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Building strong relationships through customer care

28th Jul 2014
Building strong relationships through customer care
At Novus, we interact with people from all demographics during the course of our work; whether they are residents at a social housing scheme or pupils and teachers in a school. To ensure our work is carried out around our customers with minimal disruption and in a friendly manner, our customer care team holds consultations, training sessions and events on a regular basis. Here, customer care manager Terrie Brett writes about the team and what its role involves.

The idea of our team is to reach out to the communities within which we work and make sure everyone is up to date and happy with the work we’re completing, that they know what we will need from them and what service they should expect from us.

A typical day in my role could see me holding consultations with residents in a social housing scheme, helping tenants to choose the design of their new kitchens, bathrooms or even redecoration colour schemes. I could also be delivering training workshops, ToolBox Talks and inductions for Novus staff members or helping to plan a fun day at a school.

When kitchen replacements are carried out for social housing residents, for example, I or a member of the customer care team visits each resident to complete a kitchen survey and establish the type of kitchen they would like – from colour selection to the layout, we help them to decide.

We also brief Novus staff about the social housing provider they are working for by delivering ToolBox Talks. This ensures our staff members are aware of the code of conduct, values and mission of our client so they can adapt and adhere to these when on-site. Along with this, we issue ID cards to our operatives which are branded with our client’s logo to reassure customers.

Before work begins, we make residents aware of anything they need to watch out for during the work, including health and safety, and ask them to sign a disclaimer. We would inform them of anything they needed to move out of the way, and our operatives would help them with this.

Once the work begins, our team carries out interim visits to make sure everything is running smoothly, and to iron out any potential issues.

Following completion of the work, we meet with residents to carry out surveys and arrange review meetings, gaining feedback which helps us to improve our services in the future. Our work is monitored through KPIs, which indicate clients’ and residents’ thoughts and feelings about our service delivery.

If work has been carried out in communal areas at a social housing scheme for example, we organise community events to mark completion, which is great for forming relationships with customers and also helps us and them to celebrate their brand new, refreshed living space.

We also hold events in schools, mark seasonal celebrations such as Easter and Christmas and carry out additional work, such as voluntary garden makeovers, to involve customers in our work and give something back.

To work for the customer care team I think you need to be patient, approachable, a problem solver, friendly, quick thinking and a great communicator. Sometimes people may not be too happy, for example if there has been a delay with work, so you need to be able to not that it personally, relate to people and listen to them. 

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