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Better communication key to delivering better service

Posted on 18 April 2017

Better communication throughout the repairs process is key to delivering a better level of service to residents was the conclusion of our subcontractor conference on 7 April.

Residents, main contractors and specialist subcontractors joined us in London to debate how best to improve working relationships between us, our supply chain and our customers.

Opening the debate, Hyde Group Property Services Director James Shaw said that customer satisfaction with repairs had increased dramatically in the past couple of years, through our partnering approach, but said there was always room for improvement.

“We carry out 10,000 repairs every month and our big focus is customer satisfaction,” he said. “This conference is part of our ongoing work to continually improve services, by listening to our supply chain and residents.”

Hyde Involved Resident and member of the Property Services Responsive Repairs and Voids Strategic Core Group, David Chavannes, emphasised that Hyde and its contractors needed to listen to residents’ feedback to understand their needs. “Ultimately, residents want outstanding customer service – all the time, on every repair, regardless of whether they are a leaseholder or a tenant,” he said.

Communication and reliability were the key elements of achieving this, Chavannes explained. “Residents want to be kept informed of the entire repairs process - from when they raise an issue until it is resolved. They also want contractors to keep appointments and carry out work as planned.”

Kevin McCarthy, Executive Chairman of consultant Just Housing, agreed that better communication was vital. “Repairs and maintenance is a complex process,” he said. As well as improving supply chain relationships, “shorter, more efficient and direct lines of communication are also more cost-effective”, he added.

Matt Hobbs, Managing Director of contractor P&R, said contractors and subcontractors alike wanted to be more involved in the repairs process, so that they could provide better services. “The key factors for success are communication, before, during and after the work, plus honesty, integrity and transparency from all parties – client, contractor, subcontractor and resident.”

David Chavannes closed the conference by saying that Hyde and its contractors should continue to engage with residents and encourage feedback, both good and bad. He added: “Residents have a responsibility too; they need to report problems accurately and take advantage of the technology available, taking photos and using the Hyde app and email.”