CUSTOMER INFLUENCE GROUP
CONTACT OFFER GROUP – AUGUST 2011
This Groups purpose is to make sure we are A) Sticking to our Customer Service Offer and B) ensuring we are transparent and open when we need to improve it
How are we performing right now?
At present, 86.8% customers would recommend us for “doing what we say we will” which has decreased slightly. As customers could have dealt with any part of the organisation when they contact us, the service offered by all colleagues has a direct impact on performance. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is now allowing us to monitor which colleagues are not ‘doing what they say they will’. This will be addressed with managers, and further training will be provided. Capability of colleagues will be managed.
70.5% of customers would recommend us following their complaints experience, which has also decreased since last quarter. It has been acknowledged that once a complaint reaches formal stages, the experience can slow down for customers. Complaints reaching this level of escalation are often complex and detailed investigations are required. We are reviewing complaints that have been resolved during final stages and we will present findings and recommendations at the next customer offer group.
7.8 customers out 10 feel it is easy to tell us what they think – which is slightly less than last quarter.
Sue Craddock gave the Group a ‘walkthrough’ of the new Bromford Homes Website, which was launched 4 weeks ago and discussed/shared the functionalities of it. The Group felt that it was sympathetic in terms of colour and layout and liked that it will enable customers to access live information and updates.
There are discussions around Bromford having a smart phone ‘App’ developed – Jamie Powis commented that an App might not be necessary if the new website had a good mobile site.
The transactional interactions – where customers can log on through our website and access their accounts in a self-serve secure login account to pay their rent; report and track repairs; access local services/financial support or getting involved; moving to a new property – is currently being developed.
Customers will be able to access contact colleagues in an instant web chat to discuss issues. Kim Avery presented the ideas and advised that she would like the Group to take them away and provide comment on what has been missed and what is not needed. Initial thoughts from the Group were that they positively embraced the vision and suggested that to push messages we could create a secure inbox to send messages around arrears or personal information. It was also discussed that where we signpost/recommend services such as home insurance, ‘upmystreet’ etc. – we could earn a small income from those companies.
Vicky Green provided an update on the use of social media and advised that she has developed a protocol for colleague use, to ensure consistency. Kicfm – the community radio station that Jamie works at – will be coming into Bromford to do workshops with those colleagues that have access to Facebook or Twitter, to make sure that they all look the same.
Kim advised that as this will be another route for customers to contact us and we are gearing ourselves up to handle this within our CS Teams longer term.
Customer Contact and Complaints Action Plan
Kim updated the Group on both the Customer Contact and Complaints Action Plans.
The Group were pleased with the progress being made and felt that ideas and discussion that have taken place at previous meetings have made it onto the Action Plans.
The Group felt that all forms of communications – telephone, web and written correspondence – were being addressed and that some responsibilities were being put back to customers.
Kim confirmed that the Disclaimer about availability of services during extreme circumstances has been written and will be added to all customer communications.
The Group questioned whether people are still complaining about the same issues as they were 8 years ago, despite all the improvements made. The issues for complaints are similar but different colleagues and partners are involved. The trends do show an increase in Anti social behaviour and planned maintenance which hasn’t been highlighted in previous quarters. The improvement plan shows how we are using this information to improve.
Customer Annual Review
Vicky advised that the Customer Annual Review – Phase 1 – the appetiser – has gone to print! This will be on customers’ doormats within the next couple of weeks. This will be accompanied by a social media campaign
Colleague and Customer Intelligence from Contact
Dawn Curtis gave a presentation on the improvements made within Operational Teams – including colleagues going out on site with repairs team or new build homes so they can view first hand common issues that customers report. Dawn shared insight gleamed from our systems on customer contact, what colleagues have identified are blockages to service delivery and shared some of the areas we are working on in terms of people, processes and communication.
Customer Service Centre
Kim gave a brief update on call volumes and performance for the last year, highlighting trends in demand and performance. We now have customer call backs where customers can leave a message and keep their place in the queue. We have increased the number of incoming lines and there are more efficient systems in place. The contact centre is staffed appropriately during busy times of the day and performance against our measures of answering 80% of calls within 20 seconds and achieving no more than 5% of callers ringing off because they didn’t want to wait are being consistently achieved. However, it is clear that to continue to achieve the performance we achieve during spring and summer is not possible when demand is much higher in the winter. We can either increase the resource at a cost or accept that service levels might fall.