Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has appointed the Manchester-based software business Voicescape to help boost its rent collections amongst current and former housing tenants.
Voicescape, which provides customers engagement solutions for UK social landlords, will enable the council’s housing team to better manage its former tenant arrears (FTA) and current tenant arrears (CTA).
Through working with Voicescape, the council intends to provide tenants with further access to its housing service, focusing initially on FTA collections before rolling out CTA collections later this summer.
Paul Elliott, the council’s business and commercial programme manager for Adult Care, Housing and Public Health, said: “Since rolling out Voicescape’s solution to our FTA team we have seen an increase in collection rates and reduced the downtime of staff chasing former tenants’ arrears.
“Not only does Voicescape reduce the time officers spend on less productive tasks, it helps us update our systems by telling us which telephone numbers are no longer in use. We are so pleased with the results we will be rolling out the system to the wider income collection team later this summer.”
Through the partnership, the council will be able to analyse and measure customer data, profile the financial risk that Universal Credit poses to the organisation, and use Voicescape’s technology to understand tenant behaviours and decide how best to build and maintain engagement with them.
Peter Hudson, sales director at Voicescape, said: “Communicating and staying connected with tenants has never been more important or challenging as it is at the present time. It’s essential for social housing providers to find innovative ways of reaching as many people as possible, in order to maintain high levels of rental collections.
“Even within the first few weeks, we are already seeing impressive results from our work with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and we’re confident, as the service continues to roll out amongst all areas of rental collection, that the housing team and tenants alike will benefit from the operational efficiencies that our technology and software provides them.”
Rotherham’s council manages more than 20,000 homes across the South Yorkshire town and has an annual rental income totalling £83 million for 2020-21.
Image: Rotherham town centre. Credit: Ben Sutherland/Creative Commons