The complex nature of social housing leads to a requirement for high-value, high-cost subject matter experts. Rent collection, debt management, housing allocation, tenancy management and property maintenance are all complex areas that can be expensive to deliver. One significant way to drive down costs is to solve more issues at the first point of contact.

Most housing associations have a central contact centre and most of those that do aim to meet the 80/20 rule. They want their non-specialist customer advisors to be able to answer four out of five customer questions without referring to a subject matter expert.

No organisation can cost-effectively meet the 80/20 rule without implementing information management systems that expose the right knowledge in the right place at the right time.

The modular approach of traditional housing management systems works well for the subject matter experts when dealing with their area of expertise. They don’t work so well when someone is trying to meet that 80/20 rule.

So, what does Dynamics CRM offer in this area?

Dynamics CRM allows you to amalgamate all those modular lists of customer interactions to create a single timeline of activity. This allows you to see repairs, rents, cases, appointments and documents in one list. Or you can design a page that shows the activities in their modules but exposes a number of modules in one view. Or you can do both, the former for the customer advisor and the latter for the subject matter expert.

When implementing a solution that exposes so much information there are some key considerations that will help make the project a success.

The design stage is critical. Get end-users involved and show them what you are proposing. Better still get them to design the screens that they want to see.

You’ll need to carry out a process review and make sure that any weaknesses in information gathering, accuracy and reliability are addressed.

Deliver your solution in stages – little and often is a great way to get end-user buy in and to make sure that the end result works effectively.