29 September 2020: 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Housing associations across the globe have long faced challenges when engaging with customers for feedback due to outdated practices and technologies.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.

A Customer Service Centre colleague

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-19, where everything is in a constant state of motion and housing associations must utilise 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 housing. Capturing and analysing real-time feedback and acting on those insights is critical for organisations 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 Recognising 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.