Worcester Community Housing has developed its own customer involvement software, known internally as ‘Rewards’, to incentivise its tenants to get involved in surveys and help improve housing services. The software has since been enhanced further by Clearview Systems and is available as a commercial product. WCH will be discussing ‘Rewards’ at the Housing Technology 2013 conference next month.
Di Smith, head of customer services and involvement, Worcester Community Housing, said, “Administering involvement activity had become a big headache. We had spreadsheets that didn’t join up with each other so data was often incorrect and out of date.
“It became difficult to monitor our successes and identify where we needed to improve because getting accurate figures was labour-intensive and time-consuming. We were in danger of running involvement activities that were financially wasteful, with few recordable results.”
WCH initially looked at the market for a single system that could administer, incentivise, report and survey tenant involvement activities but when it was unable to find a suitable off-the-shelf system, it decided to develop its own.
The web-based Clearview Customer Engagement suite originally developed by the WCH team enables end-users to create and administer involvement activities and groups, incentivise involvement in surveys and other activities (with the incentive points exchangeable for rewards), record costs and produce comprehensive reports.
Pete Adams, customer involvement advisor, Worcester Community Housing, said, “The best part of the system is that it’s been developed by customer involvers for customer involvers. It makes what we do smart, measurable and gives something back to our customers who give up their time to help improve local housing services. In 10 months we went from having only five per cent of our customers involved in our work to 15 per cent – Rewards definitely works.
“We plan to expand what we use the system for and integrate it into all areas of customer interaction, such as using Rewards to incentivise people to go ‘digital by default’ and carry out tenancy transactions online. We want to use Rewards to encourage ‘good tenant-like behaviour’; rewarding customers for allowing access to properties for repairs, making timely rent payments and keeping to agreements with estate managers.”