Property factoring and customer service in housing associations
Customer care charters are commonplace in housing associations, showing customers what commitments the organisation has made and how it will interact and work with their customers. Within those charters there are often commitments around how common repairs and maintenance work will be carried out, a function that is commonly referred to as factoring in Scotland. When we look at the mechanics behind how these commitments will be achieved, we see many gaps in efficiency and delivery. Not only does this put an unnecessary strain on housing associations, it could be the reason for miscommunication, or not achieving the promises made in the customer care charter.
What could housing associations be doing to improve efficiency in the provision and achievement of excellent customer service?
Making it easier to organise proactive maintenance and repairs
Automating and digitising the repairs and maintenance process allows for a more organised approach that is less susceptible to errors therefore it can be managed more easily.
Automated planning, reminders, key trackers, approved contractor lists, meter readings, insurance policies and much more information can all be stored and accessed in the CPL system making the entire process more fluid and cohesive. This will be evident throughout the customer handling process and proactive repairs and maintenance will let customers see that their building is being looked after.
Utilising the right technology to automate and manage processes
The role of property factoring in a housing association is large and can be quite cumbersome. Most housing management systems are not set up to deal with property factoring processes and housing associations tend to default to antiquated systems and processes. Ensuring the right systems to handle all aspects of the management of a housing association is a decision that has to be included in the digital strategy otherwise it may go undetected or unresolved. This could delay the process of implementing the right systems, as well as leading to further disruption when change does inevitably need to happen.
Not having the right technology can lead to sub-standard processes that seep into how customers are managed.
Easy to use, integrated customer contact
Integrated customer contact for property factoring related matters is important as many of the issues and management of property factoring relates to the protection of assets and the health and wellbeing of customers.
Repairs and maintenance can be a source of tension and perhaps even stress between customers and property factoring teams when work is not completed on time, or to a satisfactory level, or when customers are unable to speak to, and be heard by the right people.
It’s important to ensure the correct mechanisms are in place to handle all customer enquiries, giving customers as many options and channels to contact the housing association about important matters related to the upkeep of their home and building.
By ensuring your housing association has the correct systems in place to deal with all of the varying aspects of the management of the property factoring function, you can more easily achieve the promises made in customer care charters. This means researching what you need to work smarter, and ensuring you appoint the correct supplier for the job. Housing management systems are not always, in fact, none are built to tackle the intricacies of the property factoring function of your housing association, therefore it is essential to investigate what other products and systems you may need to plug this gaping hole in your quite of digital tools.
Please do get in touch with our UK-based team today if you would like to have a chat about what we can do for your housing association