Dan Hill, Business Development executive at Localz, discusses how housing providers can use digital technologies to improve communications with residents and deliver a better customer experience
We’ve all been there. You’re waiting for a tradesperson or delivery driver to arrive, and you’ve been given a four-hour ETA window. You need to pop out for a few minutes, or make a trip to the bathroom.
Unfortunately, that’s when the operative arrives. When no one comes to answer the door, a missed appointment is declared.
From the customer’s perspective, waiting for an appointment is frustrating at best, and anxiety-inducing at worst. Research by Localz revealed that a shocking 71% of respondents felt physical and emotional disturbance around scheduled appointments.
From a business perspective, every missed appointment results in unnecessary operational costs, not to mention reduced customer satisfaction.
Luckily, housing providers can take advantage of the latest technology to streamline the appointment experience. Tenants can track a technician’s arrival in real-time, and share vital information via two-way communication.
Here are some examples of the types of messages that customers have shared with field operatives in similar sectors. You’ll see how customer communication increases first-time access, reduces time spent at the property, and saves operational costs.
Speeding up access
Two-way communication allows customers to share crucial information that speeds up access to the property or site. It’s easy to see how these messages reduce confusion and improve the experience for customers and technicians.
“I’m in the garden so won’t hear the doorbell. Come through the side gate when you get here.”
“Gate number is XXXX.”
“Please knock on the window as the buzzer is broken.”
Preventing failed appointments
No-access visits come at a considerable cost to your organisation. You might think that most failed appointments are inevitable – if a customer isn’t at the property, there’s nothing you can do. But the following messages show many appointments are salvageable with access to the right information.
“I’m on my way out, but neighbours will let you in.”
“Wow, that was quick. I’m at local shop but will be back by 3.15.”
“Please knock on door 10, I’m at neighbour’s house.”
Share vital information
Even when the customer is waiting at the appointment site, there may be important information they need to share. Such information can speed up appointments, keep technicians safe, and prevent misunderstandings on the day of service.
“Please knock then go straight in – the tenant is expecting you, but can’t get to door.”
“I have dogs, wait for me to come to the gate to let you in.”
“Please park behind the white car, not the red one.”
Avoiding unnecessary visits
Sometimes, day-of-service communication flags up an unnecessary appointment or a visit that has been scheduled in error. This helps to avoid wasted journeys and highlight issues in the booking system.
“Hi, someone came yesterday to do the job and it’s fixed now. Thank you.”
“Job was already done by the emergency team. No need to waste a journey.”
The value of customer engagement
How much does your organisation spend on missed appointments? And how many customers have been left frustrated with no easy way to share information?
Landlords and property service providers should consider investing in real-time communications to increase access rates and elevate the customer experience.
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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