Repairing Your Repairs: Six Top Tips for Better Repair Service Levels

It’s a well know fact within social housing that delivery of a fit-for-purpose repairs and maintenance service is a critical aspect of ensuring tenant satisfaction and safety. An efficient and effective repairs service is not only essential for improving customer satisfaction levels, taking a proactive approach can also prevent niggling repairs jobs from escalating further and resulting in increased expenditure to tackle should the issues be exacerbated.

Taking this into account, it’s essential for social housing providers to ensure their repairs service is as efficient as possible, with an increased focus on sustainability of fix as opposed to speed of addressing repairs jobs. Whilst this approach seems obvious it’s often easier said than done, however, by taking heed of just a few simple tips, your organisation can be well on its way to improving its repairs service without having to dedicate extra valuable resources towards the task.

Before we dive headlong into the wealth of helpful advice, you might want to take a look at our handy Meeting New TSM Standards: Uncovering Risks to Repairs & Maintenance Service Delivery Guide. It’s full of useful guidance on mitigating risks to repairs services offered by social landlords and, when combined with the tips contained within this article, is an excellent resource for those looking to improve their repairs and maintenance services.

Be Data Driven

Your internal systems hold a wealth of data that can reveal a lot about the efficiency and effectiveness of your repairs service. By carrying out data analysis, you can identify and prioritise your highest risks and take steps to improve your service accordingly. You can also use this data to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement. Make sure you have the right tools and systems in place to capture and analyse repairs data accurately and efficiently.

Engage with Your Trade Colleagues

Your trade colleagues are the boots on the ground, and they have a wealth of knowledge about what is happening day-to-day. By actively engaging with them and encouraging feedback, you learn a lot about how to improve your repairs approach and empower trade colleagues to deliver a better service in one fell swoop. Remember that active engagement is two-way, so if your trade colleagues give you feedback, make sure you actively listen and respond to their suggestions.

Intervene Before Repairs Fail

Use your repairs data analysis to predict where the repairs service is failing and ensure the repairs are delivered before the customer makes a complaint. This proactive approach can save your organisation a lot of time and money in the long term. By identifying issues early, you can take action to prevent them from becoming more significant problematic repeat repairs that require more resources to resolve later on down the line.

Communicate with Tenants

No one likes to be kept waiting without any notion of what is happening in the background. It’s essential to keep tenants informed, especially when they are waiting for repairs to be completed, or where their expectations may exceed the service level their landlord offers. Make sure they know what is happening, when it’s happening, and what kind of resolution they should expect. Effective communication is key to satisfied customers.

Value Your Contact Centre

Your contact centre is the team that speaks to customers all day, every day, and has the most insight into your services. Utilise this invaluable team and the knowledge it has amassed and encourage their feedback. Listening in to calls and shadowing team members will be one of the most insightful things you can do at any level. Customer contact agents can provide valuable insights into what is working and what isn’t, enabling you to make more informed decisions about how to improve your repairs service.

Share Best Practice

Learning from your best (and worst) results is essential to continually strive to improve your repairs service. Sharing best practices with colleagues can help identify opportunities to improve service levels and make repairs more efficient. Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm and try something new. Doing things differently and being creative can often lead to better outcomes for your tenants and your organisation.

By implementing these useful tips, your organisation can significantly improve its repairs service levels with minimal fuss. Remember, an efficient and effective repairs service is critical to ensuring happy tenants – something that it’s imperative for social landlords to get right given the newly implemented Tenant Satisfaction Measures. Don’t wait until repairs fail to take action; use your repairs data to predict where the repairs service is failing and take proactive steps to make improvements improve your service today!

If you’d like to discover how your organisation can harness the power of data to best assign valuable resources to deliver an efficient and equitable repairs service, take a closer look at our RepairSense platform.

Suzy Thomas