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Technology can deliver more effective, efficient and targeted services to residents

16 February 2016 – Housing associations should utilise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology to improve data collection and engagement with residents, according to Advanced ConsultCRM (Advanced), the third largest CRM partner in the UK.

A recent report by the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) revealed that following changes to the way that welfare such as housing benefit is paid, almost nine in ten Universal Credit claimants are in rent arrears* due to delays in payment.

Consequently, housing associations are under more pressure than ever before to improve the way in which they gather data and establish better relationships with tenants, which in turn can reduce the problem of rent arrears.

Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial), outlines five benefits of CRM for housing associations:

• Enhanced customer service – With better data, housing associations can provide a more efficient and effective customer service. These days, people expect to be able to communicate with organisations in a way that’s convenient for them, whether that’s via phone, email or social media. Quality CRM solutions automatically route queries to the appropriate agent and recognise phone numbers and email addresses so that the interaction is logged against the tenant’s record.

• More accurate data – Recent research by Housing Partners found that more than a third of data that social landlords hold on tenants is inaccurate or missing. CRM systems such as Advanced’s Goldcrest housing solution record all the interactions that take place between landlords and tenants as well as tracking payment patterns, ensuring that associations have up-to-date data on who is living in their properties.

• Everything in one place – A common issue that housing associations face is that they store information across multiple, disparate systems that aren’t integrated. CRM provides housing associations with a joined-up view of all tenant information that can be accessed from a single screen.

• Big data – The social housing sector is now looking to benefit from big data in the way that the retail sector has for a number of years. With a bigger and better set of data, associations can identify trends and predict future behaviour, helping them to avoid potential problems such as rent arrears before they occur and deliver a more targeted service to their tenants.

• Cost savings – CRM will ultimately deliver efficiency savings by speeding up processes for handling enquiries, removing the overhead of having multiple information systems, and enabling associations to identify tenants who are more likely to fall into rent arrears. Delivering more effective customer service and improving relationships with tenants will also increase the chances of them paying on time.

Fowler says: “Housing management systems are typically seen as focused on the property and the rent rather than the residents. However, as welfare reform makes housing associations more exposed to the risk of rent arrears, CRM systems offer them the opportunity to become more resident-centric in their approach to data.

“Solutions such as Goldcrest provide associations with the tools to improve their resident engagement and learn more about their tenants, which will ultimately lead to better payment practices.”

The Goldcrest Housing Solution from Advanced ConsultCRM (part of Advanced Business Solutions) is built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Advanced ConsultCRM is an award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner and specialises in helping organisations implement, integrate and optimise Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To download the white paper ‘Who’s living in your house?’ click here.

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*Source: The Independent, December 2015 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-sm...

About Advanced ConsultCRM

Advanced ConsultCRM, part of Advanced Business Solutions, is positioned in the top 5% of all Microsoft partners globally and specialises in helping organisations implement, integrate and optimise Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

As a Tier One, Gold Certified, Strategic Microsoft Partner, Advanced’s pedigree in Microsoft Dynamics CRM spans a decade working with Microsoft since the first version came to market in 2004. The business is professionally managed, and has shown consistent growth every year since its inception, reinforcing the trust placed in Advanced by both Microsoft and its clients.

Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.

Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group Limited, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards. Advanced was also ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and ranked in the top 300 technology companies in Deloitte’s EMEA rankings.

www.consultcrm.co.uk

Press contacts:
Angela Mycock & Joseph Rutter, Advanced Computer Software Group
pr@advancedcomputersoftware.com

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