Loreburn Housing Association has become the first housing association in Scotland to launch a Futr chatbot. Working with AI specialist Futr, the Loreburn chatbot is designed to answer a range of tenant questions and other enquiries, freeing up the organisation’s small customer support team to spend time on more complex challenges while making sure those queries are answered effectively.
Loreburn Housing Association owns and manages more than 2,500 properties across Dumfries and Galloway. While its employees are highly trained, the volume of calls to its customer support team meant that waiting times and handling could often be a challenge, leading to a poor experience for both tenants and staff.
As part of a broader digital transformation programme, the housing association looked for a way in which it could alleviate the pressure on its customer support team and free staff to focus on the tenants most in need. Loreburn were also looking to expand the range of ways in which services are offered, to meet the increasing expectation for digital options.
Sue Irving, Director of Housing Services at Loreburn Housing Association said: “Our focus is on delivering the best possible level of service to our tenants. We want them to feel safe in their own homes, and part of that means providing them with the right level of support. We don’t have huge budgets to employ large customer service teams, so we needed to find a way that could support both our tenants and our employees.”
Working with the team at Futr, Loreburn has developed a chatbot that sensitively and inclusively handles responses to a wide range of questions, supplementing its customer support team without causing any job losses. The chatbot sits on Loreburn’s website and answers incoming queries near instantly, elevating more complex enquiries to the frontline team.
Sue continued: “ Futr’s chatbot was quick and easy to set up, but more importantly the content is completely customisable and adaptable to our needs. We have been able to add in a high number of questions and answers covering a significant proportion of tenant queries, and a range of more general questions to assist other users of the website looking for information. The early response from tenants has been extremely encouraging. While we always need to be able to provide a human voice when needed, many of our tenants just want to find the answer to their question as quickly as possible, and so are happy to use the chatbot.”
Andy Wilkins Co-Founder and CEO at Futr, added: “Organisations like Loreburn Housing Association are setting a new standard for tenant experience. They know that they need to transform their operations in order to deliver a high quality service on limited resources, and the proper deployment of an intuitive, smart and responsive chatbot is a key part of that. In doing so, Loreburn has been able to free up employees to spend more time on major challenges.”