Asking the right questions

Housing New Zealand’s Customer Support Centres (CSCs) in Manukau and Porirua are the first point of contact for tenants needing to arrange repairs.

The CSC teams at both sites recently launched two new two-hour focus groups with tenants to determine how best to communicate when booking maintenance jobs. The aim was to find out if the questions and language we use when tenants report maintenance and repairs are easy for tenants to understand.

“By asking the right questions our staff can work out what repair work is needed and book the best contractor to do the job,” Karina Carr, Porirua Customer Support Group Trainer says.

“We’ll be using the feedback from these focus groups to improve the customer experience when tenants report requests for repairs and to give our staff better questions to ask tenants.”

“This is a first for us and it’s very exciting to be working with our tenants in this way and putting them at the centre of what we do,” Karina says.

The learnings from the two focus groups will be used in the Repair Finder upgrade scheduled for this month. Repair Finder is the tool our CSC staff use to identify the nature of the repair, the location in the property and the priority that should be given to complete the work. This helps our contractors to identify the skills needed to complete the repair.

Angela Pearce, National Maintenance and Upgrade Manager, says that Housing New Zealand will be doing more of this type of engagement with tenants to help us understand how to improve on the repair services we offer. “We take for granted everyone knows the name of household items like the water toby or which order bedrooms are numbered in so we can locate the repair easily. Our tenants told us they had different words they use to describe items so we need to provide other terms when talking to our tenants so we know we are both on the same page about what needs repairing.”

The tenants selected for the focus groups also received a guided tour of the Customer Support Centre to see for themselves how the centre supports tenants when they phone in.

Tenants who attended commented they appreciated being invited to the workshop as it helped them to understand Housing New Zealand better and how the Customer Support Centre operates.

Another tenant said they were looking forward to similar opportunities in the future.

Porirua maintenance workshop

Tenants attending the recent workshop hosted by the Customer Support Centre in Manukau

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