During the colder winter months, they often see an increase in activity in our Contact Centre, and so we thought we’d catch up with Beth and Jim to see what happens during a day in the life of our team.
"I work in customer services", says Jim, "so my main role is being the first point of contact for customers. A lot of the calls coming in this time of year are heating related. If you don’t use an appliance for 9 months or so during the year, it can take a little bit of time to kick back in. We’re trying to help and educate our tenants a bit, there are some DIY videos on our website which can show them really simple repairs".
"I’m the Customer Experience Manager", says Beth, "and there’s all sorts of different things I deal with really. I’ve responsibility for performance in the Contact Centre to make sure customers can contact us quickly and easily. I also look at things like customer engagement, making sure we have a good customer representation across the panels and boards that we have in place.
"I also work on the general management of customer services as a whole and work hard at moving thing away from traditional forms of contact, to see how we can make the best customer journey and experience. So, for example if a customer rings us for a repair, I look and see if this is the best experience they could have, from the start of the call to the repair being done.
"It was great when I came in to see that the team was a really strong team. They don’t just sit there and wait for the phone to ring, they’re keen to get involved in improving the customer journey, which is really nice to see".
Jim told us that what he likes most it that a lot of the departments talk to each other. "We have customer services, we have the One Money Team, we have Health and Wellbeing who can all contribute to getting the right service for the customer", he explained.
"We do lots of work in the communities and develop new properties, and we’re working to improve the quality of landlords across Manchester, so the knowledge that we have to have in our heads is very broad and varied.
"It is challenging, but we have a lot of empathy for the customers because they’re in a situation through no fault of their own, and we know how frustrating it must be to be told that they have to wait for repairs. A lot of the time though, 90% of the tenants are happy with the service we give them, and we always try our best. People don’t want to have to ring up feeling frustrated, so if they can have access to information which gives them what they need then that’s the best outcome for everyone".
"We’re trying to give a little bit of that control back to the tenants as well, so they can manage their rent online, you can see the repairs that you’ve got. Obviously, customers know their schedules a lot better than we do, so they can book their repair online for an afternoon when they are free. It takes 30 seconds compared to five minutes on the phone when they might be very busy in their day to day life".
"Whilst it’s good to talk through what tenants need to do on the phone, sometimes they do need to see a video", says Beth, "and it might mean that an operative doesn’t need to go out to their home.
"The idea of using digital services is that it frees up capacity for us to help the tenants that really do need our help. We’ll always support all of our customers, but it’s about finding the balance of providing a really good online service for people who are able to book repairs and do other things, and then we can get to the people who really do need the help".
To find out more about our online and digital services, please see this page of our website for more information. You can also watch the video below for an explanation of how to use our online services.