Rob Fletcher (Head of ICT) from GreenSquare Group is a guest contributor for our blog. Here he discusses how digital services (particularly fully automated self-appointing repairs) will transform the way that GreenSquare works. Rob also highlights the exciting opportunities for digital transformation to reduce costs and drive up customer satisfaction ultimately enabling GreenSquare to deliver many more new homes.
The Autumn 2015 budget, which included rent reductions, was the ‘digital tipping point’ for us. Our Chief Executive, Howard Toplis, made it clear that the reduced income meant we had to do more-for-less while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction and constructing more homes. That felt like an impossible challenge at the time and we realised we wouldn’t achieve it by simply rearranging the furniture through implementing small changes.
As well as looking at ways we could increase our construction output, we needed to work out the best way that we could manage our costs more effectively whilst improving customer satisfaction by delivering a great customer service. We knew we wanted to innovate to deliver these changes and transform the business on a lasting and sustainable basis.
It’s an exciting time in the sector and opportunities to digitally transform dated business models are unparalleled. An obvious area that we wanted to look at was how we might deliver services for our customers using on-line self-service platforms.
GreenSquare takes about 200,000 calls into GreenSquare’s contact centre each year and deals with approximately 40,000 repairs. These 200,000 calls include approximately 100,000 calls about repairs and 50,000 calls to make rent payments and other general tenancy management enquiries. It quickly became apparent that there would be huge benefits in delivering a self-service on-line repairs and payments handling system. This drives call volumes out of the contact centre and offers a high-volume and highly utilised service on a 24*7*365 basis rather than our traditional 8:00-19:00 Mon-Fri opening times.
This is a great example of doing more for less while raising customer satisfaction through enhancing and improving the accessibility of core housing services. An additional benefit is that the contact centre staff should have additional capacity to increase service levels and response times while increasingly being able to focus their time on more demanding complex cases.