A pre-pandemic pop hit, “I don’t want it all” is a fun escape into an expensive fantasy and a mirror to our tantrum prone consumerist society. With its inescapably catchy hook, “If I cannot get it right now, I don’t want it, I don’t want it all(!)”, the song highlights how we are becoming more demanding. This “get it right now” mindset informs all aspects of society, even how we in the community association industry have to engage with the boards and homeowners we serve. How can we meet growing customer service demands without burning out or spending unnecessary resources? On-demand technologies may have created a more demanding public, but they also provide the tools to meet these demands. In this “Back to Basics” installment, we’ll explore a few ways that a CommunityLink portal by eUnify can help community members “get [information they need] right now”.
Define and advertise your office hours and communications policies through the CommunityLink portal so homeowners understand when to expect a response. The portal is a space for you to display periodic and predictable content, such as newsletters, seasonal policy reminders, events, and more. Try committing to a schedule of posting content to the portal that homeowners can look forward to. The content should be meaningful and useful so people learn to expect to see answers in these scheduled posts.
Get Organized by Channeling Communications:
Use the portal as means to channel incoming questions and requests. Emails can be difficult to track, especially when you have multiple people in the office responsible for caring for an association client. There are several tools channeling tools in CommunityLink:
Resident Requests: Train boards and homeowners on how to submit questions via “Resident Requests” in the portal. You can set up categories of “Resident Request Types” so you can filter through incoming requests with ease. You and your team can customize notifications, look up request history, and provide responses in line with the request.
Architectural Requests: Homeowners can submit architectural requests with photos, plans, and other documentation in the portal. Managers can respond to these with follow-up questions and committee members can conduct discussion and final vote on plans all online.
Reporting and Responding to Violations: Homeowners can report violations using a “Resident Request” form and those in receipt of violation notices are able to view and download them from their portal account, as well as provide response in the same space for plans to cure the issue.
All these and other tools combine to help you provide good customer service without resorting to emails. In fact, some eUnify clients have been able to abolish email use for homeowner communications entirely!
Empower the People You Serve:
It takes time to set up the portal properly and fill it with useful information, but it’s an investment with significant returns. Every time a homeowner can get what they need without calling, emailing, or submitting a request through the portal, you and your team save at least a few minutes. It’s a powerful thing to direct homeowners to a self-service environment. Many people likely would rather not have to call or email, so give them the resources they need in CommunityLink, which is an easy-to-access centralized space.