Empowering Tenant Experiences with Apps and Self-Service Portals in Housing Associations

In the realm of social housing, tenant experiences and engagements are of paramount importance. Our previous discourse highlighted how Artificial Intelligence (AI) integration can effectively enhance and streamline these experiences, signposting a transformative era of innovation. This narrative extends towards how Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) platforms further empower tenant experiences through state-of-the-art applications (apps) and self-service portals.

The Digital Wave: Apps and Self-Service Portals
In an epoch where digital technologies and solutions are pivotal, apps and self-service portals have surfaced as significant tools for enhancing tenant experiences in the social housing sector. These tools resonate with the evolving digital demands for seamless communication, personalised experiences, and effortless service access.

Apps and portals bridge the communication gap between tenants and housing associations by providing an easily accessible platform to avail services, report issues, and engage with their communities. They allow housing associations to gain invaluable real-time data and feedback for proactive and personalised tenant management. Integrating these digital mediums with CCaaS platforms further enriches the experience by offering interactive features like chat support, notifications, community forums, and more.

These advancements align with the global digital transformation, facilitating enhanced tenant empowerment and inclusivity. By accommodating different language preferences and accessibility needs, they ensure a comprehensive and empathetic approach to communication. Apps and portals can provide features like multi-language support and options for vision or hard-of-hearing tenants to submit and track requests.

The Power of CCaaS Integration
Integrating apps and portals with CCaaS platforms elevates the potential for predictive, proactive, and personalised tenant experiences. CCaaS platforms can decipher and predict behaviours using advanced AI-driven analytics, enabling empathetic engagement across channels while fostering continuous innovation.

  • Predictive experiences: Analysing tenant interactions allows CCaaS platforms to provide targeted, pre-emptive solutions based on predicted needs. For instance, if a tenant frequently raises heating complaints in winter, the platform can proactively notify them of preventive steps before the heating season begins.
  • Proactive engagement: Leveraging automation and real-time analytics, CCaaS platforms can proactively notify and assist tenants with solutions, updates, or support. If a tenant misses a rent payment, the system can automatically send a reminder to avoid late fees.
  • Personalised communication: CCaaS platforms facilitate the design of tailored messages and support for each tenant, fostering an empathetic association. Mass broadcast messages can be replaced by personalised notifications about community events or maintenance based on tenant history and preferences.
  • Continuous learning and innovation: These platforms evolve by adapting to new data and insights to align with dynamic tenant needs. If the system notices an increase in parking complaints, it can prompt the creation of new parking policies or procedures.

Empowering Frontline and Back-office Agents
Apps and portals empower frontline and back-office agents by equipping them with comprehensive tenant insights for highly empathetic responses. Integrating with CCaaS platforms streamlines workflows, reduces manual tasks, and enables agents to focus on value-added activities. This facilitates significant cost savings, enhances productivity, and paves the way for resource efficiency.

With a complete view of tenant history and interactions, agents can provide personalised service, pre-empt issues, and fast-track request resolutions. Intuitive CRM integration further simplifies accessing tenant information. Automated creation of help tickets from app/portal submissions allows agents to work seamlessly across channels.

Security, Compliance, and Sustainability
CCaaS platforms ensure stringent adherence to industry regulations and standards, protecting tenant data privacy. This includes compliance with laws like GDPR for data protection and accessibility standards like WCAG 2.1.

This digital shift also reflects a commitment to sustainability by reducing paper and promoting electronic communication. CCaaS platforms come with reporting capabilities to measure reductions in paper usage. Housing associations can also highlight these sustainability benefits when marketing their digital transformation initiatives.

Real-world Impact and Applications
Many housing associations worldwide have adopted these technologies, yielding tangible engagement, maintenance, and resource allocation improvements. Apps and portals have enabled community building and fostered belonging among tenants.

In the UK, housing associations like Sanctuary, Clarion Housing Group, and Peabody have implemented apps and portals integrated with CCaaS platforms. These have reduced call volumes, improved first-call resolution, and increased customer satisfaction.

One housing association’s self-service portal provides 24/7 access to reporting repairs, making payments, booking appointments, and more. This resulted in 50% of repair reports being logged through the portal, freeing up contact centre agents. Online submissions are automatically created as tickets in the association’s CRM system for assignment.

In the US, housing providers like NYCHA, Home Forward, and Chicago Housing Authority have adopted portals and mobile apps to improve communication, maintenance management, and rent collections.

One housing association’s self-service portal allows tenants to request repairs, download forms, access payment history, and subscribe for email updates. Integrated with CRM, it provides a unified workspace for agents while enabling 24/7 tenant access.

Another housing association’s online tenant portal features a two-way messaging system for directly contacting housing managers. Over 75% of associations’ tenants have signed up, reducing calls, and enabling rapid issue resolution.

Modern apps, portals, and CCaaS platforms transform social housing by enabling predictive, proactive, and personalised experiences through continuous innovation. By embracing these tools, housing associations can build more connected, empathetic, and resilient communities, significantly impacting tenants’ lives.

The future of social housing lies in these digital innovations that align with evolving tenant needs and expectations. Our next exploration delves deeper into the digital transformation shaping the social housing landscape, like the Internet of Things, virtual/augmented reality, and more. Stay tuned!