When it comes to housing associations, having a fully functioning repairs and maintenance service is absolutely essential in guaranteeing tenant satisfaction and safety. Not only is it beneficial to tenants, but a more efficient service is also more profitable for the business.

In order to meet the rising standards for repairs and maintenance services, social housing providers, who are under increased scrutiny, need to ensure their repairs service is highly efficient. This becomes even more vital when you take emergency repairs into consideration.

When an emergency repairs job is requested, your housing association needs to be able to respond as quickly as possible, as every precious second counts. In this article, we look at some top tips for improving your emergency repairs performance levels, so your operatives are ready when an emergency situation arises.

 

1. Invest in a mobile app

The introduction of innovative mobile apps has made it incredibly easy for housing associations to connect their office-based workers with field service operatives. This improvement in communication has meant that emergency repairs can be dealt with a lot more efficiently, keeping tenants, operatives and office workers in the loop with real-time updates.

Having a mobile app for your housing association will help to improve productivity, streamline operations, allow for greater transparency, improve the customer experience and provide you with more accurate data.

When an emergency strikes and you need to respond immediately, a reliable tool like ROCC’s Field Service Worker Mobile will help to save the day.

 

2. Improve planning and scheduling

Planning and scheduling take up a significant amount of time at every housing association, which can have a negative impact on performance, costs and customer service. An inefficient planning and scheduling process can also really hinder your ability to respond to an emergency in time.

Incomplete information and an overly ambitious schedule can have a negative impact on your repairs service, which will slow down how quickly you can react in an emergency. This is why it’s essential that your planning and scheduling processes are running smoothly. 

Investing in market-leading housing maintenance software will help address this issue and give you everything you need to revolutionise your housing repairs service.

It’s also important your scheduling system allows time to be set aside for operatives to handle emergencies amongst their routine works. This ensures the system knows which operatives are available for emergencies and have the right skills, automatically allocating any emergencies to the right person to get the repairs resolved as quickly as possible. 

Human intervention in this process can slow down the entire journey of an emergency, from being reported to it being resolved, and so ensuring your scheduling and planning platform can utilise machine learning to deal with these challenges, without the need for human involvement, is critical to your success. 

 

3. Try to improve your RFT score

RFT (Right First Time) is achieved when a job is done correctly the first time, every time. If you have a high RFT score, then it’s likely you’re perfectly placed to respond to an emergency in good time. 

Not only will you be able to positively handle emergency repairs, but no time or money should be wasted in the process. This is a win-win for both the housing association providing the repairs service and the tenant. 

It also positively impacts customer satisfaction levels, as tenants will enjoy added peace of mind knowing you’re well-equipped to deal with an emergency should one arise.

Remember, Right First Time isn’t just about matching work to skills and availability, it also needs to take into account materials availability, accurate current and prior works details, and proactive communication to both the tenant and operative.

 

4. Better communication 

Good communication between tenants, field operatives and office-based staff is essential if your housing association is going to be able to respond to emergencies efficiently. When an emergency occurs and repairs work is needed, tenants need to be kept informed while they wait. They’ll want to know what’s happening, when it’s happening and what the solution might be.

Having the right housing repairs software in place will help to achieve this, improving your emergency repairs service levels while consequently keeping your tenants satisfied. 

 

5. Get rid of arbitrary targets

Arbitrary targets, such as how many jobs are attended per day, can encourage operatives to attend a job but not complete the work to a satisfactory standard. If they feel rushed, this will impact their ability to perform emergency repairs properly. It could also lead to an increase in emergency repairs if jobs aren’t done properly the first time.

Avoid putting too much emphasis on tracking attended appointments and instead focus on other measurables, such as jobs completed, so you’re able to improve performance and give operatives the time they need.  

The last thing your housing association wants is arbitrary targets that drive the wrong behaviours, as this could have catastrophic consequences in an emergency situation and tenant safety could be at risk.

 

6. Invest in housing repairs software

The ultimate way of improving your emergency performance levels is to invest in a housing repairs solution that provides functionality far beyond that provided by any housing management system, as this will help to address all of the other tips we have raised in this article.

Market-leading software, like ROCC Core, can improve the lifecycle of all emergency, responsive, planned and major works maintenance. From original request through to satisfactory completion, you’ll never have to worry about sub-par emergency repair performance levels again.

 

ROCC Core benefits include:

  • Guarantees the most effective and cost-efficient works management solution for housing maintenance providers.
  • Data is managed and monitored in real-time and immediate visibility of all relevant information is provided to tenants, operatives and office-based workers.
  • Improved right first time, fixed first time and completed on time percentages deliver an increase in tenant satisfaction.
  • Delivers significant returns on investment and cashable savings of up to £500,000 per year through efficiency improvements and reductions in operational spending.
  • The ROCC Core housing maintenance suite is bundled with all ROCC Plus efficiency-focused bolt-ons and is fully tailored to fit your housing association’s specific needs and requirements.

For more information about how ROCC Core can help boost your emergency repairs performance levels, reach out to a friendly member of our team today. Get in touch.