Customer engagement? Social Housing providers don’t know how lucky they are
As a sector, there are many factors that are driving a need for change…
We continue to face a housing crisis in the UK and with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, the demand on the sector to be that safety net for society is only set to increase.
At the same time, Social Housing providers are under increasing pressure to ensure and demonstrate value for money within the communities they serve and following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there is greater pressure, as outlined in last year’s long-awaited Government Social Housing White Paper, for the sector to listen to and be accountable to their tenants.
Customer Engagement is at the heart of this change. How do Social Housing providers make themselves more accessible to their tenants, ensure they are engaging and listening to their tenants, and delivering the best possible service more efficiently?
We believe this can be achieved by taking the unique advantage of knowing your customers and applying smart omni-channel customer engagement technologies to transform accessibility, efficiency, and experience.
Removing The Blockers of Change
1. The need to be inclusive
There is much talk about digital transformation within the sector and although many organisations are embarking on digital journeys, there are many factors that are slowing down progress, especially in the area of customer engagement.
We see three main blockers to progress, all of which can be easily overcome. First is the need to be inclusive. Your customers span a broad spectrum from the young to the elderly, from the independent to the vulnerable.
This is leading to an over-cautious approach to channel shift with the fear of its detrimental impact on inclusion. Different thinking is required here, from viewing it as ‘channel shift’ to ‘channel choice.’
2. Silo Legacy
Second is what is best described as a ‘Silo Legacy.’ Traditionally Social Housing organisations have had a multitude of systems in place including Housing Management, CRM, Case Management, Housing Repairs, Finance, etc, etc.
This not only makes it difficult to gain a single view of the customer, but also impacts your people on the front-line. According to ContactBabel in 70% of social housing contact centres agents spend over 10% of their time simply flicking between systems.
A solution is required that bridges the gap between operations systems and data silos to deliver a unified agent desktop.
of Social Housing contact centres agents spend over 10% of their time simply flicking between systems
3. Too busy being busy
The third factor, and probably the most critical, is that the sector is often too busy being busy to look for innovative and smarter ways to address their challenges.
Looking to use a knowledge base to empower front-line agents to deal with more queries first time rather than to pass tenants from one department to the next and using AI to deliver highly effective self-service 24×7 will enable those who want to interact digitally to do so and free up staff to better support more vulnerable tenants.
We get excited at the endless possibilities open to the Social Housing sector in transforming how they interact, serve and provide that all important support to their customers.
Our vision incorporates a number of steps that can be achieved through utilising a modern cloud-based omni-channel solution and working with the right partner who understands customer engagement and more importantly, the social housing sector.
Align to tenant preferences
You know your tenants: the young, the old, the vulnerable – use this to align your engagement channels and your customer journeys. Provide tenants choice in how they can interact with you: phone, email, SMS, chat or social media. Leverage what you know about tenants to better route and service them, offer self-service to those who prefer this, proactively message those who are likely to chase progress on a case and prioritise calls from vulnerable tenants.
Be proactive to tenants needs
You know why tenants call you; be proactive. Send them updates on their outstanding case or repair. Send them reminders and a link to online payments, offer them chat to assist them through their first-time using self-service, and if you know there is going to be a cold spell, make sure you have the capacity to respond to the influx of calls.
Unify the communication silos
Don’t think about communication as different channels, but as one journey that can traverse multiple paths. By leveraging a solution that can support any-channel, you instantly provide a more efficient and effective service to customers. An agent that can see every conversation across every channel is better able to serve the customer. An agent that can simultaneously engage with multiple customers over chat is far more productive.
Create super agents
By providing agents with one solution that unifies all of the disparate data sources to deliver a single view of the customer will make them more productive and will allow them to spend less time flipping between systems and more time engaging with the customer. Combine this with a knowledge base and they can answer more enquiries first time.
Visibility & insights
To transform customer engagement, you need to fully understand customer engagement. By leveraging a platform that can capture the end-to-end customer journey, provide valuable insight into customer behaviour, preferences and satisfaction you are better placed to align your service to needs and accurately report on the customer experience you are delivering.
This webinar was recorded at a point in time where the COVID pandemic had produced further lockdowns and an extension of remote working for Contact Centre agents. Whether businesses choose to continue to operate in remote-first modes, or even further lockdowns are enforced, the customer has nonetheless changed, and therefore so has the technology needed.
- How customer behaviour has changed
- The effect that has on your contact centre
- How to prioritise vulnerable and VIPS
- Mastering Digital Deflection
- Clarks Case Study
- Risk free omni channel strategy
This virtual webinar is hosted in our GX Summit content hub, a home for our insightful, expert-led webinars and keynote sessions from both our annual Summit and quarterly GX Lite events.
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Speaker: Andrew Tucker, Partner Success Manager – Cirrus