Housing Associations provide a vital service; offering shelter and support for some of the most vulnerable people. To fulfill this goal, they manage thousands of different properties up and down the country and are in regular contact with millions of different residents. Achieving cost-effective resident contact for housing associations must be a top priority.
There are myriad reasons why residents might want to contact their housing association, or vice-versa:
To report damages or faults in a property. The Housing Association is legally responsible for maintaining properties and in the event of damage, need to be informed as quickly as possible.
To get information about a property, e.g. whether rent has been paid yet, when damage is likely to be fixed, or to update personal details.
To keep residents up to date on news regarding their property; e.g. planned works, changes to rent, following up on missed rent payments, etc.
Housing Associations have a responsibility to their residents. When those residents get in contact, they deserve a speedy response. Stable mass communications are a must for Housing Associations.
Cut Housing Association Contact Costs
When providing 24/7 availability to hundreds of thousands of residents, getting value for money is essential. Housing Associations need contact solutions that are cost-effective, providing the highest quality of contact for a reasonable level of expenditure.
The easiest way to save money on communications is to reduce call-backs. That is, to ensure that the resident’s issue is resolved speedily and on the first attempt. Cost-effective communications go hand-in-hand with First Contact Resolution. But that’s not the only way to build a cost-effective contact solution:
By automating communications where possible, you free up time for human agents to deliver the highest quality of service during high-priority interactions. This can take the form of self-service options or AI-powered Machine Agents.
A cloud-based solution can be accessed from any location, over any internet-enabled device. No new hardware is required, saving money on the implementation of new functionality.
Cloud-based solutions are future-proof. This means that new technologies are brought online as they become available, with no need for down-time.
An omni-channel solution allows your residents to reach you over the channels they prefer. This takes some pressure off your telephone lines, boosting your first contact resolution.
Cloud communications solutions deliver cost-efficiency for housing associations. And that’s not all they offer. Value for money means nothing if it leads to unreliable communications. Housing Associations need a contact solution that is reliable.
Deliver Housing Association Contact at Scale
Housing Associations have a responsibility to be available to the residents around the clock, and any outages of their communications solution represent a failure. When emergency strikes, you need to support your most vulnerable residents. This requires scalability.
Scalability refers to the ability to respond to any volume of simultaneous contacts without dropping contacts or letting your quality of service slip.
When your residents experience problems, they’ll look to you for support. In the event of disaster, this can lead to many residents calling up at once. Your priority is to answer 100% of inquiries, even during times of heightened demand.
For the most vulnerable residents, these periods of uncertainty can be immensely distressing, even life-threatening. Ensuring consistent, reliable communication is absolutely essential.
To meet this expectation, Housing Associations need a cloud communications solution that is consistently reliable at scale.
The best way to achieve this in a cost-effective way is to work with a private cloud provider. Rather than those cloud providers that leverage the public cloud, private providers are able to guarantee a much higher rate of availability, over 99.999%, or around only 5 minutes out down-time per year.
A cloud solution is also omni-channel. This means your residents can reach you over any channel, from phone to SMS to social media to webchat. By offering a variety of contact channels, you take the pressure off your phone lines and reduce queue times as a result.
With a private cloud provider, you reduce the risk of outages. But building scalability requires more than that. It requires automation.
Housing Associations Must Automate to Accommodate
Not every contact is urgent. That doesn’t mean they aren’t all important. By automating non-urgent requests, you free up employees to handle only the most urgent. Not only does this reduce the cost of handling simple inquiries, it improves work-life balance for your agents, and leads to a higher rates of First Contact Resolution. Here’s how:
For very basic requests, such as requests for information, or to update information, automation your IVR is often the best policy. By linking your IVR to your systems of record, you can empower customers to request information and update their records over the phone.
By opening up more communications channels through an omni-channel solution, housing associations can take the pressure off their phone lines, driving down queue times and improving first contact resolution.
For more digitally fluent customers, Machine Agents can assist them through digital channels. By leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP), these AI-powered assistants can guide your residents in the use of your key digital channels.
Automation doesn’t have to lead to poor experience. Through NLP and speech-to-text transcription, your IVR can pick up on key phrases and route your residents to the best available self-service outcome accordingly.
Through Internet of Things (IoT) device integrations, you can automatically monitor the health and status of residents with IoT medical devices. In the event of an emergency, those residents can be flagged to staff automatically, letting you deliver care quickly and effectively.
By automating the simplest inquiries, you can take a huge number of incoming contacts out of your agent’s queues. You can free them up to focus only on the most urgent, and support only the most vulnerable. You can make huge cost and time savings across your organization.
storm® is the Best Choice for Housing Associations
From improving relations with your customers by giving them the freedom of choice, to gazing into the future with groundbreaking AI, the benefits of exploring new call center software is limitless. We are confident that there is the perfect call center solution to all your problems, you just need to know where to look.
Want to know other ways you can help your call center push through tough times? Check out Content Guru’s whitepaper, Resilient CX: A Field Guide to Surviving Hard Times with Customer Experience - Content Guru