Onward Homes, a leading provider of over 35,000 affordable homes in the North West, has been awarded at the 2020 UK Business Tech Awards in recognition of its innovative tenant response to Covid-19 in partnership with social housing technology provider, Voicescape.
Securing the award for Best Application of Tech in the Public Sector, Onward Homes and Voicescape were praised by the acclaimed panel of independent judges from across the technology sector, not only for the ethos of their idea but for using tech to do good.
When the global pandemic struck, Onward Homes wanted to check on the welfare of its tenants but needed a quick and efficient way to do so. With the help of Voicescape, the housing association found itself well-placed when the government lockdown necessitated a rapid reconfiguring of vital services, increasing engagement with its tenants across the North West of England in less than one week.
Voicescape delivered a customer communication solution that allowed the housing association to triage its stock and focus attention on those in need. Voicescape completed three rounds of survey calls for Onward Homes in April, May and June which resulted in 74,640 calls being made, as well as 16,600 voicemails and text messages delivered. Onward Homes received 20,841 responses with over 91% of tenants confirming they were “OK”. 1,698 tenants asked for assistance and received a direct phone call from Onward Homes’ customer team.
Andrew Kidds, Customer Experience Director at Onward Homes, said: “What started out as a way to check in on our most vulnerable customers has grown into something much bigger for our organisation. We’ve already completed a second campaign to deliver advice to 20,000 customers and keep them updated on services, which has not only increased the level of tenant engagement but it also reduced the volume of inbound enquiries. Receiving this award is testament to the success of implementing responsive, customer-centric communications. We look forward to continuing our work with Voicescape to build further on this positive progress with our tenants.”
John Doyle, CEO of Voicescape, added: “Onward Homes launched a concise communications campaign centred on the welfare of its tenants that resulted in stronger relationships at the most challenging time for many people. By automating thousands of tenant engagements its team was able to maximise resources and quickly identify those in need, achieving the desired results in one week.
“Our mission is to offer solutions that deliver instant and valuable tenant feedback. Our work with Onward Homes demonstrates this in action and for our partnership to be recognised from outside of the social housing sector and awarded by such a respected panel of judges is proof of how technology can be successfully applied to build more sustainable tenancies.”
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Using a combination of technology, expertise and experience, Voicescape creates customer communications technology that helps increase efficiency and improves service levels. Through digital solutions, Voicescape provides valuable behavioural insights, which enables housing providers to augment and empower performance in rental collection, feedback and resident well-being.
Voicescape’s solutions deliver an evidence-based approach to driving change, flexible technology-based solutions that are simple to use and responsive customer service and technical support.
About Onward Homes
Onward is one of the largest registered providers of social housing in the North West, with 35,000 properties across the region.
Onward is committed to the regeneration and sustainability of the North West by building 400 new homes each year and by making a positive difference in the communities it serves.
For more information, get in touch below.