Adactus Housing Group began a trial last month of an automated text and voice service from the Housing Contact Company in a bid to reduce late payments and rent arrears.
The Call-2-Collect service automatically extracts data from Adactus’s housing management system every day to initiate a mixture of interactive telephone calls and SMS messaging to remind tenants that a payment is due or has been missed. The service is configured with a specified schedule of retries so that problem tenants can be pursued more vigorously, with a complete audit trail of all call attempts. When contact is established, the service can also transfer the tenant to a customer services advisor to help resolve any problems or to make a direct payment.
Kimberley Clarke, operations director of finance, Adactus Housing Group, said, “With the change in legislation around welfare reform, we realised that our income team would need to be on the front foot just to maintain current income levels. Although we are only in the early stages of the pilot, the results are very encouraging. We have replaced both the cost and inherent delay of sending some of our arrears notices by post and we believe that earlier intervention will be essential to maintain income levels.”