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19 Feb 2020

If you’re a customer services director, then ‘user experience’ is part of the everyday vernacular of your team. Making life easier for customers makes life easier for customer services agents and as a result, self-service customer portals have grown in numbers and prominence across many industries.

Social housing is no different. The customer portal has seen the same surgency – a way for the resident to take control over their own affairs - access to rent and arrears statements, the ability to request a repair to their home, to track that through to conclusion and provide feedback – all done from any device around the clock. It puts the customer back into the driving seat - but far beyond simply provisioning services, a branded
customer portal delivering personalised information to the user provides a place where those users become part of a community – they feel a part of something. Personalisation builds trust and rapport and helps a brand cement its values both on and offline.

It’s this personalisation of services, the extension to other channels of communication, that has seen many social housing providers look to white-label MIS-AMS’s ActiveH customer portal technology as a fully branded resident self-service facility. It makes a lot of sense – customers can resolve simple issues without holding on the phone, tasks that previously took hours can be completed in minutes, but it’s the benefits it delivers to the organisation that also makes it a win-win.

From a digital perspective, self-service allows social housing providers to focus more on innovation, creative marketing and new digital experiences, developing their brand and focussing less on the nuts and bolts tasks of interacting directly with residents. Ultimately, that’s the difference between success and failure - personalisation has to be driven by the customer, not the organisation – so it’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to make everything digital and then wondering why the customers’ experience is still poor. What’s preferable is to set customer-focussed goals for self-service portals, not operational ones, in order to maintain the user experience, build rapport and reinforce the brand.

For those housing associations looking to achieve a branded look and feel to a customer portal, MIS-AMS can work in partnership to achieve the following:

  • Incorporate your brand; colours, fonts and icons based on the residents UX
  • Improve the user journey in terms of logging repairs and booking appointments by reducing ‘user clicks’ and streamlining the whole logging process;
  • Improve the customers landing and home page with better targeted information
  • Full online integration with MIS-AMS ActiveH:
    • Rent Accounting
    • Repairs and Maintenance o Internal and External Appointments
    • Contact Management
  • Allow residents access to view and update their own personal records: contact numbers, email address and household information;
  • Allow ‘Self Registration’ so customers can set themselves access to the portal with minimum involvement with your customer services agents;
  • Make the portal ‘mobile responsive’ so that it can be viewed on a plethora of mobile devices without the loss of any functionality;
  • Make the Portal ‘PWA responsive’ so that it can run ‘like an app’ on the residents’ mobile device.

MIS-AMS recently finished a project with customer Citizen Housing to rebrand its customer portal ‘MyAccount’.
You can see the video of Citizen’s MyAccount here:

If you're interested in our customer portal and would like to discuss further / receive a demonstration, then please contact us on where a member of our New Business team will be more than happy to assist.

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