Staff Spotlight: Suzy Thomas
As April draws to a close and Spring edges into view it’s time for another instalment of our new(ish) monthly Staff Spotlight feature created to give you the opportunity to get to know some of the dedicated staffers here at Mobysoft HQ who keep the cogs turning and enable us to bring the social housing sector the much-loved products and services we do. This month we caught up with Mobysoft Repairs Success Director, Suzy Thomas…
How did you come to work in social housing?
Completely by accident! I was a first-time mum with a young baby and wanted a little part time job based in customer services as that was my background. My mum worked in social housing for years and suggested I apply for a temporary, part time position in a contact centre for a local housing association. I didn’t know the first thing about social housing but decided to give it a go as I had watched my mum love her job for years. Well, I ended up loving it too and spent 15 years in that organisation and have worked within social housing ever since. Thanks Mum!
Describe yourself in three words:
Friendly. Resilient. Chatty.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your past experience within the social housing sector?
I had always worked within a customer services environment ever since leaving higher education and knew it was my niche but couldn’t seem to find the right fit for me. As soon as I landed my first job in housing I knew this is where I wanted to spend my career.
Initially starting off in a contact centre answering calls, I soon worked my way up to Team Leader and then Customer Services Manager. I also completed a couple of secondments where I managed a complaints and feedback team and then managed the customer contact side of a HMS implementation. I was also part of a team that trained the organisation on customer services and how to truly live and breathe their values.
From there I moved to another organisation as a customer services manager, but just a few weeks in Covid hit! I had to move an office-based contact centre to home workers within a couple of days – that was a challenge, but like many others across the sector we succeeded! I have also managed a contact centre for an organisation which required a complete transformation from being specialist advisors to multi-channel and generic. It’s fair to say I love a challenge!
What does your role at Mobysoft entail?
I work directly with our customers from the point of a live contract, to implementation, and right through to BAU. I work right across the RepairSense team to ensure customers are informed, trained and consistently supported by our Customer Success team. I use customer feedback to help our Product and Development teams to continuously improve our product and ensure that our customers achieve their return on investment. I also support organisations with change management by meeting their teams in person and engaging everyone involved.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
Definitely visiting different organisations and rolling out RepairSense. I love meeting new people within the sector and helping our customers to overcome their challenges.
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
Working with customers who have so much to do and so little time! I have been in that situation often but the trick to overcoming it is doing the right things to make sure teams can work in a smarter, more efficient way.
What’s the most meaningful part of your job?
Building relationships with customers and helping organisations tackle issues they’ve had for a long time. Training those for whom technology can be a challenge and assisting organisations improve their services to tenants is very rewarding too.
How do you measure the success of the outcomes directly influenced via your role?
There are lots of ways that we measure success, but the main way is by communicating with customers who tell us. We look to get direct feedback from front-line services as to how RepairSense helps them and see the changes first-hand within organisations.
What would you say are the biggest challenges faced by social landlords in the current climate?
Resourcing of teams, increased customer demand in repairs (damp and mould especially), and the cost of living crisis.
Working on anything interesting at the moment?
Everything is interesting! Our new damp and mould module which will help support customers with increasing demand is particularly exciting to work on though.
How would you describe Mobysoft and what it does to the uninitiated?
Mobysoft helps social landlords to use their own data for good and improve their ways of working. We create efficiencies and drive improvements via simple to use systems. We offer a high level of support to our customers which, in my previous experience, isn’t always provided by tech companies. And, as many of us at Mobysoft are from the social housing industry originally, making a difference to tenants’ lives is what matters the most.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of the social housing sector overnight, what would it be?
I would fully resource every team and reduce everyone’s stress levels!
What has been your proudest achievement in housing?
Being told by my teams that I am a good manager. Making sure people are happy, supported, and inspired to deliver the best service has always been what drives me.
What has been your proudest achievement at Mobysoft?
I recently won Mobysoft’s internal ‘Customer Centric’ award which I was immensely proud of achieving.
What are your other passions outside housing?
My kids, my dog (who I treat as one of my kids!). Eating….and going to the gym to try and cancel out all the eating!
How do you unwind after work?
I usually go to the gym or for a walk and I also like a good serial killer documentary.
What is your ideal holiday?
Somewhere warm and dry (I live in Manchester!) and somewhere I can relax with my family. I have quite a busy life and not a lot of free time so sitting and doing nothing is my idea of bliss.