As times are constantly changing, housing associations must consistently re-evaluate their efforts, and implement the best strategies in order to optimize communications with residents. While traditionally, delivering letters was an effective means of communication, it can seem outdated, as many people are now opting for more digital channels. According to research, 24% of participants say they get too much direct mail, and that it clutters their mailbox. On the other hand, sending mobile messages to residents is an ideal approach to keeping them informed. With 94% of adults in the UK owning a mobile phone, it is a sure-fire way of reaching people. There are a number of ways in which mobile messaging can be used to help housing associations communicate more effectively.
Send reminders to reduce the number of missed appointments
Missed maintenance appointments are a growing concern with many housing associations. Residents often simply forget about their arranged appointments, and are not home when the engineer arrives. As these visits are very expensive, regularly missed appointments can be extremely costly to associations.
By sending automated SMS messages, you can quickly and easily remind residents in advance of their planned appointments, so that they are less likely to be away at the time of the visit. Since SMS open rates can be as high as 98%, it is an excellent way to maximise the chances of your message being seen. You can even provide them with the opportunity to self serve and reschedule the appointment if the arranged date is unsuitable, or if their circumstances happen to change.
To further reduce the chances of missed appointments, you can even send a Rich Media Message that includes a “save the date” feature. This automatically adds the date of the appointment to the calendar on your resident’s handset.
Implementing mobile messaging is an efficient, simple and cost effective way to drastically reduce the number of missed visits. With one of our clients, VoiceSageʼs SMS solution decreased unsuccessful visits by 80%. It also enhanced engagement levels, improved productivity, increased first appointment access rates, and reduced business costs. Mobile messaging can be used to notify both residents and contractors of many different appointments, which may include:
- Maintenance reminders
- Repair appointments
- Property inspections
- Electrical safety checks
Keep residents informed regarding their payments
As many residents may be concerned about their finances, it is important to keep them in the loop regarding their rent and payments. SMS is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost effective means of doing so, with 90% of SMS messages being read within 3 minutes of being received. By regularly notifying residents of their rent balance, or by sending them alerts far in advance of when their rent is due, you can greatly help to ease their concerns. You can also send messages relating to financial matters such as:
- Requesting rent payments
- Sending arrears notifications and requesting outstanding debt
- Regularly sending updates about rent changes
- Delivering information on amendments to policies
- Sending details regarding changes to housing benefit
Use two-way SMS for better communication
Housing associations can also benefit from carrying out two-way SMS conversations. This gives residents the ability to ask questions, and notify associations about any issues or concerns they may have, without ever having to make a phone call. It also enhances agent productivity and efficiency, as multiple conversations can be held at once. Two-way SMS conversations can be especially useful for those who wish to:
- Enquire about their rent balance
- Request or reschedule an appointment
- Lodge a complaint
- Report a repair
Send quality satisfaction surveys to residents
In order to communicate effectively, it is vital to understand your residents and their needs. By sending quality satisfaction surveys, you can gather timely feedback and gain valuable insights. Sending these via mobile messages gives people the freedom to conveniently and effortlessly respond at a time that suits them.
With Rich Media Messaging, you can also promptly create and send residents highly engaging, personalized, rich content containing features like images, videos, checkboxes, paragraph boxes, rating faces, radio buttons, and rating sliders. Alternatively, you can deliver automated surveys via Interactive Voice Messaging. This is a great way to gain feedback on residents’ experiences after recent interactions. By allowing them to provide their thoughts through self-service options, you can considerably boost the response rates.
Not only is it simple to record feedback with surveys, but VoiceSage’s detailed analytics dashboard also makes it easy to analyze all of your data, so that you can continue to enhance your communications, and improve satisfaction levels.
Get started with mobile messaging
VoiceSage have worked with a number of housing associations to help them manage their communications via mobile messaging. To learn more about how we can help you reduce the number of missed appointments, keep residents informed, communicate more efficiently, and gain valuable feedback, book a demo with us today.
Published on: 1st June 2020