A property maintenance company has completed a remote repairs trial to speed up home repairs.
Platform Property Care remote repairs; a subsidiary of one of the UK’s largest social landlords, Platform Housing Group – completed the month long trial with its communications partner, 8×8.
The remote repairs trial – which took place earlier this year – involved the organisation’s tradespeople offering a live video solution to fix a host of customer property repairs.
Lee Vernalls, Assistant Director – Business Development and Growth at Platform Property Care explained : “This latest remote repairs trial allowed our operatives to conduct a two way video call with customers so that any repairs could either be seen prior to a visit or fixed remotely. Crucially, when a remote fix was not possible, the system meant that our tradespeople were able to have the correct materials to repair the problem on arrival.”
The process originates from an SMS message sent to the customer by the tradesperson; a simple click on the link starts the video call with no need to download any software or set up an account. The operative can then take pictures from the customer’s camera which are automatically saved into the organisation’s system; importantly the images can be annotated in real time in order to talk the customer through a remote repair.
The results from the trial are encouraging with 39 per cent of calls resulting in a remote repair and 26 per cent of calls reducing the need for an initial inspection visit; heating was the largest remote fix area.
Matt Bell, EMEA Vice President of CPaaS Sales said : “Organisations like Platform Housing Group are faced with having to reimagine both employee and customer engagement to meet unique challenges posed by a distributed workforce and a mobile-first customer base. The ability to extend 8×8 XCaaS by adding real-time video interaction capabilities will allow Platform Housing Group to deliver an even higher level of service and support for its customers.”
Since the trial concluded, a business case is being prepared to introduce the system into Platform Property Care on a full time basis.
Lee concluded : “The trial of the 8×8 live video solution has shown a number of positive outcomes including an improved customer experience, a reduction in the number of home visits and more availability for those jobs which required a physical presence. Importantly it reduced time spent travelling which ultimately – if we adopt the system – will have a positive impact on our carbon footprint.”
Since the merger of Fortis Living and Waterloo Homes at the end of last year to become Platform Housing Group, changes and development within the property maintenance arm have been ongoing. Establishing Platform Property Care has included bringing gas servicing and breakdown in house to ensure a seamless service to customers; these, and other initiatives, have resulted in the organisation winning the coveted status.
Platform Property Care – launched in October 2018 – employs more than 300 people, including 27 apprentices. Its growth plans include a turnover of £50million by 2023. Recent improvements include better diagnostics, intelligent scheduling, assertive supply chain management and investment in new technologies. Results include 100 per cent of homes being both gas and electrically compliant.
For further information about Platform Property Care please visit www.platformhg.com.