By Trevor Hampton, Director of Housing Solutions at NEC Software Solutions
Digital transformation has seen rapid acceleration over the past few years. It’s no secret that the pandemic has completely changed how we interact online, and is even estimated to have accelerated transformation by between 3 and 7 years. Housing providers are no different. You need the latest advances in technology to support residents engaging online.
This is where NEC Housing comes into play. Community involvement is a priority for us, whether you have a digital first strategy or you prioritise direct contact with housing officers. Whatever your strategy, we have the software to help you deliver those goals.
Tackling the future of technology
And this is where our brand new Virtual AI Assistant, known as Vaia, steps forward. Integrated with NEC Housing, Vaia is an intuitive chatbot that delivers secure and streamlined engagement between landlords and tenants.
Take rent queries, for example. Tenants are able to go online and ask Vaia, “What’s my rent balance?” or “When is my next payment due?”. With real-time integration, they can get answers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And any information gathered in Vaia’s interactions will be updated in NEC Housing so you maintain a single view of data across every interaction.
Vaia can also work on a variety of interfaces too. It fits perfectly on a housing provider website, but if your tenants are particularly active on Facebook or through SMS then Vaia can sit on those platforms too. However your residents choose to engage with you, NEC Housing is ready to support.
Intelligent services, pragmatic solutions
Unlike other chatbots in the market, Vaia has some additional extras to ensure you’re providing the best services. With content mining, Vaia stores previous interactions and can use that data to prompt related questions. Say your tenant checks their arrears status, Vaia can direct them to future payment plans or how to seek assistance in rent repayment.
What’s more, Vaia can learn. How your residents respond to the chat teaches Vaia where you’re delivering excellent customer service as well as where elements can be improved. Get real-time response analytics in NEC Housing with graphs and charts to help quickly identify strengths and problem areas. With full access to that data, you can update and amend automatic responses in real-time.
We also know that there are certain situations where a real person will be better placed to help. So if a tenant asks questions that Vaia is unable to resolve, they will be passed along to a live agent, with a full transcript of the interaction. This way, simple enquiries can be handled automatically, freeing your teams up to concentrate on more complex cases – or simply give them more time to pick up the phone to residents who require more support.
Going one step further
Resident engagement doesn’t stop there. For tenants who want to engage digitally, the team at NEC are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and streamline that contact. That’s why we’re launching a brand new digital engagement platform so housing providers like you can work even more closely with the communities you serve.
There’s more to come on the new platform in the coming months, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, take a look at our website and let us know if you want to talk about how NEC Housing can help you better engage with your residents.
Trevor Hampton is Director of Housing Solutions at NEC Software Solutions