SMS provides housing associations and council housing services with a more reliable way of communicating with tenants and suppliers.
It’s a sure-fire method of making sure that important information and updates reach their intended recipients, simply due to the fact that people, more often than not, will open a text message.
This is vitally important when it comes to financial matters, some of which can be critical and time-sensitive. Some examples that our customers have used SMS for include:
- Payment communication, such as Universal Credit dates
- Chasing outstanding debt
- Automatic arrears notifications when a tenant reaches designated stages
- Regular updates about rent changes
- Automatic housing benefit entitlement change notifications
Automating Text Messages
Many of these alerts and notifications can be automated from within dedicated housing software, helping to improve efficiency and reduce time-consuming tasks.
This can be extremely useful when it comes to reminders about service and repair appointments, such as gas checks, maintenance etc.
For the maintenance teams, who are usually on site or out on the road, SMS is also a much more viable option due to the lack of Wi-Fi. They can easily receive information about jobs, emergency situations or changes to itineraries, as well as update, cancel or complete a repair order via SMS.
Additional SMS services could include informing tenants about new houses available, sending one-time passwords and codes for portal logins, or conducting surveys – which has proven to have a higher response rate.
In order for this to be achievable though, you will need to have purchased a virtual inbound number.
Providing Virtual Inbound Numbers
Two way communication is of utmost importance in the housing sector, and providing tenants with the ability to easily text into the organisation can greatly improve customer service and enable housing staff to prioritise enquiries.
Additionally, if an automated solution is in place, tenants can receive immediate responses to some basic enquiries, helping to remove the burden on staff and freeing them up to concentrate on more pressing matters.
Basic automated SMS services can include requests for balance enquiries whereby the tenant can receive a text message with their rent account balance; or receive a text message about recent payments highlighting details of the last transaction against their account.
Inbound numbers also enable tenants to report anti-social behaviour and make complaints, reschedule appointments or request a repair to their property or status of an application.
In any of these scenarios, simple, short words can be used to request information, such as BAL, RENT, REPAIR and the tenant will either receive an automated reply or a housing officer can be assigned to call them back to discuss the enquiry.
ToucanText fully understands the requirements and demands faced within the industry, having worked with numerous software suppliers and housing associations. Get in touch today to find out how we can provide you with an exemplary service at a competitive price. Call 0330 998 0022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ToucanText Brochure - SMS Services for Business
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