From: Krista Linnell, Marketing manager, Advanced365
Sir – There is a new communications paradigm and, contrary to popular belief, it’s not the preserve of the young.
There is a definite shift in expectation with people now presuming that they can access any information or service at any time and using a multiplicity of communication channels to achieve this.
Broadly speaking, there are more internet-enabled phones available now, with calling plans that don’t result in crippling data charges. There are more freely available connections and access points for users and more opportunity for housing providers themselves to deploy some of the technology required into their projects, either as part of the initial fabric or as a simple add-on.
The issue for many housing providers, however, is ‘connecting the dots’ in their back office to provide a seamless experience for the customer. Multi-channel communications is the future but it first needs a connected environment.
The good news is that examining current environments and rationalising and connecting data generates two valuable by-products. It can remove complexity and duplication, which seem to be the twin devils of modern IT, and it allows housing staff to adopt new methods of accessing data while on the move. The same experience available to customers is also available to housing staff which means that adopting mobile data techniques won’t get in the way of their need and ability to communicate with tenants.
For the new world of communication to work effectively, housing providers need to focus on IT, but with 90 per cent of the effort aimed at the ‘I’ and just use the ‘T’ to make sure the right ‘I’ gets to the right people at the right time.