“Call Your Mum!” and Other More Relevant Takeaways from This Year’s Mobysoft Customer Conference

Last week the sun shone (briefly) in Manchester as we invited our customers to come together to share best practice, learn more about our products, ask questions about the new features, functionality, and modules, share feedback, and of course enjoy time with peers and partners! So, other than the fact that the coffee was half decent, the cake was exceptional (and polished off promptly), and that ringing a bell doesn’t always gather the attention of chatty income collection professionals, what did we take away? Here’s my top ten…

Leverage Your Data to Activate Evidence-led Strategies for Income Collection

Whether it’s to segment customer communication campaigns, or consider the skills mix as you embark on a dynamic team redesign, it’s important to understand what data you have at your disposal and turn it into insight that can help shape your thinking and approach. Not sure where to start? Ask us! We have heaps of data and much of this is available at your fingertips. We can help (it’s what your success team is here for).

Predict > Prioritise > Prevent > Perform!

Tech can enable teams to deliver the most efficient and effective service that not only benefits the company (think cash collection!) but also the customer. We heard how the cream of the crop are unlocking the power of our platform (and the insights it provides) to play to the strengths of automation in a way that releases capacity for the essential human contact and personalised support an important group of customers need.

Shape What We Do (and When We Do It!)

Y’know that film where they say “if you build it, they will come”? Well, it’s basically the opposite of that! You come, tell us what you want, and then we build it. I’ve made that sound far simpler than it is, but it was clear from the solution showcases from our product team that the sector is shaping what they want next. And we’re here for it! Our job is to show you the art of the possible, your job is to tell us what will make the biggest impact first (and how we can keep getting better.)

Tech is An Enabler

Technological solutions need good teams and motivated people to improve performance. We’re just one part of why our customers are top of the leaderboards when it comes to income collection – and it was great to see so much enthusiasm and genuine passion from a truly inspirational panel. Their top tips? Make it fun! Share performance, explain the bigger picture and the role each person plays in keeping tenants safe and the business sustainable.

Two-way Communication with Customers Can Make the Difference

Many of us launch campaigns to remind tenants of the benefits (and consequences) of paying rent on time, but how many of us ask our tenants about our processes? It was fascinating to hear from organisations that actively involve and engage with tenants (both those in credit and arrears) to explore how they feel about the income collection experience!

It’s Tough Out There!

Nobody wants to focus on doom and gloom, but for many working in social housing, the reality is that it’s hard. People are struggling and income-related conversations can be both difficult and delicate at times. With many of us still working from home for all or part of the week, it’s important we consider how we support colleagues to boost their resilience, tackle new and emerging challenges, and benefit from being part of a team that should talk and can help. But we know it can prove challenging to get people back in. Commutes, convenience, comforts…so the advice was to start small. Encourage your teams to try it, make it meaningful, do it together, and remind your people that it’s good to come together and work in a different environment every now and then.

It’s Good to Talk! (and Text)

Customer preferences are clearly important; however, they don’t always work to deliver results. After a healthy exchange about how often you should call your mum, we explored the balance between what customers want (and that might not be a call or visit) and what works. At Mobysoft, we’re exploring insights now that looks at optimal action (i.e. what we know works from the data we hold) so you can compare (and action) the most successful method to ensure tenants are protecting their homes and getting the important information they need to positively manage their tenancies.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Income Teams When Reviewing your Approach to Measuring Tenant Satisfaction

Whether you’re gearing up for the Tenant Satisfaction Measures (hello English landlords!) or not, make sure the income collection teams and services are included. These people are talking to tenants daily and will play a huge part in influencing the perception of your organisation based on the experiences they have. Income teams can really make the difference – spotting signs of vulnerability, intervening early before debt becomes harder to manage, connecting customers to their community, and signposting support!

We’re All Still Getting Our Heads Around AI

Whilst you can use AI to understand AI, it’s always a little more complicated than that. We heard your concerns and your questions. When you’re an established business with a reputation you care about, AI can feel daunting, unpredictable, and full of booby traps and potential pitfalls. So, navigating it together as a sector (and as a partner to the sector) will be essential. We’re keeping the conversation going and we are here to help boards, leadership teams, tenant panels (and more) to get their heads around what it is and what it’s not! (Turns out it’s not all robots, minority reports, and something to do with that kid from the film who was also in Sixth Sense.)  If you fancy a chat about it, let us know.

Real Life Events are Back (and I’m Over the Moon!)

Yes, my feet hurt (pretty shoes but wildly uncomfortable), I still got that nervous pang in my stomach before going up there to speak, and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. Overall, though, I had a great time. I know it’s a lot to ask to spend a day out of the office, but for me, it was worth it! I talked to you lovely lot about income, sector challenges, team pressures, how Ubers don’t happen in the Lake District, tenant engagement, data cleansing, and we even started to weigh up the benefits of a fancy-dress theme next year! We caught up with familiar faces and met some people for the first time in real life. We created connections and we found comfort and confidence in the things we do well. And we learnt a lot and were inspired by others to keep going and try new things. Plus, there was cake! So, if you didn’t happen to make it to our annual customer-centric shebang and it feels like you’ve missed out a bit, keep an eye on our dedicated events page and make sure you come see us next year!

Elaine Middleton