Tenant experiences and engagements are of paramount importance. Our previous article (in the May edition of Housing Technology) highlighted how AI integration can enhance and streamline these experiences, signposting a transformative era of innovation. This narrative extends towards how contact centre as a service (CCaaS) platforms further empower tenant experiences through state-of-the-art applications (apps) and self-service portals.
The digital wave
Apps and self-service portals have surfaced as significant tools for enhancing tenant experiences. These tools resonate with the evolving demands for seamless communication, personalised experiences and effortless service access.
Apps and portals bridge the communication gap between tenants and housing providers by providing an easily-accessible platform to access services, report issues and engage with their communities. They allow housing providers to gain invaluable real-time data and feedback for proactive and personalised tenant management. Integrating these digital mediums with CCaaS platforms further enriches the experience by offering interactive features such as chat support, notifications and community forums.
These advances align with digital transformation, facilitating enhanced tenant empowerment and inclusivity. By accommodating different language preferences and accessibility needs, they ensure a comprehensive and empathetic approach to communication. Apps and portals can provide features such as multi-language support and options for visually-impaired or hard-of-hearing tenants to submit and track requests.
Integrating apps and portals with CCaaS platforms elevates the potential for predictive, proactive, and personalised tenant experiences. CCaaS platforms can decipher and predict behaviours using advanced AI-driven analytics, enabling empathetic engagement across channels while fostering continuous innovation.
- Predictive experiences: Analysing tenant interactions allows CCaaS platforms to provide targeted, pre-emptive solutions based on predicted needs. For example, if a tenant frequently raises heating complaints in winter, the platform can proactively notify them of preventive steps before the heating season begins.
- Proactive engagement: Leveraging automation and real-time analytics, CCaaS platforms can proactively notify and help tenants with solutions, updates or support. If a tenant misses a rent payment, the system can automatically send a reminder to avoid late fees.
- Personalised communication: CCaaS platforms facilitate the design of tailored messages and support for each tenant, fostering an empathetic association. Mass broadcast messages can be replaced by personalised notifications about community events or maintenance based on tenant history and preferences.
- Continuous learning and innovation: These platforms evolve by adapting to new data and insights to align with dynamic tenant needs. If the system notices an increase in parking complaints, it can prompt the creation of new parking policies or procedures.
Empowering front-line & back-office agents
Apps and portals empower front-line and back-office agents by equipping them with comprehensive tenant insights for highly empathetic responses. Integrating with CCaaS platforms streamlines workflows, reduces manual tasks and enables agents to focus on value-adding activities. This facilitates significant cost savings, enhances productivity and paves the way for resource efficiency.
With a complete view of tenant history and interactions, agents can provide personalised service, pre-empt issues and fast-track request resolutions. Intuitive CRM integration further simplifies accessing tenant information. Automated creation of help tickets from app/portal submissions allows agents to work seamlessly across channels.
Security, compliance & sustainability
CCaaS platforms ensure stringent adherence to regulations and standards, protecting tenant data privacy. This includes compliance with laws such as GDPR for data protection and accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.1.
This digital shift also reflects a commitment to sustainability by reducing paper and promoting electronic communication. CCaaS platforms come with reporting capabilities to measure reductions in paper usage. Housing providers can also highlight these sustainability benefits when marketing their digital transformation initiatives.
Many housing providers worldwide have adopted these technologies, yielding tangible engagement, maintenance and resource allocation improvements. Apps and portals have enabled community building and fostered belonging among tenants.
- In the UK, housing providers such as Sanctuary, Clarion Housing and Peabody have implemented apps and portals integrated with CCaaS platforms. These have reduced call volumes, improved first-call resolution and increased customer satisfaction.
- One housing provider’s self-service portal provides 24/7 access to reporting repairs, making payments, booking appointments and more. This resulted in 50 per cent of repair reports being logged through the portal, freeing up contact centre agents. Online submissions are automatically created as tickets in the housing provider’s CRM system for assignment.
- In the US, housing providers such as NYCHA, Home Forward and Chicago Housing Authority have adopted portals and mobile apps to improve communication, maintenance management, and rent collections.
- One housing provider’s self-service portal allows tenants to request repairs, download forms, access payment history and subscribe for email updates. Integrated with CRM, it provides a unified workspace for agents while enabling 24/7 tenant access.
- Another housing provider’s online tenant portal features two-way messaging for directly contacting housing managers. Over 75 per cent of its tenants have signed up, reducing calls, and enabling rapid resolution of problems.
Modern apps, portals and CCaaS platforms transform social housing by enabling predictive, proactive and personalised experiences through continuous innovation. By embracing these tools, housing providers can build more connected, empathetic and resilient communities, significantly impacting tenants’ lives.
The future of social housing lies in these digital innovations that align with evolving tenant needs and expectations. Our next exploration delves deeper into the digital transformation shaping the social housing landscape, such as the internet of things, virtual/augmented reality and more… stay tuned!
Zaheer Gilani is an account director for UKI sales at Genesys.