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Six steps to data-driven digital service excellence: connecting with housing customers using quality data

Around 50% of social housing providers plan to use digital transformation to modernise service delivery and unlock significant savings. An-Chan Phung, Chief Innovation Officer, Civica MDM, explains the importance of quality data in this process and provides some advice on how to achieve it.

The need to drive increased service delivery savings in the face of welfare reform and economic uncertainty, along with customer pressure to channel shift in line with technology (smart phones, social media, IoT) and the move towards “24/7 services” is testing the capabilities of many providers’ digital approaches.

Customer expectations for digital experience continue to rise due to everyday interactions with online retailers and the likes of Google and Facebook. The bar has been set high and is being rapidly raised, meaning organisations who don’t maintain a high-quality self-service digital experience will be operating at a significant disadvantage.

Ensuring that complete and accurate customer and property data underpins digital service provision, and that any changes to records (i.e. a customer updating contact preferences) are synchronised with back-end systems and across departments is crucial.

Here are six key ways that social housing providers can effectively use data management capabilities to help them take back control of their data:

1. Synchronising digital service provision

While most organisations are already using digital channels for service delivery, many have found the roll-out and customer adoption of these services has been hampered by poor quality data. They have also found that the platforms themselves can inadvertently create a separate silo of customer data disconnected from core housing management systems.

Alongside using data management tools to fix issues with data quality, they also enable the synchronisation of data between the digital platform and back-office systems to ensure one consistent set of customer and property records is shared.

2. Supporting multi-agency collaboration and safeguarding

The requirement to exchange information across organisations (local authority care services, police, NHS, charities and other registered providers), for joined up service delivery, is increasing. Data management tools enable the controlled integration and sharing of information, ensuring collaboration around a single shared record while enforcing strict data access controls and upholding data governance policies.

Data management capabilities will empower providers to deliver a trusted “household view”, ensuring vulnerable customers and staff are safeguarded through the controlled sharing of information and alerts.

3. Improving internal collaboration

Best practice data management tools enable organisations to break down siloed working practices by ensuring everyone has access to one consistent and complete ‘golden record’ presented using standardised business terminology. This golden record is automatically synchronised across systems and departments, driving pervasive data quality and enabling service delivery teams (responsive repairs, asset management, housing and community, finance) to better coordinate responses to service requests or in neighbourhood planning.

4. Enhancing customer service and satisfaction

Ensuring customer facing service delivery teams have access to complete and accurate customer and property information, on time, on any device and at the point of engagement, is fundamental to quality customer service: empowering customer services to resolve more enquires ‘at first contact’, driving cost savings, ensuring revenues and improving customer satisfaction.

5. Improving service redesign, diversification and better targeting of services

Access to complete and trusted information will drive improved decision making in service redesign, aligned to customer demands and accurate profiles. It will also help providers diversify into new lines of business, such as care and support, and shared service arrangements with confidence. Accurate customer demographic and up-to-date contact information will ensure services are targeted towards the right individuals at the right time.

6. Fulfilling GDPR obligations and customer information requests

Data management tools help organisations to retrieve the entirety of the data they hold for a customer upon request, to manage and maintain their consents, to analyse their data and ensure what they hold is correct, justified and compliant.

In challenging times, when macro-economic forces undermine sustainable tenancies and threaten providers’ rental incomes, services have to rapidly adapt to match the demands of the “new reality” and ensure safeguarding of tenants and staff. 360 degree customer, property and household insight will be crucial in ensuring commercial sustainability.

Quality digital services, underpinned by trusted and synchronised data, which maximise adoption at this time of rapid customer channel shift, will ensure the best possible customer-provider engagement.

More information

If you feel improving the quality and synchronisation of your customer records, could enhance your digital services and increase customer adoption, we’d be pleased to help: Get in touch.

Find out more about how Wheatley Group improved their rental income collection, while safeguarding the most vulnerable tenants. Read the case study.