Resident Involvement, customer insight, tenant empowerment or community champions… call it what you will, but having the ear of your customer base is at the heart of everything social landlords practice. We have seen firsthand the lengths our clients go to give tenants a voice and to make residents aware of what support, services and advice is available to them. This has traditionally been around organised meetings, resident conferences or the good old-fashioned newsletter, but there is another way…
When we first conceived iHome, we knew that for the first time landlords had the opportunity to be in their tenants pockets at all times. The App allows landlords to push information to tenants about everything from job opportunities to finding out about welfare reform and everything in between. We knew this alternative form of communicating would not only help to engage with the hard to reach (18 – 35 year olds) but also open up the possibility of reducing costs of mass print runs and allow tenants to receive bite sized snippets of information in a way we are all now accustomed to, using mobile technology.
Updating iHome with a new event is straight-forward, but with so many of our iHome clients utilising this functionality more than we anticipated, we have made it even easier still. One Vision Housing came to us and asked about allowing their platform to add reoccurring events, so weekly events will remain as a constant reminder to their customers, helping them understand how often meetings and events are going on and how they can take part to give feedback and have their say. The response from other iHome clients to this update was “it’s a really good idea”. As a result we are in the process of implementing this new functionality and delivering the enhanced service to everyone as a free update is a no brainer for us, as making things easier and less time consuming for both you and your customer is the principal reason why iHome exists.
The next functionality update we are currently considering is adding a ‘poll’ option to the ‘Get Involved’ section of the app. This will allow our iHome customers to ask 1-3 simple yes/no questions and get instant responses via the content management system or as an email. We would love to hear your thoughts on this functionality and how you think your organization could benefit from it? You may use it to ask questions around Welfare Reform and Universal Credit, number of occupants in a property or a whole host of other simple questions and maybe using tempting prizes as an incentive could further encourage more people to give their input too!
We believe that the clients we work with understand the vital role of customer involvement and how invaluable it is to open up as many channels of communications as possible, but using them well and efficiently is the key to getting residents, who don’t engage on a regular basis, to have a voice, get involved and to drive change.