Lewisham Homes is currently in the process of modernising our repairs service to make it simpler and easier for both staff and customers, under the banner ‘Fit for the Future’. This will enable us to meet our landlord ambition to consistently deliver an excellent and reliable resident experience.
We have kept the programme on track during lockdown and a move to a remote working model. Our head of property analytics and operations, Sarah Willcox-Jones, took on the management of the repairs contact centre and complaints process on 1 May.
‘It’s been exciting and daunting all at once,’ she said. ‘I attended just one team meeting prior to lockdown and spent some days with the contact centre to understand how they worked and what the challenges were.’
Sarah, who has worked in property services roles for over 12 years, continued: ‘I enjoy working in repairs as every day is different and decisions need to be made at the drop of a hat most of the time. I enjoy customer interaction and managing complaints gives me the opportunity to put right any wrongs and influence the way our residents feel about our service.’
Last year, Sarah formed a residents’ complaints panel which allows Lewisham Homes to gain valuable feedback about how residents view services, and how complaints are responded to. ‘I’m looking forward to working more closely with the team now to implement these.’
On managing a new team remotely, Sarah said: ‘It has been more difficult trying to get to know people without face-to-face contact without the in-office chin wagging. The team adapted to homeworking very quickly which is a credit to their preparation and dedication to providing a good service to our customers. Everyone in the team has been very welcoming to me which has made settling into the new role much easier.’
What does the future hold for the property analytics team now?
‘Our focus will be on driving down failure demand in our team, whether that be avoidable contact or a formal complaints. It’s all costly to us as a business and impacts our ability to perform to the level we want to for our residents.’