Thanks to recent welfare reforms and housing law changes Housing Associations are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate efficiency and accountability, ensuring tax payer money is spent wisely. There are over 1,500 housing associations in the UK and each of them have to manage tenant expectations about the level of housing they receive whilst dealing with lower availability of housing.
A report from the Housing Ombudsman who have jurisdiction across all housing organisations indicates that year on year since 2008 complaints have risen. Looking at the total complaints closed between 2008 and 2012 the number of complaints rose by 28% with further increases anticipated. This perhaps explains why we are starting to see an increase in the amount of associations turning to technology like call recording as a means to improve the quality of service they can provide to tenants.
With this in mind we look at five ways call recording can help housing associations offer a better level of service and potentially assist with reducing the number of complaints tenants make.
1. GET TO THE HEART OF TENANT ISSUES
If your only means of understanding tenant issues is through anecdotal feedback from staff manning the phones and live monitoring of calls, you may only be getting half the story. Many of the call recording systems available today allow you to not only listen and playback the calls but you can also tag them and add notes to them. By implementing a policy among advisors that lets them access and tag call recordings based on the type of enquiry, you can start building a picture of the key call drivers for tenants and start thinking about how you can better manage these calls or even reduce them.
2. BUILD UP A LIST OF FAQ’S AND DRIVE DOWN REPEAT CALLS
Often the same resident may call about the same issue, or multiple tenants may call about a shared problem. Again by using the call tagging feature you can start to build a picture of the types of calls that are driving repeat calls and how these calls are being handled by different advisors. This is all good information to have at your fingertips and you should consider compiling a frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) cheat sheet for your advisors which proactively offers them advice on how best to resolve the issue to minimise the chance of a repeat call.
3. PROVIDE CONSISTENCY OF SERVICE
Staff behave differently under the spotlight. But you can’t watch over them all the time. With voice recording equipment you can make sure your housing staff respond to enquiries, complaints and request for help in a consistent manner– every time they pick up the phone. You also get to hear the customer’s side of the conversation for the first time. So you can identify where your internal processes could be a little more customer-friendly.
4. USING RECORDED PHONE CALLS FOR TRAINING, BENCHMARKING AND BEST PRACTICE
Call recordings can help teams better handle inbound calls by diagnosing issues more quickly and effectively using coaching to identify the key questions to ask to help better handle rent and repair enquiries. You can learn a lot from your best performing staff by listening to how they handle customer complaints and diffuse situations and then share these best practice tips and insights with the rest of the team by listening back to and sharing those call recordings.
5. MANAGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY CONTRACTORS
Call recording provides irrefutable evidence of conversations which have taken place and agreements made by third parties who you may subcontract to, to carry out repair jobs on your behalf. How they perform is often a direct reflection on your housing association and recordings can be used to help resolve disputes where repair contractors are underperforming and failing to turn up for appointments.
To find out how the technology is already being used by others in this sector, check out the improvements Hexagon Housing have achieved with call recording by viewing the case study here or clicking on our video link >