Improving tenant services - ​an IT or "business transformation” project?

14th Mar, 2016
Read time: 3 minutes

During IT in Housing delegates repeatedly agreed that IT teams play a leading role both as an enabler and visionary ensuring that data will be fully integrated into a single view or ‘golden record’ and that kit and systems are efficient.

However delegates accepted that to be successful, transforming tenant services is not an “IT project” and here is why…

When you use the “ultimate customer result” as the project driver, and acknowledge that sustained savings requires your customers to be motivated to return, you will deliver cost savings and customer satisfaction.

Looking at business transformation from a customer’s point of view radically changes the mind-set from a project to service delivery perspective. When projects only focus on ‘best in class’, only they may miss the best end-to-end result!

Using agile project techniques why not ask yourself:
As a tenant …

Tenants have an emotional connection to services. When you “make your services so good, people prefer to use them ” the outcome results in a fundamental reshaping of the delivery of your customer services.

4 steps to a project - advice from our Solutions Architects

Step 1 What do you want to achieve? Decide on the end-in-mind
Lift your vision above the technology to understand the ‘end-in-mind’. Analyse what ‘good’ will look like 24 months from now such as

    1. "It will be good when tenants can pay their bills, make balance enquiries and ask for support using voice and web channels” or
    2. When we can track any case from point of first contact right through the customer experience to the final resolution and survey feedback.

Tips:

  • Check with customers, what would they add? Perhaps you will hear “that sounds great but if I could also do ….”
  • Ask your agents, they handle the drudge and can quickly remind you of any forgotten workarounds or factors that if ignored might derail your plans
  • Check with managers, what data is missing, what do proactive responses look like, what one thing would change their ability to control risk or make effective decisions.

Align the vision across all stakeholders to fully understand the journey you will need to follow.

Step 2 Document the business process and workflow; analyse and reinvent

  • Ensure that you fully understand the workflow from both the business process and end user requirements. Who does what, when, and what dependencies are likely to result in failure. Rapidly map the current process, then on a clean sheet reinvent! What could it look like? What dead steps could you lose? Ensure every step is fit for purpose and absolutely necessary
  • Recognise the IT requirements, data access and 3rd party system integration. Detail the systems from and to which data will travel. What security protocols are in place? What application programming interfaces (APIs) will be needed to support a solution that is fully integrated with your legacy systems?

Step 3 Implement in phases, one step at a time
Manage your risk. Working using a responsive project approach, your plan is phased each with a defined outcome and deliverable. Phases have start and completion dates and management is updated rapidly on any changes to the current phase. This means that the project risks are reduced.

Focus is enhanced – step wise projects ensure that the team is fully engaged and gives appropriate focus to individual transformation projects.

Step 4 Review the outcomes and refine from the beginning
Your transformation represents the potential for even greater future success. Assess every step, did you meet the targets and milestones?

  • Pre-define success criteria to support analysis. Focus on the customer outcome. Business transformation is only a success if customers and agents adopt the service and find they could not live without it!
  • Report regularly and understand the root cause of any hiccups so that mitigating actions can be taken for future stages. Avoid project creep and regularly refer back to the ‘end-in-mind’. Does every step help you to achieve this goal? If not, make a critical reassessment of any request and be prepared to say ‘NO’.

When transforming your tenant experience is central to change, customers will do more for themselves and automation becomes habit. You will do more with less and team productivity will increase.

If you need advice along your journey, read our top tips or contact us and speak to one of our Solutions Architects

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