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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been approached by a number of software vendors with information about the tools they’ve developed that might be of help in engaging with communities during the current crisis. Here’s a brief round-up of them.

Chatbot service that can be used to manage resident queries online – through automated 24/7 responses

Offer to sector: free 3 months – with focus on supporting COVID-19 related queries

Maturity: ready to deploy
Impact: short run – medium – could help some HAs pivot to full digital channels faster

Platform for enabling members of the community including residents to answer support queries (similar to the Giff Gaff community support model). Potential to radically transform approaches to customer support and build engagement and empowerment of communities.

Maturity: Innovative new model – software developed but sector not ready conceptually
Impact: potentially high impact but unlikely to be deployed in the short run

Challenger property management platform with a focus on community engagement as USP. Aims to bring together self service features with resident community platform. Can provide analytics on which areas and communities are most engaged with the landlord and each other.

Maturity: Still in an early phase of development- looking for product development support and initial feedback from the sector
Impact: reopens the conversations about online communities that to date some HAs have been reluctant to be involved with as they haven’t wanted to be responsible

Tool to monitor vulnerable and high risk residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Understand who needs support and how the virus is impacting communities HAs operate in. Monitor wellbeing and health and connect to residents who want to volunteer to support others in their communities.

Maturity: ready to deploy now
Impact: short run – high

Greaves Consultancy
Life and Progress – online and telephone service providing advice on health and well being, financial support

Maturity: unknown – looks like it is live now but not specialised toward COVID-19 response
Impact: useful if HAs don’t have this type of support in house – quality of provision unknown