Even though many housing organisations are well into their digital transformation agendas now, there is an undeniable fact that no matter how many tenant portals, resident self-service apps and customer facing CRM solutions we stand up there is still a large number of housing issues being reported by telephone to contact and call centres.

Having a human being at the end of the phone to be available when a customer calls in with a problem with their home is still a requirement that needs to be fulfilled. There are obvious reasons why pushing the digital agenda is great for housing associations and great for their customers; providing 24/7 access to report issues and minimising staff needed in contact centres to name two of the key reasons. But no matter how hard digital is pushed and no matter how much channel shift is achieved there remains a need to have people working on contact centres to answer the phone.

The biggest issue I’ve seen with providing human beings to be available at the end of the phone is the overhead in ensuring those people know how to use the systems they are working on and that they understand the process of taking a tenants call and diagnosing what their issue is and then translating that into a piece of work or a job that then needs to be sent to a field service worker to attend the property and fix the problem. Couple that overhead with a high turnover of staff in the average contact centre and the housing association finds itself in a never ending loop of costly training of new staff.  Of course part of the solution to minimising these costs is to push as many residents as possible onto digital platforms to self-serve, the other part of the solution is to provide contact centre call handlers with a solution that is intuitive, simple to pick up and start using and requires no formal training or lengthy user guides to read.

The ROCC Diagnose toolset is a self-contained, standalone software platform that allows anyone, on any device and with zero training or knowledge of repairs diagnostics to report an issue:

  • ensuring the right details are captured and translated into a job,
  • the correct schedule of rates are used to complete the work,
  • the correct priority is given to ensure KPI’s are met
  • book an appointment and schedule the work to be completed to the customer’s satisfaction.

The diagnostics are image driven and can be fully configured and setup by non-technical users to exactly match an organisations schedules or faults but in a simplistic way that anyone can understand. The toolset is easily mapped using an open API onto any existing CRM, housing management, repairs management, self-service portals and scheduling systems and can even be integrated directly into these platforms to provide a seamless solution either to contact centre staff or direct to housing customers. The entire toolset can be configured by end users to match existing corporate branding and although out of the box the solution is provided with a comprehensive set of graphical images and icons that can also be fully customised, the user has complete freedom to add their own images and icons too.

Our vision when developing ROCC Diagnose was to simplify housing repairs reporting for anyone and everyone. It improves the repairs reporting process regardless of what existing housing management systems are in use and regardless of whether organisations are trying to reduce costly training to new contact centre staff or improving the experience for customers on resident facing portals. Indeed multiple versions of the toolset with either the same or different sets of diagnostics can be stood up at the push of a button to provide either the same or different experiences for multiple sets of users.  Ensuring complete flexibility the diagnose toolset can also either be installed into existing on premise infrastructure or housing associations can just use the ROCC cloud version.

Although we are very much championing digital transformation and channel shift we know that certainly for the next few years there is going to be a continuing need to run contact centres.  There is going to be a continuing need for humans to interact with other humans over the phone and to be trained in the use of complex systems to report problems and ensure issues are resolved. We just believe in making this as simple and cost effective as possible and ensuring housing repairs can be reported, diagnosed and scheduled by anyone.