An issue that many housing organisations have is managing the daily influx of repair related calls from tenants – which for many associations can represent over 50% of the total incoming calls they receive. Many customer service teams within the housing sector will agree that the volume of enquiries and reports can be difficult to manage efficiently, but luckily there are lots of ways you can improve your repairs reporting process which will help take the pressure off your staff and keep your tenants happy at the same time.
Talk to your tenants and employees: what are their pain points?
Asking tenants for feedback is one way to improve your current reporting process, so think about what your tenants want from you as an organisation. What are the steps tenants need to take to successfully report a repair, and how long does it take? Do they know how to change appointment slots with contractors, and is it an easy or complex process? And do they have access to repair reporting outside of normal office hours, 9am-5pm?
The next thing you need to do is speak to your employees, and ask them what their ideal process would be. Ideally, you want to be able to cut down the amount of time your staff are investing on each individual repair-related query - especially when the information of process is repeatable and standardised, but you also want to make sure that your tenant still feels fully supported. Using an online system that automates your repair reporting process will allow tenants report repairs, get updates on repair progress and reschedule their own repair jobs without having to make a call and can do so at any time of day.
Have a strategy in place: market your online systems
Having an automated online system is an excellent way to improve your repair reporting process, but if nobody knows it’s there, or knows how to use it, then it’s not going to be very beneficial to your business. Create a strategy that promotes your new online reporting system and also encourages tenants to use it – email marketing and social media are great ways to shout about your new online systems. Make sure all of your customer-facing staff are fully educated and enthusiastic about your software and systems so that they can actively promote it to customers from the front line. You can read more about how to empower your tenants to adopt a digital mindset here.
Embrace new technology: self-service portals and chatbots
A good way to create cost savings is to invest in reliable IT systems. Any kind of technology that will help simplify processes, cut down on paperwork and make your services available around the clock is going to be hugely advantageous to your organisation. Nowadays, tenants expect online access to services 24/7 and that’s exactly how most IT systems and web portals work. A self-service portal can provide an end-to-end repairs service that’s easy to use for both your organisation and your tenants. It will also make sure tenants are aware of the resources that are readily available to them, (self-help videos, ebooks etc.), which will give you more time to support those who need it.
Chatbots are another essential if you want to free up your contact centre and create a round-the-clock service for customers. Chatbots simply sit on your website and answer any questions that site visitors have. Several conversations can be handled at once which makes it a super efficient way of dealing with multiple enquiries and will significantly reduce the costs spent handling phone calls. Read more about Chatbots here.
Improving your repair reporting process doesn’t have to be a complex process if you’re up-to-date with the latest tech and digital advances and have the right people onboard with the mindset to make it happen. Is your organisation keeping up with digital? Use our quiz to find out.