Our previous articles in Housing Technology explored how AI and self-service apps are transforming tenants’ experiences. As technology evolves rapidly, contact centre as a service (CCaaS) solutions have emerged as a catalyst to accelerate digital transformation.
The experience of a leading UK housing provider offers some valuable insights into the transformative potential of CCaaS. By implementing a CCaaS platform, this innovative housing provider created a unified platform for service delivery across multiple local authorities.
CCaaS – a springboard for innovation
CCaaS platforms allow housing providers to transition their contact centres to the cloud. This enables the convenient integration of digital channels such as chat, social media and SMS, and flexible scaling to match variable tenant demand. Advanced analytics and automation further augment agents’ capabilities and enhance productivity.
For this forward-thinking housing provider, moving to CCaaS allowed it to combine multiple contact centres onto a single platform. This eliminated duplicated costs and enabled omni-channel engagement.
CCaaS paves the path for digital innovation across three key dimensions:
1. Omni-channel tenant engagement
CCaaS facilitates omni-channel engagement by converging phone, email, live chat, SMS and other digital channels onto a single platform. This allows tenants to connect with their housing provider through their preferred medium. Switching between channels is also simplified for seamless communication.
The enabled omni-channel capabilities were previously unavailable with legacy systems, including email, webchat, and social media integration at this housing provider. This allowed residents to engage with the council and housing staff seamlessly across different channels.
These platforms leverage robust integrations to synchronise tenant data back-end systems and front-end touchpoints. This creates unified, contextual experiences across channels, which are crucial for personalisation.
2. Intelligent interactions
CCaaS harnesses AI, automation, and analytics to make every tenant interaction smarter. Chatbots powered by natural language processing (NLP) can handle common queries, enabling instant responses. AI helps agents with relevant knowledge, resources and recommendations for complex enquiries to drive first-call resolutions and AHT reductions.
One innovative housing provider deployed conversational AI bots to efficiently route calls, reduce abandoned calls by 50 per cent and speed up call resolution. Here are a couple of quotes from another successful housing provider that underwent a similar experience.
“The async nature of Genesys Web Messaging enables a website visitor to interact with a bot or advisor and return later to pick up again. Customers are no longer tied to their phones and appreciate the convenience. They can also attach informative photos of their property problems, for example.”
Lianne Martindale, Communications Center Manager, BPHA
“Once Genesys Cloud CX had been running for a while and we’d built up sufficient data, we started using Genesys Workforce Engagement Management. Having an all-in-one system is so much easier. For example, if you want to find a call recording or produce an accurate six-week forecast, it’s quickly accessible.”
Gill Miller, Project Manager for Corporate Change, BPHA
Integration with CRM data provides a holistic tenant view, allowing agents to deliver personalised services, and speech analytics applied to call recordings generate meaningful insights to continually refine tenant engagement.
By infusing intelligence into interactions, CCaaS platforms enable housing providers to deliver predictive, proactive and personalised tenant experiences.
3. Agile and scalable operations
The cloud-based infrastructure of CCaaS brings newfound agility and scalability to housing operations. Demands can be dynamically managed by flexing agent capacity, ensuring tenants get the proper assistance.
With CCaaS, one housing provider gained scalability to manage fluctuating service demands quickly. The platform also enabled remote working capabilities for a dispersed workforce.
The latest technologies can be rolled out via the cloud without extensive on-premise upgrades. CCaaS makes it faster for housing providers to implement AI chatbots, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, new integrations and more.
Significant savings are unlocked by reducing overhead costs associated with physical call-centre infrastructure. Agents can also work remotely, expanding talent pools and improving staff retention.
Together, these benefits create a resilient operational framework able to rapidly adapt to evolving tenant expectations.
Driving transformational outcomes
Modern CCaaS platforms give housing providers the capabilities they need to enable digital experiences at scale, including:
- Native integrations with essential systems, such as CRM, ERP and billing;
- Omni-channel engagement via voice, digital and asynchronous channels;
- Conversational AI chatbots for instant query resolution;
- Speech analytics for customer insights;
- Workforce management tools for demand planning;
- Accessibility features to serve vulnerable communities;
- Personalised communication through segmentation;
- Auditable platform compliance to ensure data security.
For one pioneering housing provider, moving to CCaaS delivered impressive results:
- 50 per cent decrease in abandoned calls;
- 47 per cent faster routing to correct departments;
- 90 per cent bot success rate;
- Up to 94 per cent customer satisfaction;
- Reduced average waiting times to 7-12 seconds.
The road ahead
Digital transformation will be synonymous with simplifying the IT stack and leveraging AI to drive the CCaaS (incl. self-service portals and apps) to deliver highly personalised and empathetic tenant experiences.
AI-powered open CCaaS platforms continue to provide the fundamental capabilities required to launch new channels and touchpoints rapidly, leverage emerging technologies and build intelligent and memorable tenant-centric experiences.
By embracing CCaaS, housing providers can unlock innovation and chart a future-proof roadmap for organisational success, driven by resilience, agility and continuous evolution.
The possibilities for enhancing communities through empathetic, technology-led tenant experiences are limitless.
How to implement CCaaS successfully
To successfully implement CCaaS, housing providers should follow these steps:
- Develop a clear strategy: what do you hope to achieve by implementing CCaaS? What are the key challenges you are facing? Once you understand your needs, you can develop a tailored implementation plan.
- Get buy-in from all stakeholders: it’s essential to get the support of your employees, tenants and other stakeholders before implementing CCaaS; this will help to ensure a smooth transition.
- Choose the right CCaaS provider: not all CCaaS providers are equal. Choosing a provider with housing experience and offering you the features and functionality you need within a single platform is essential.
- Integrate CCaaS with your other systems: CCaaS should be integrated with other methods, such as your CRM and ERP systems. This will create a seamless experience for your tenants and make it easier for your agents to do their jobs.
- Invest in training: ensure your employees are adequately trained on how to use the CCaaS platform. This will help them to be more productive and efficient.
- Monitor your results: once you’ve implemented CCaaS, monitoring your results and adjusting as needed is essential. This will help ensure you get the most out of your CCaaS investment.
CCaaS is a powerful tool that can help housing providers accelerate their digital transformations and deliver superior tenant experiences. By following the best practices outlined above, housing providers can maximise the benefits of CCaaS and create more sustainable and future-proof organisations.
Zaheer Gilani is the account director for UKI sales at Genesys.