Meeting future challenges head on using useful smart technology

12th Nov, 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

“Better with less" is not a new challenge. At our recent Social Housing User Event delegates agreed that reform, budget cuts and customer expectations were high on their 'challenges to meet' to-do list.

The pressure of expectation can impact tactical deployment decisions. We looked to recent research to find a strong basis to support any action. The illustration below combines research from the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, Dimension Data and the English Housing Survey Households report, 2012-13.

The graph below clearly demonstrates that while there is growing interest in social media and smartphone application, the core of demand for tenants in Social Housing is telephone, email, SMS and web chat.

A focus on effective deployment of core technologies using smart technology is transformational. To support your journey we offer four focus areas, collated from delegate experience at the The Future of Digital Housing Conference 2015 together with our professional service team's best practice, to support you balance business effectiveness while enhancing your tenant relationships:

Focus 1 - provide appropriate channels
While there are several channel shift methodologies, we suggest:

  1. Consider tasks by cost to serve and need for advisor reassurance or value-add to the customer
  2. Consider your demographic and usual contact channels – investigate lower cost mechanisms on the same channel. This secures customer acceptance, ensures digital inclusion and significantly reduces cost, e.g. telephone self-service on the voice channel
  3. Rapidly move high volume repetitive tasks with no value-add to appropriate self-service, such as telephone enquiries for balances, follow up surveys or appointment reminders to outbound automated calling.

Focus 2 - assess processes and find new ways of working
Invest time, team effort and considered thought in your business process review. Use 'lean' principles to plot out your customer's journey map for each delivery area. You will be surprised at the savings realised when you eliminate wasted steps. Your new processes will be fit-for-purpose and will match your current needs. Remember to collaborate with all stakeholders including IT for the best chance of success.

Focus 3 - ensure visibility of contact from end-to-end and reduce your costs
It is common for advisors to log in to more than three systems to find the relevant answer to a tenant query. Updating multiple, expensive to maintain, back-end systems further extends handling time, and data accuracy can suffer.

As you map your processes carefully note the “pull and push" of information to specific systems. Consider where you would make the biggest productivity and error-avoiding savings. Assess how using smart technology would integrate these steps. Empower advisors to reduce their handling time while increasing their first contact resolution with a single 360° tenant view.

Focus 4 - real-time performance data
It is tempting to consider that all data is vital. Use your revised processes to identify key touch points where real-time alerts on “bottlenecks" or missed service levels will make a significant performance difference. Real-time data enables managers to proactively respond to changing situations.

In conclusion
Using these four focus areas will support you as you work to deliver enhanced tenant engagement. Additionally ensuring that you:

  • Spend sufficient time planning and tightly specify requirements for people, process and systems
  • Understand the appropriate role of each technology when linked to your current infrastructure
  • Clearly determine the team, vendor and partner roles and responsibilities
  • Deliver any project in manageable phases
  • Start with high productivity impact and use that high return on investment to fund other projects.

Taking these steps will ensure successful project delivery and safeguard rapid return on investment enabling you to move to the next step. For more information visit our Housing Solutions page.

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