In the last year I have increasingly heard housing associations and repairs contractors recognising the fact that customer expectations have changed, and that they need to change to keep up. Some even say “we need to provide a service like DPD or Uber”, and contractors are finding more clients and prospects making a point of this in their requirements.
Localz will be attending the Homes UK event on 27th - 28th November at the ExCel in London and will be shedding light on how “Uberizing” housing services is set to provide significant efficiency savings, reduce anxiety, and increase customer satisfaction levels - as well as meeting rising customer expectations.
The “Uberization” Paradox
We are a tech savvy nation and have become accustomed to instant updates from connected services like Uber, Amazon Prime and Deliveroo. Expectations for ‘everything now’ has become the standard and consumers are benchmarking customer experiences from every sector against one another. We are in the radical age of “uberization” and housing executives are increasingly recognising the need to keep up with consumer expectations that are being shaped by other sectors.
Consumers’ need for quick responses and real-time updates from service providers demonstrates that their mindset is becoming increasingly individual-centric. Rapidly hiking consumer expectations, alongside the fact we are an increasingly time-poor society, has created the ‘Individual Economy’, or ‘IConomy’. Each of us expects service providers to have apps and solutions which allow us to see our appointment progress in real-time. Transparency and two-way communications on our smartphones are now a standard expectation. The transparency provided by the likes of Uber, DPD, and Amazon is leading increasingly to consumers expecting the same from all service providers they engage with.
Not only do consumers want visibility and transparency but they also want control. The boom in “self-service” is becoming part of consumers’ everyday lives. From self-checkout at the supermarket to mobile banking, consumers enjoy being free from long call centre queues and having control over their own lives. Providing residents with Uber-style self-service, real-time operative tracking, super accurate ETAs, and two-way communications not only gives a fantastic customer experience, but will also produce significant operational savings for RSLs across Britain.
Applying Uber-style customer experiences to repair services in the housing sector not only benefits tenants but improves overall operational efficiency and saves costs.
“With an industry average of 15% no-access failed appointments and each failed appointment costing £60-£75, it is business critical for landlords and contractors to reduce the time wasted and costs incurred associated with these failed appointments to improve services for social housing customers. Our partnership with Localz will help our clients achieve this objective” -Ian Stewart, Commercial Sales Manager for Castleton Plc.
Localz’ advice on the key steps to ensure frictionless appointment-based experiences in the housing sector:
- Be digitally available - be available on a variety of platforms and ensure you are reviewing them on a regular basis.
- Inform and reassure - Research shows 65% of consumers say viewing their service provider’s ETA is the most important feature on the day of service. This is particularly important in the housing sector where the length of appointment windows vary greatly.
- Empower customers & operatives, cut out the middleman - Enabling two-way communication directly between the customer and operative removes friction, enabling important information to be passed between them with no need to join the call centre queue. It also supports better 1st-time access.
- Back-office transparency - As well as providing customers with progress transparency, provide the same real-time insight for your colleagues. This dramatically speeds the process of answering customers who still call to query an ETA, as well as supporting resource allocation decisions.
- Listen and encourage feedback - Asking consumers to “rate” and provide feedback on the service leads to consumers feeling important, cared for and, if you respond accordingly, listened to. It’s no surprise it’s also essential for learning and improving your service.
By applying the above principles, a rare win-win-win can be achieved for all parties involved:
- Landlords and contractors make cost savings from better first time access, fewer inbound calls and rapid query resolution. They also enjoy a great PR opportunity.
- Customers are delighted by total service transparency and the ability to communicate directly with assigned operatives. It frees up their time and reduces anxiety.
- Operatives find it makes their job easier and more productive and they relax when they are reassured they can’t be tracked and contacted by customers night and day. Operatives also find they are dealing with happier customers who haven’t been kept ‘in the dark’ all afternoon.
The expectation for Uber-style, frictionless service is there in the housing sector. Is your technology ready for it?
If you would like to speak to Localz at the Homes UK event please get in touch.
Posted by Paul Swannell, Sales Director at Localz
My fundamental approach is to properly understand clients' priorities, requirements, and desired outcomes, and then to match these to a thorough understanding of my proposition. My thirst for knowledge and attention to detail help me quickly to become an SME in my field, in turn enabling me to act genuinely in the role of trusted advisor to clients. | LinkedIn