Onward Homes has received the award for Best Application of Tech in the Public Sector at the 2020 UK Business Tech Awards.
The award was given in recognition for the 35,000-home landlord’s response to COVID-19, in partnership with technology provider Voicescape.
Onward Homes received plaudits from the acclaimed panel of independent judges, not only for the ethos of its 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.
In partnership with 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’s 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.”
Onward Homes is one of the largest registered providers of social housing in the North West, with 35,000 properties across the region.
Image: Onward Homes customer
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