Netcall | Customer Story

Transforming the tenant journey

Cairn Housing Group harness the power of low-code to ensure no tenant is left behind.

Project highlights

  • Provide simple and convenient services for customers, with frictionless access across any channel, be it voice or digital
  • Implement ‘work from anywhere’ flexibility for the team
  • Provide simple, secure and flexible technology that works effectively
  • Ensure a return on investment with an increased efficiency and value for money.

Cairn Housing Association, and its subsidiary Ancho, are not-for-profit charities that provides quality, affordable homes and services, along with its communities and partners, throughout Scotland. Their mission is to provide landlord services that surpass expectations, whilst making sure tenants feel reassured, supported and connected.

Cairn was faced with tenants’ growing needs to request a service, or make a payment, at a time and using a method convenient to them. This increase in requirements had meant that the Cairn team was tasked with responding to tenants and maintaining a seamless customer experience. To meet this new level of demand, Cairn needed to extend its services beyond telephony to a range of digital channels such as web chat, Facebook Messenger, and its own online portal. And, in a particularly turbulent and uncertain landscape, Cairn needs the ability to make its own software changes, quickly and flexibly as it needed them. It also wanted its tenants to benefit from a seamless journey, from the beginning to the end of every interaction.

Transforming the tenant journey

Cairn’s primary goal was to ensure that tenants could contact and log an enquiry or service request with a member of the team quickly, across a range of channels, and that as many queries were dealt with as possible at the very first point of contact. However, disconnected back-office systems were holding Cairn back from making this a reality. Customer self-service, for example, was previously a form-based service that lacked end-to-end integration. Any changes Cairn needed were dependent on the product and the vendor roadmap, with changes taking time that the charity simply did not have to waste. As a result, Cairn’s teams used workarounds, which added additional steps and complexity – and often resulted in stages being missed and errors being made.

To overcome this, Cairn implemented Netcall’s Liberty Platform, an all-in-one customer experience suite, that enables businesses to make huge transformational changes, fast.

Delivering end-to-end process support

To provide a seamless end-to-end journey, the digital team developed its own customer management system using Liberty Create, Netcall’s low-code platform, which enables business users to build their own apps and processes with minimal IT intervention. Using the low-code software, Cairn designed and built a new online portal for its tenants called MyCairn. Tenants are now able to pay rent, report repairs or log complaints. Some processes are fully automated while others are followed up during office hours.

By using a low-code solution, the team could limit inefficiencies caused by various overlapping software licenses and systems. Not only did this help to limit any subsequent vulnerabilities associated with application sprawl, but it also allowed tighter control over all processes. Previously, legacy systems struggled to enable automation; however, with Create, data can now flow seamlessly between systems and processes. The simplicity and efficiency of Create has also meant that Cairn can make flexible changes to workflows and build new processes exactly when, where and how the team needs them – at no additional license cost.

In the first four months, the MyCairn portal achieved the following results:

  • 16 services are available on the platform, including repairs, complaints and antisocial behaviour reporting and service satisfaction surveys – with tenants able to access these services at any time
  • 5,902 cases were completed overall by both the tenants and the Cairn team
  • 530 satisfaction surveys were returned, with an average satisfaction rating of 8.45/10.

An omnichannel approach

But the journey didn’t stop at basic functionality – Cairn knew that to truly keep up with tenants, it needed to be available on a variety of channels. To support this, Cairn deployed the end-to-end capability of the Liberty Platform – including Liberty Converse, Netcall’s complete omnichannel contact centre solution, and Liberty Connect, a conversational messaging and chatbot tool.  

By deploying both Converse and Connect for social media messaging, Cairn is now able to connect tenants with advisors on their channel of choice, whether that be Facebook Messenger or web chat. Create has provided Cairn with complete end-to-end tenant support, on a variety of channels or via self-service. Thanks to close integration with social media, 7,817 emails, 794 web chats and 280 messages were received through to the platform in the first four months. Not only has social media provided tenants with more options for contact, but the added convenience has also meant cases have been logged much quicker.

Since implementing the Liberty Platform, which has enabled us to build MyCairn, all cases are handled quicker; you can instantly see where a customer is in the journey. Pending cases, if carried over to the next day, can be easily picked up by the next available advisor, who is provided with the full case history and can quickly support them.

A successful launch, even during a pandemic

Despite months of preparation, the planned launch of the MyCairn portal on the 1 April 2020 meant Cairn faced unexpected challenges when its entire workforce was forced to suddenly work from home. Things moved fast and luckily, due to the agile nature of low-code, the remote working team was able to make flexible agile updates after receiving virtual feedback and bug reports. Due to the system’s easy use, Cairn was able to continue rollout to employees as planned using Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to collaborate and train staff. This was supported by online tutorials and FAQs. Further information about it can be found at How end-to-end system development allowed Cairn to improve service delivery during lock-down.

The rollout of MyCairn came at a pivotal time for Cairn and our tenants. The pandemic has created huge challenges, not only for our team who are working remotely, but for our tenants too, who face ongoing uncertainty and lockdown restrictions that continue to take their toll. Never has there been a greater need for automation and seamless integration within our processes. The capacity offered by low-code has allowed us to free teams up for more complex decisions and to spend their time on higher-value tasks, such as supporting more vulnerable tenants during their time of need.

A welfare call solution built in just two days

The timely implementation of MyCairn meant that Cairn could ensure no tenant has been left behind during the pandemic. Cairn was faced with the challenge of needing to rapidly flag and report tenants who were self-isolating, needing support, or diagnosed with COVID-19. The team needed to be able to segment and identify vulnerable customers and be able to tailor services and calls to them. Cairn also needed to send out emails and SMS alerts to tenants to keep them informed – and for the system to automatically trigger follow-up contact where necessary.

Thanks to the agile capabilities of the Liberty Platform, Cairn was able to build and deploy a welfare call solution in just two days. In three months, the system managed 1,002 calls, emails and SMS, with all customers given regular updates across the period. 58 referrals were made to other agencies in a cost-efficient safe manner, ensuring that tenants in need got the help they required. And, due to the flexibility of low-code, as the COVID-19 situation still continues to unfold, any necessary changes can be made with ease so that the business can adapt to new situations and changing customer needs.

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