Opening the door on a new era
Owned by the charitable Y-Säätiö foundation, M2-Kodit is a company that owns, rents out and manages the reasonably priced ARA rental dwellings of Y-Säätiö. M2-Kodit has 10,600 apartments in 30 Finnish cities or municipalities. Y-Säätiö and M2-Kodit advance social justice by providing people who have difficulties finding housing with affordable rental dwellings.
The tenants of M2-Kodit recently received a service upgrade that has had a significant impact on their customer satisfaction. Using the OmaM2 portal, designed to provide effortless services and even out peak times, the residents are now able to contact tenant services around the clock. The project was driven by a desire shared by M2-Kodit and Vincit to hear and serve the residents in the best manner possible. The long-awaited digital service channel has been an undeniable success.
Improved customer service through a multichannel approach
M2-Kodit, owned by the Y-Säätiö Group, was looking to improve its tenant services and the residents’ customer experience. The company had set the implementation of multichannel customer services as one of its strategic objectives. A digital service channel had also been an often-requested feature in customer feedback.
The digital channel was built to give the tenants of M2-Kodit the opportunity to receive service at a time of their choosing and without standing in line. The project also aimed to increase employee satisfaction and make resourcing more efficient by evening out monthly peak times at the customer service. Wishes expressed by the residents’ committee, including the possibility to easily switch apartments with another tenant if necessary, were also taken into account in the development of the digital service channel.
…What sets them apart is that their work is always done holistically, with a deep understanding all aspects of our business…
Ilkka Teittinen, IT Manager, Y-Säätiö
Adding to the service range by understanding the client’s needs
In the beginning, M2-Kodit charted its needs for a digital service channel in a number of internal workshops, which centered around things such as the types and quantities of incoming service requests as well as service content and the role of the service alongside other service channels. The guiding principle was to provide the M2-Kodit tenants with a customized service, which would simultaneously support the operational objectives and values of Y-Säätiö.
After the workshops, Vincit partnered up with M2-Kodit to complete the concept and prepare it for the tendering process. We examined the internal processes and service journeys of M2-Kodit and defined a range of services based on the client’s wishes as well as employee and resident interviews. The most requested and relevant ideas were selected for phase one, and a prototype was used to estimate the scope of the project.
The implementation of the services was put out to tender in a separate process. Vincit rose to the top due to its understanding of the M2-Kodit business model and its hands-on approach to everyday processes and resident services. The project made extensive use of the skills and competences of Vincit’s designers, data analysts and developers.
The development phase was carried out in agile sprints, which were based on the plans that had been drawn up during the first phase. Agile methods helped us meet the objectives which kept changing as our understanding of the needs increased and as we received feedback from the tenants. The backend integrations and masses of data really allowed our developers to tap into their expertise and demonstrate their stamina.
During its development, the OmaM2 service was tested on a panel of residents, created with the help of Y-Säätiö’s employment service Uuras. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. The first version of the service has also drawn appreciative comments as well as suggestions for further development from the users.
The strategic plans of a multichannel customer service have been achieved, and M2-Kodit now has an additional service channel at their disposal. The residents can use the OmaM2 service to track their payments, follow the processing of their fault reports, and read notifications from their housing cooperative. Based on both numeric and open feedback, the customer experience has been exceptionally positive.
We can already see that the new service is going to be widely adopted: nearly half of the residents who have a contractual relationship with M2-Kodit have begun using OmaM2. Peak times in other customer service channels have evened out, which has made resourcing easier and improved the experience of the customer service users. At the same time, there’s been a noticeable increase the user numbers of OmaM2 during times when residents typically check the information on their monthly rent, for example.
Features requested by the residents that were left out of the first version of the service are going to be advanced in the spring of 2021. With Vincit responsible for service maintenance, the cooperation with M2-Kodit will also continue in the future.
"Vincit’s professionals were clearly motivated, agile and open to all kinds of ideas. For example, when we suggested the use of a test group, they really took the whole thing to heart and performed the testing in a really flexible way. Their customer understanding is also worth mentioning. We used different methods to collect information on how the service should be developed, and the outcomes are a clear indication that the project was carried out with a detailed understanding of what the residents wanted." says Eeva Tammisalo, Director of Customer Relations from Y-Säätiö.