Housing and Local Government

Customers are changing the way they want to interact with housing associations and local authorities. As other sectors improve their services levels, customer expectations are increasing and they are growing accustomed to getting prompt responses, whether via the website, on the phone, or through social channels.

 

Customers want information served in a convenient way at a time that suits them, from their favourite device on their channel of choice. Supporting customers 24 x 7 x 365 with a knowledgeable Customer Service Team is not financially feasible, and so new methods were introduced. Web based digital portals have been the preferred method offered to customers for self-service, but registration and take-up has not reached the levels hoped for because it is often easier for customers to make a phone call.

Customers will ask questions across a range of topics where many of the responses can be automated.

Housing associations and local authorities are embracing digital transformation in a number of different ways and many are looking at introducing process automation into existing and new applications. converse360 can integrate into software from a number of Housing Management providers and local authority applications either with direct integrations or through our partnership with Manifest Software Solutions. Where integrations are not already in place we can use low-code methods to connect with any software system that has the appropriate API’s.

 

Although Chatbots, Digital Assistants, and Alexa are familiar terms within the sector, these technologies are just the beginning of what is possible! Automated services can be delivered through telephony, Web, email, SMS, Social Media, smart speakers, kiosks/video screens and as enhancements to existing digital portals and within apps.

converse360's Service Automation platform enables you to automate through almost any channel. Build the process once, tweak the flows for messaging, speech and visual and then publish it to your channels of choice. 

 

There are huge benefits to be gained both for your customers and for your Customer Service team including:

  • No more queuing for customers who want instant responses

  • Extending your opening hours to 24/7

  • Enabling customers to self-serve using natural conversation, whether speaking or typing

  • Reducing the number of calls into the Customer Services team

  • Triaging of the monotonous and repetitive calls so that advisors can focus on the complex enquiries

 

Housing Associations and Local Authorities can choose to automate specific processes and leave live advisors for other tasks or enquiries. By proactively monitoring  all interactions and configuring triggers to detect when customers are getting frustrated or need further assistance the system will automatically offer the customer a transfer to a Customer Services Advisor and pass the relevant information across. This ensures a successful call resolution and a great experience for the customer.

The use cases for service automation

Some example use cases are shown where automation can be offered

FAQs & SIGNPOSTING

Answer common questions and provide links to more detailed information, your digital portal, web pages and documents

WORKFLOWS

Where FAQ responses are too broad, drill down to really understand the intent, guide through a process and give concise responses

TRANSACTIONS

Enable customers to transact in numerous ways. Make payments, check rent balances, make claims

DYNAMIC/INTERACTIVE FORMS

Make forms more dynamic, let capturing mundane information be conversational and have responses steer your customers to relevant knowledge with minimal effort

APPOINTMENTS

Automate the setting up, amending or cancelling of appointments, with integrations to Calendars, Housing Management, CRM & Scheduling

REPAIR TRIAGING

Assist callers to check basic repairs themselves, watch how-to videos, self-diagnose problems & share images to assist repairs

PROPERTY PROCESSES

Capture information, look-up details and provide automated responses to complex processes

INTERACTIVE SURVEYS

Request feedback & make it simple for customers to air their views whether positive or negative, one click or detailed questionaires

Service automation through a choice of channels

Whether your customers interact through messaging, speech or visual avatars, build the process once, customise to suit and publish it to your choice of channels. Some example videos below show customer service automation in a housing environment through a Chatbot, Alexa and with Digital Humans.

A community of customers

As more housing associations and local authorities are on-boarded we are creating a community of customers who can share their experiences and learn from each other. Many of the workflows and processes are very similar and we actively encourage our community to compare topics, questions, workflows, and responses to help accelerate deployment. We have also created a housing sector accelerator pack to short-cut the training model, which is continually improving.

Some words from our customers

The Virtual Assistant was introduced as part of emh groups digital strategy. It has enhanced our ability to answer frequently asked questions on our website and sign post customers to digital channels by default. For example linking to our customer portal or, if appropriate, to a web page for more information. The Virtual Assistant has played its part in increasing digital transactions and reducing routine type telephone calls. Thus allowing our customer services team to deal with more complex queries.

 

Converse 360 provided great help and support throughout the implementation period and beyond to ensure a successful launch and subsequent development.

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