How we radically improved our repairs service by listening to our residents
Friday 25th of January 2019
We were impressed by the way Homes For Sedgemoor dramatically improved their repairs services by listening and involving their residents. Here, Customer Services Team Leader, Rachel Palmer explains more.
When our Director of Property first suggested introducing a Same Day Repair Service – I thought it a bonkers idea. I wasn’t alone, as everyone else involved in delivering it, didn’t believe it could be done either!
As it turned out, he as right and we were wrong making us the first Arms Length Management Organisation to successfully introduce a Same Day Repair Service.
We knew we had to do something as our old way of working was outdated. At Homes in Sedgemoor we pride ourselves on putting “customers first”, however, when it came to repairs we certainly weren’t tenant friendly or focussed on their needs.
Customers usually waited 20 days for an appointment. It was often us, and not them, who dictated the date and time their repair was carried out.
Its not surprising that we had a lot of missed appointments and follow-on jobs.
It was very frustrating for customers, as well as for us, and our contractors, who carry out the repairs. We were determined to do better and to put tenants back at the heart of the decision making process
We started by holding focus groups and asking customers what we needed to do to make it right for them. As a result we changed our whole outlook and way of thinking about repairs.
To start with we introduced a pilot service for general plumbing and electrical repairs and then rolled it out to cover all repairs including gas heating.
It’s been a steep learning curve and not without its challenges. However, our service is no longer about emergencies or the urgency of a repair – it’s about being responsive to customer requests.
Our Same Day Repair Service is just that and most are completed on the same day they’re reported. If there’s a need for a follow-up appointment, then its made with the customer before we leave their home.
However, we couldn’t have done it without the willing support of our contractors. They altered their shift patterns so that members of staff are available for call-outs at both end of the working day. They also changed their spares management system, so that fewer jobs needed a second visit.
Its not surprising that we’ve had 100% customer satisfaction rates for the past three months. We proud of what we’ve achieved and that we have introduced a better repairs services for customers.
You don’t have to take our word for it as one tenant recently told us that our “call out service is the best we have experienced and we’ve lived in several different areas”.
It is certainly a ringing endorsement of our Same Day Repair Service, it also spurs us to keep improving and to provide the best possible service we can for tenants.
If you would like to know any more about our Same Day Repair Service then please contact me, Rachel, via firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter @HomesSedgemoor as it quite often gets a mention there too!
Tpas offer a facilitation service to help you define your goals and objectives along with your residents. Ideal for when you want to overhaul or improve a particular service.