We’ve worked with numerous housing associations of all shapes and sizes over the last 15 years, to help them reach their digital ambitions. From United Welsh to Linc Cymru and Bron Afon, getting digital ‘right’ has resulted in these organisations achieving a more efficient service delivery; a better, more convenient tenant experience; increased job satisfaction for staff, and savings that can demonstrate value for money. All whilst meeting regulatory requirements.
Read on for ways in which we’ve seen technology transforming the way HA’s operate.
Often the elephant in the room is that staff worry about job security, automation has the ability to free up staff to take on more meaningful roles. Embracing advances in technology can reduce the amount of paperwork and manual processes required. Automating processes like applications, maintenance requests, the rental lifecycle and managing payments, staff are free to provide more support to tenants and the business more proactively.
Moving transaction processes online also offers excellent cost savings for housing associations, with online payments being 20 times cheaper than phone transactions and a staggering 50 times cheaper than face-to-face.
Data analysis & record keeping
In a world of GDPR, there are some real benefits to those within the social housing sector making a move to keep all customer data and records online. A well defined online infrastructure can provide greater security for keeping online records safe and secure.
Utilising digital technologies for customer data is also an excellent opportunity for better data analysis and upkeep. Maintaining customer records online allows them to be accessed and edited as required, providing housing associations with up-to-date information that is easy to manage.
Improved customer service
One of the most significant benefits that digitalisation has in the social housing sector is the ability for tenants to receive a customer experience. Help and advice can be made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the help of a knowledge portal and accessible online account information.
Many actions have the ability to be completed online, meaning customers have no restrictions on when they can resolve their issues or speak with the correct department. Putting real-time communication at your customer’s fingertips creates a seamless transaction and results in the customer being able to help themselves.
Such innovation in a sector that is yet to fully embrace technological solutions will also deliver considerable reputational benefits, impacting positively and directly on-brand experience.
“Communication channels between housing associations and tenants should be easily accessible, simple to use, streamlined, convenient and robust.”
Connected devices and smart metres offer a great opportunity for housing associations to diversify their offerings. Embracing these innovative technologies within social housing can detect how people are using their accommodation and allow providers to alter services, such as heating, in real-time.
When used effectively, this technology can help housing associations to anticipate and handle issues faster, as well as be more proactive and strategic in commissioning repairs or replacements quicker in order to minimise costs and disruption.
A remote workforce
With the rise of cloud technologies, it is now possible for housing association teams to work remotely, allowing them to focus their time and energy on being out among their tenants. Having a digitally enabled and mobile workforce also reduces the need for multiple physical office locations.
Remote working allows staff to be more connected with those that need help the most. Less time will be spent on the mundane transactions, and more focus can be made on what really matters; enabling the organisation to become more human with greater face-to-face interactions.
So there you have it, some key things to consider when streamlining digital solutions for your Housing Association.
If you’d like to speak to us about how we can transform the way your business operates, get in touch below!