed with the Genesys Cloud™ platform. “We sought an all-in-one omnichannel solution with the option for people to work from home,” added Thompson. “Once we met with the Genesys team and saw what Genesys Cloud could do, we stopped looking.”

Set up by local expert Datacom, the new contact center solution is delivered as a fully managed service and handles around 400,000 phone and email contacts annually.

With newfound autonomy, clunky desk phones have been replaced by hands-free softphones. Switchboard integration means fewer call transfers and shorter wait times. Customers no longer queue, as they can now request a callback.

In addition, staff can self-select queues, submit leave requests and support each other using group chats. “They’re very happy and have already seen the benefits from being able to track their personal results and connect easily with customers and colleagues,” said Thompson. “And we haven’t even touched SMS, email and surveys yet.”

IT problems give way to innovation

Capacity management is no longer a blind spot for Housing Direct. Team leaders now can measure productivity. They split, forecast and measure workloads, improving accuracy of roster scheduling. It’s also much easier to predict demand spikes, understand costs and compile business cases for extra headcount — another turnaround that was inconceivable before. And, because Housing Direct now has control over permissions for staff access within the Genesys Cloud platform, onboarding of staff is faster.

Business continuity has received a boost, too. About 1,200 faults were reported over the previous 12 months, compared to just three with the Genesys Cloud platform. In addition to improving IT stability, Thompson has taken advantage of the newfound freedom to innovate.

“Due to the number of steps required to implement an emergency call diversion during outages, customers sat in queues for long periods of time until they eventually gave up,” Thompson said. “Genesys Cloud has enabled us to introduce better emergency call handling, triggering up-to-the-minute IVR messages and automatic call diversion to our after-hours provider. Our staff can enact the emergency divert protocols on any handheld device — even as they are being evacuated from the building, which has recently occurred.”

At a glance

Customer: Housing Direct

Industry: Local government

Location: Australia

Company size: 62 concurrent agents


  • Reduce non-revenue-generating calls to live agents
  • Offset volume spikes associated with subscription billing
  • Implement automation without sacrificing customer experience