BLOG UPDATED - 06.12.2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of housing associations, fostering stronger connections with tenants has emerged as a pivotal focus. However, efforts are often hindered by a lack of the right 'housing' technologies and communications platforms within these associations and so tenants are often left incredibly frustrated which is reflected within online feedback across the board.

This blog aims to delve into the Top 3 problems tenants and housing associations face from a housing technology and housing communications perspective and how to fix them to foster greater relationships with residents, improve their experience and increase the reputation of the housing association.

Top 3 housing association issues caused by technology and how to fix them:

  1. Problem: Bad internal systems limiting employee capacity

    Housing is not only hindered by low financial resources, but by a lack of human resource. Struggling to attract and retain talent due to the fact they are typically slower to move away from multiple clunky systems and to adopt new ways of working. Compounded further by non-contact centre staff who are unfamiliar with the systems having to take calls to provide a better service.

    Solution: Automate and reduce repetitive tasks, so agents can focus on the customer 

    The agents in housing association contact centres are really up against it. The good news is you can help them to deliver a much better service by taking away a lot of the drudge they have to deal with on a daily basis.

    INBOX works outside the contact centre to act as a triage that can scale, handling very large volumes. It can automatically read, respond, or route messages; only passing ones that need to go into the contact centre for the right agent to resolve. It also helps to organise and categorise interactions coming into the contact centre by business context or channel with smart tagging and search filters. This means agents only see what’s relevant to them and aren’t bogged down with interactions that aren’t of concern. Responses to certain enquiries can be completely automated.

  2. Problem: Communication channels for tenants and employees are clunky or old

    Tenants regularly complain about not being able to get through to the housing association staff, even for easy questions that can be answered in less than a minute such as "When are my bins next being emptied?". The lack of communication almost certainly leads to a lack of faith in the housing association and a very unhappy tenant.

    Solution: Provide an effective self-service technology and offer additional channels - such as social media

    We’ve already mentioned before that self-serve is the way to go for housing associations. Technologies like Customer Service Chatbots help to remove the drudge away from agents by empowering tenants to self-serve with their simple enquiries and questions and be used as a mechanism to gather all the necessary information before putting a call through to an agent.

    Embracing social media for some housing associations may seem difficult, but it can be made a lot easier with the help of INBOX. It can not only route social media messages into the contact centre, but it can also analyse sentiment, enable you to pinpoint specific geographic locations and act as your content scheduler too! Your housing association will be able to provide a much more comprehensive and reliable service on social media channels.

  3. Problem: Contact centre and call handling staff's moral is low - leading to bad customer service

    With flurries of enquiries ranging from maintenance issues to generic questions about rent coming into the contact centre for housing associations from angry tenants plus the limited human resource factor; it’s easy to see why agents are overloaded. It’s no surprise that motivation is an issue when you’ve got all this and regularly need to handle stressful situations, tenant complaints and a slow, convoluted system. Something that raised morale wouldn’t go amiss?

    Solution: Reward and motivate your agents

    Technology can not only help your agents by offloading some of their workload through automation and self-serve, but also by increasing their motivational levels. Solutions like REVIEWS enable you to set appropriate targets for all staff in the contact centre. It will reward contact centre agents for meeting personalised objectives and targets. This is done through points and bonuses. You can even set up tournaments and game battles to help create an element of competition to drive KPIs.

    For more information on how your housing association can improve through technology and communications, download our Whitepaper: Deconstructing Digital Transformation for Housing.