With the pandemic continuing to disrupt repairs and maintenance operations within the sector, Dan Hill, Business Development executive at Localz, explains how organisations can improve their communications to boost efficiency and customer satisfaction
At the best of times, waiting for a repair visit is unpleasant for customers. But with the pandemic in full force, the normal discomfort around service appointments gets compounded by health and safety fears. This can lead to ‘no-access’ visits, increased call centre contacts, and a stressful day for residents, technicians, and office staff.
As landlords work through a backlog of housing appointments, proactive communication is key to reassuring customers. Automated communication workflows allow both tenants and technicians to prepare, so that everyone feels confident on the day of the visit.
Here’s how DLOs (Direct Labour Organisations) and contractors have levelled up their customer communications during the pandemic…
Leading up to the appointment
Leading up to the day of service, it’s crucial to offer appointment reminders and opportunities to confirm, reschedule, or cancel services.
Share instructions the customer needs to be aware of – such as which rooms to prepareand how they can help the technician maintain social distancing. This helps tenants mentally and practically prepare for the appointment.
When it comes to the day of the visit, an open-ended ETA window causes unnecessary anxiety. Customers may feel trapped in their homes, unable to pop out for exercise, or even afraid to go to the bathroom. If the technician arrives unexpectedly, this typically leads to a no-access visit.
Consider how you can send your tenants an automatic alert on the day of the appointment. Think about sending a further alert when the technician is on their way, including the expected arrival time.
Customers can then go about their daily lives, knowing exactly when they should prepare for their socially distant visit, ensuring access for your team.
When the visit is due
Automated communications go a long way to improving customers’ experience of appointments. Two-way communications take this to the next level.
By empowering tenants and assigned operatives to communicate, you’ll significantly speed up access to the property. Residents can share entry instructions, social distancing preferences, parking suggestions, and more.
It’s even possible to route customers’ messages directly to the technician, or to a support centre, depending on your business needs.
“When sending workers into customers’ homes, it’s vital to instil confidence at every opportunity – a stressful appointment experience leads to low satisfaction and directly causes inefficiencies”
Rob Lane, group commercial director at Clarion Housing, explains how the organisation used Localz technology to make this possible: “At Clarion, we are passionate about continuously improving customer experience.
“On My Way allows our customers to track their appointment and communicate directly with the operative to prepare for the visit, and helps our operatives to set safe working expectations in advance of their arrival.”
After the appointment
As your organisation adapts to changes in service delivery, customer feedback helps to ensure that operations are running smoothly. Appointment-based feedback allows you to monitor tenants’ satisfaction and deal with issues as they arise.
Why not send a feedback request as soon as the operative has left the property, while the appointment is still top of mind? We recommend sending a request via SMS to avoid passing a device or physical feedback form to the resident.
Importance of communication
When sending mobile workers into customers’ homes, it’s vital to instil confidence at every opportunity. A stressful appointment experience leads to low satisfaction and directly causes inefficiencies through missed appointments and increased inbound calls.
If that seems like a lot to take in, Localz has pulled together a helpful communications checklist to provide a hassle-free experience to tenants and technicians. You can download it from the Localz website, or get in touch to find how Localz can help.
Housing Digital Stakeholder Localz is a mobile workforce solutions company that provides customer notifications, live ETA tracking, two-way communications, and real-time feedback around housing appointments.
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