Housing associations play a critical role in the UK's housing sector, providing affordable homes to millions of people.
However, housing associations are facing a range of challenges that are making it increasingly difficult for them to operate effectively. From market and regulatory challenges to customer satisfaction and operational complexity issues, several factors are having a significant impact on this sector.
UK Social Housing Demand and Cost Challenges
Demand for social housing is growing due to the economic downturn and rising house prices. At the same time, the UK government has introduced a 7% cap on rent increases to help tenants during the current economic downturn. However, the housing sector is also facing increasing costs due to inflation, as well as a rise in arrears from tenants.
Housing associations are investing in new, more sustainable homes to meet the changing needs of their communities. This creates a challenging situation as they strive to balance the competing demands of financial sustainability and providing affordable housing.
Additionally, tenants have high expectations when it comes to customer service. Moreover, following several recent events, housing associations urgently needs to rebuild its reputation and become more resident-centric.
So, how can housing associations overcome these challenges to regain the trust of their customers and successfully balance their financial and social objectives?
Housing Sector Customer Service Guide
This guide is explains how (re)building trust starts with providing an excellent customer service that meets the needs of residents. Discover how technology can improve housing associations' customer service by offering a wider range of channels, self-service tools (such as chatbots), and streamlining processes through automation.
Start by providing a user-friendly, transparent, and accessible experience to all customers. However they make contact, the process should be simple, straightforward and value the customer’s time. By taking an omnichannel approach with intuitive self-service options, housing associations can ensure that all customers find what they are looking for or solve their issue, regardless of their channel preferences.
Equally important, support agents in order to enable them to have empathetic conversations with customers. The agent experience is crucial to delivering a successful customer experience.
Agents therefore need to be empowered with training and knowledge to have conversations based on empathy and understanding. Whether they are in the contact centre or working from home. That means giving them easy access to all the systems and answers they need, such as through unified desktop solutions and a centralised knowledge base. Housing associations staff across the whole organisation further benefit from unified communication tools such as Microsoft Teams. Integrated with Microsoft Teams, the contact centre becomes a hub of true collaboration. Team work significantly enhancing agent and customer experiences.
Download you copy of the Housing Sector Customer Service Guide now.