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21 Mar 2016

Calico, the Burnley, Lancashire-based housing association with an estate of 4,600 homes has seen 26% of its residents opt-in to its new digital customer portal in the first 12 months. It has also realised ongoing savings of £17,000 per annum thanks to the solution delivered by housing management system provider MIS AMS.

The portal is part of Calico’s wider digital strategy to increase customer uptake of services through digital media: web use, ‘self-serve’, social media and mobile communications.

Residents can log directly into the housing association’s self-serve customer portal which is linked to MIS AMS’s ActiveH housing management system to check rent payments, look at their accounts over a time period, order maintenance for their property and check ongoing live repairs – as well requesting amends to the data held about them where relevant.

“We’ve been an MIS AMS ActiveH user for many years – it holds all the estate and resident data that’s at the heart of our organisation – but providing the portal for our residents speeds up requests from the tenants and gets things done much more efficiently,” explains Darryl Baker, media and communications manager at Calico.

“Providing residents and employees with a faster digital way to communicate has also demonstrated an ongoing saving of £17,000 per year through initial print, postage and other reductions, lowering costs to the organisation.

“There will also be gains in the reduction of phone costs to factor in on top of this saving figure, as an increasing number of tenants choose to communicate via the portal rather than over the phone.”

Chris McLaughlin, managing director of MIS AMS comments: “Delivering a customer portal to Calico has had numerous benefits, not least in terms of resident engagement and speed of response to their requests, but also in reducing costs to the organisation and allowing them to be more efficient with their time.

“The growth in mobile and tablet use means that increasingly it’s imperative for housing associations to provide access to residents based upon their preferred method of communication.”

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