Improving customer loyalty in affordable housing (has)
Customers in affordable housing are no longer prepared to be treated as if their landlord is doing them a favour and as we have found by improving the customer experience and engaging customers through a customer loyalty programme, there are huge amounts of savings for the housing association. Put simply happy customers results in healthier profits.
The increase in ability to work from home has added to the greater choice becoming available and affordable. As both traditional home builders and new entrants enter the market and increase availability, this naturally leads to greater customer mobility, no waiting list and therefore a higher risk of voids. This is reflected in around a typical 10% customer churn every year which is costly.
Churn is only likely to get worse as regional housing associations extend their geography along with new competitors entering the market such as pension funds setting up affordable units.
With this in mind, customer retention is fast becoming a key organisation requirement.
And it’s not just empty properties that are an issue for housing associations. – other examples include customers:
- Leaving repair requests till they become a major issue
- Low take-up of using online services
- Being out for a booked maintenance or test appointment
- Having untidy gardens or public areas around their entrances
- Littering, graffiti and other anti social behaviour like noise
The most effective approach is to look at our natural behaviours and nurture those.
We naturally lived in tribes with deep connections to our community and shared sets of behaviours and standards.
If we can re establish that sense of community then the behaviours we are looking for will naturally follow for example:
If you enjoy the relationship you have with your neighbours and feel safe then you will naturally wish to remain.
As a natural result of that, you are more likely to make an effort to keep your property maintained, avoid dropping litter and report breakages and graffiti to be dealt with before it leads to further decline.
Finally, the community will start to establish new norms for what is acceptable behaviour so anti social behaviour is likely to no longer be accepted and will be overcome through peer pressure.
With this as a goal, a customer loyalty programme is largely about creating happy customers that feel valued in the first place with much of the focus being on elements to get customers to engage with their landlord for positive reasons with help to make their money go further with savings on food shops, energy and day to day expenses.
Then reward residents for engaging with community activities like charity events, litter picks or feedback forum that provide gentle nudges to do what they naturally and build new habits.
It is also really important to ensure that you are reinforcing positive rather than negative behaviours.
For example if you want to shift customers to reporting repairs on line then your first thought would be to reward reporting a fault on line.
If this is what you do, you are basically encouraging residents to report faults – irrespective of whether they are genuine – so risk a huge rise in false positives. If, however, you reward the completion of home maintenance audit, they are rewarded for the check which will naturally result in repairs being reported BUT without the false positives.
Our customisable customer loyalty APP and web portal make it easy and cost effective to deliver an effective customer loyalty programme that has already delivered:
- 10 times better retention, significantly reducing voids
- Improvements in rent arrears and the cost of repairs
- Customer satisfaction surveys 47% response rate – 18 fold increase
- General surveys – 16.5 times the response levels
- 100% sign-up for self service meaning they can book and use services online
We have worked with many of the leading housing companies including: Charles Church, Legal and General and Thirteen to name a few
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