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Housing associations adopt real-time, emotion-led approach to customer feedback and engagement

Upland Software’s multi-channel approach to gathering feedback improves response rates and customer satisfaction scores for housing associations

Housing associations across the globe have long faced challenges when engaging with customers for feedback due to outdated practices and technologies. Increasingly, housing associations have begun to adopt new technologies to gather real-time, honest feedback enabling them to take critical action at scale, and this trend has only been magnified by the ongoing pandemic. 

Upland Software, a leader in cloud-based tools for digital transformation, recently partnered with Stonewater – a UK-based housing association with over 70,000 customers – in a bid to elevate their standards of customer engagement and experience through its voice of the customer solution, Upland Rant & Rave. And the results have been impressive. 

Since working with Rant & Rave, a third of Stonewater’s customers have responded to feedback requests, they have achieved email response rates of 15 percent – higher than 10 percent average for the housing sector  – and, their customer contact team is delivering an excellent experience with an average Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score of 4.5. 

 “Upland has allowed our customers to tell us what is most important to them in their own words, during the moments that truly matter,” said Dean Ballard, Head of Customer Insights at Stonewater. Through Rant & Rave’s Fast Feedback application we can have real-time conversations across multiple channels allowing us to create a culture of learning and development for our frontline agents and overall allows us to serve our customers better.” 

 We’re in an immensely challenging environment right now with COVID-19where everything is in a constant state of motion and housing associations must utilize real-time, transparent feedback in order to make the right decisions for their customers,” said Jed Alpert, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Upland’s Customer Experience Management (CXM) Cloud. “People just won’t tolerate a poor experience concerning something as fundamental as housingCapturing and analysing real-time feedback and acting on those insights is critical for organizations to close the loop. Having the right technology and expertise in place that can deliver an end-to-end customer experience that helps prevent churn and elevates satisfaction is crucial.” 

Prior to engaging Upland, Stonewater conducted telephone interviews as their source of transactional feedback, but often experienced delays of up to six weeks from interaction with the customer and receiving the results from the survey. The lack of real-time feedback meant response rates were often low, or the customer’s memory of the experience wasn’t clear – resulting in confusion regarding the experience and the customer’s level of satisfaction. 

 With Rant & Rave, Stonewater has been able to capture feedback across multiple touchpoints that include Contact Center, Repairs, Lettings, Complaints and Estate Services. Not only is Stonewater able to do this at multiple touchpoints but also across multiple channels using a mixture of SMS, Email, interactive voice messaging and listening posts. In addition, Stonewater is using the Rant & Rave Survey Builder tool to send ad hoc perception surveys to customers. By having both transactional and perception elements of their CX program in the platform, they can easily identify the links between the two survey types.  

To learn more about Stonewater’s experience with Rant & Rave, watch part one of Upland’s housing webinar series – Recovering Ranters and Recognizing Ravers: Using Feedback to Enable Your CX Strategy in Housing – available  on-demand here. Part two of our housing webinar series with Stonewater is also available. Hear how Stonewater have moved to a real-time, emotion-led approach to customer feedback. 

Upland’s CXM Cloud is committed to helping housing associations capture, process, present, and act on feedback, and at scale. Visit uplandsoftware.com/cxm/ and uplandsoftware.com/rantandrave/ to learn about our solutions for customer experience and voice of customer.   

About Stonewater 

We place our customers at the heart of what we do, investing in communities to make great places to live. Stonewater is a social housing provider, with a mission to deliver good quality, affordable homes to people who need them most. We manage around 32,500 homes in England for over 70,000 customers, including affordable properties for general rent, shared ownership and sale, alongside specialist accommodation such as retirement and supported living schemes for older and vulnerable people, domestic abuse refuges, a dedicated LGBTQ+ Safe Space, and young people’s foyers.  

Our ambitious house-building programme aims to build a minimum of 1,500 new homes a year from 2022/23 and we have a good pipeline of development to achieve this, driven by our vision of everyone having the opportunity to have a place that they can call home. We plough our surplus into building new homes, improving our existing housing stock and investing in customer services.   

Our aim is to deliver innovative, effective and consistent services to our customers, and to listen to their feedback so we can use this to help shape our services to meet the diverse needs and aspirations of customers.  

Our early involvement in the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants draft plan reinforces Stonewater’s commitment to continuously nurture positive relationships with our customers and share our experience with the sector.  

For more information, see our media pack: https://www.stonewater.org/media-pack/media-kit/ 

Stonewater media contact:  

Sarah Thomas, See Media  

E-mail: sarah.thomas@see-media.co.uk 

Tel: 07850 765321 

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