Accent Go-Live with Customer Portal

Accent’s digital by degree strategy gets residents online with their own personal account

Accent’s Head of Customer Contact Andrew Kidds Accent’s Head of Customer Contact Andrew Kidds
Accent has launched its new online customer portal for residents, which is accessed from the ‘My Account link’ on its main website www.accentgroup.org

The portal is essentially an implementation of the MIS ActiveH Customer Portal module (formerly known as TIPS).

Through a secure online account, Accent’s residents are now able to report and view repairs, view account statements, view and request changes to personal details, report anti-social behaviour and pay their rent via AllPay. The portal integrates with the ActiveH Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, meaning that contact centre staff gain an instant view of requests as they are raised, and are able to respond instantly and more effectively to online enquiries.

The portal also uses the latest responsive website technology, giving residents an optimal and user-friendly view when they access their account on tablets or mobile devices.

The online account is an important step in Accent’s drive to realise its ‘digital by degree’ strategy. The housing provider decided at the outset of the project that it would roll out the portal to all of its 32,000 account holding residents. Over a two-month phased approach, residents were issued with information introducing the new portal and then a username and password, providing them with access.

Providing access to account information online enabled Accent to take the bold step to decommission the automatic distribution of quarterly rent statements, providing significant efficiencies. Residents are, however, still able to request printed statements on an ad hoc basis.

In July, the first month of operation, 10% of residents activated their accounts, which exceeded initial expectations. Usage continues to rise with continued promotion.

Neal Somerville, ICT Project Manager said: “This nine month project brought together a number of different teams in Accent, and residents, who worked together to produce what is a great product for our customers. Effective requirements analysis, scope control, testing, training and a gradual and phased roll out were key to developing and delivering a quality product”.

Andrew Kidds, Head of Customer Contact (pictured) said: “ The Accent Customer Portal has been introduced as part of our digital strategy and provides customers with an effective way of accessing and engaging with services online. The intergration with our housing management system provides a great opportunity to develop our digital offer and, more importantly, given the financial climate, make the move from more expensive methods of customer interaction. Having launched the portal only a month ago, I am really encouraged by the number of customers who have set themselves up and are already interacting and using their account frequently. It has been a great project and is now a great opportunity for us.”