Hertfordshire-based housing association Thrive Homes has launched an innovative app that provides a new way for customers to interact with the organisation via Apple Store or Google Play. The myThrive self-service app uses 1st Touch digital software from Aareon UK (www.aareon.co.uk ) to offer a range of online customer self-service requests 24/7 via smartphones and tablets. The app is an important part of Thrive’s digital approach to customer engagement.
The myThrive app enables customers to:
• view their account balance
• book repairs
• make a payment
• report issues and upload photos, eg. graffiti or fly-tipping
• update cases eg. anti-social behaviour
• and so much more.
Whilst Thrive Homes is retaining all its existing customer contact options, the app will ultimately reduce the number of customer phone calls to its contact centre. This achieves value for money and greater operational flexibility whilst providing an additional and highly positive engagement experience for customers.
The app integrates with Thrive’s Aareon QL CRM system, so that all online enquiries made update on the customers’ records. This ensures that, at any time, residents can always view up-to-date transactions on their account and repairs history.
Commenting on the new app, Jo Barrett, Operations Director, Thrive Homes, said: “The drive to enable more self-service options fits with our focus on efficient business practice, responding to customers’ feedback by providing access so they can self-serve 24/7 at a time and in a way that suits them. So the app is both a win for Thrive and a win for our customers. As such, it is a central element of our transformational digital strategy and we are actively supporting and encouraging our customers to go online and sign up. Our initial soft launch has gone very smoothly and the first hundred or so customers are already comfortable with using it. Ultimately, our aim is to have the majority of customer interaction through the app.
“We decided to move straight to an app, rather than starting with an upgrade of our website, as we knew most of our digital customers now use a mobile device to access our webpages. In deciding which system to choose, we already had a working relationship with Aareon and we were aware that 1 Touch is a market leader in both mobile and self-service technology, so we welcomed the opportunity to work with them. They were especially helpful in the design stage, for example we asked them to prioritise the menu choices in line with the most common requests received by our contact centre. The slick, comprehensive menu approach follows throughout the app, ensuring it is both intuitive and easy to use.”
Thrive is initially promoting the app to customers through its contact centre scripting, on-hold messaging and via their website (www.thrivehomes.org.uk). The app is also being promoted through customers’ annual rent statement and visually with a vibrant graphic on the back of Thrive’s vans and staff workwear. New customers are automatically introduced to the app as part of their ‘on boarding’ and it is expected that the majority will adopt this digital channel to transact with Thrive. Measurable data from Google/Apple analytics will continue to be reviewed by Thrive as take-up of the app gathers momentum.
Nigel Rees, Managing Director of Aareon UK, welcomed Jo Barrett’s comments, adding: “Thrive is a widely respected housing association with a first-rate reputation for putting its customers first and taking an innovative approach to business. The myThrive app is an excellent reflection of this and we are extremely impressed by Thrive’s highly professional approach and attention to detail in developing the app to support both customers and colleagues. Supporting digital customers’ access fully is a key element of Thrive’s digital strategy and we are delighted that they have chosen Aareon’s 1st Touch software to run their online self-service app which will drive both customer service and efficiency.”