How South Tyneside Homes Achieved Gas And Electrical Safety Compliance

Every housing association in the UK is responsible for booking annual safety inspections with their tenants. While these are essential, conducting manual outbound calls is both ineffective and resource intensive – not to mention, extremely slow.

Back in 2019, long-standing client South Tyneside Homes (STH) started using Voicescape Compliance to help book, confirm and reschedule appointments to achieve gas and electrical safety compliance. They’ve now adopted a more proactive approach to arranging property maintenance visits and routine safety inspections.

The challenge

Prior to using Voicescape Compliance, STH struggled to get into contact with their tenants to book crucial annual gas and electrical checks. Their team spent far too much time manually calling residents and leaving voicemail messages in an attempt to get a response. And they were often unsuccessful.

Even when they did manage to book an appointment with a tenant, their contractors were regularly denied access. Understandably, many people were worried about COVID-19, but no-access visits such as these cost STH around £75 each – and these expenses were starting to add up.

Human error was also a factor. Since the calls were conducted manually, mistakes occurred on a regular basis, which meant STH were missing out on key data. It was clear that something needed to change, and fast.

The solution

We knew that STH would benefit from an automated solution – and that’s where our highly configurable tenant engagement software came in. Voicescape Compliance gives tenants a greater degree of flexibility; those who are available at the time of a prescribed appointment can simply confirm, and those who would like to give their preferences are able to do so.

By offering times that are best suited to the individual’s needs, STH can reduce both the likelihood of missed appointments and the cost-to-serve for compliance.

How it works

Voicescape Compliance engages tenants who are due a safety visit by contacting them via an automated phone call. This informs them of the date and time of their appointment before giving them two options: confirm, or reschedule. If they would like to arrange for the visit to happen at another time, they can talk through their options with an advisor.

In this way, our technology supports social housing landlords and their compliance teams to meet their statutory property maintenance requirements. No longer do they have to rely on inefficient manual interventions to reschedule appointments, or send out letters to rearrange missed ones.

The result

Within the first week of using Voicescape Compliance, STH saw many positive changes. By no longer having to manually call each tenant to book and reschedule appointments, they can prevent non-compliance and the cost of no-access visits – all while freeing up time and boosting the morale of their team.

Where gas contractors previously experienced around 30 to 40 no-answers per day, these calls are now sent through our software, saving operators huge amounts of time. Not only that, but they can also book up to 150 gas and electrical appointments in a single day (where it would usually take at least four) – a massive improvement for the housing association.

“You can’t underestimate the impact Voicescape Compliance can have on your time and productivity. It’s crazy what one phone call can give you,” said Liam Gatens, Electrical Manager at STH. “It has increased our level of productivity overnight, and it’s only going to get better the longer we use it. It’s revolutionary.”

The speed of our solution means their team can be 100% productive and have a deeper focus on the difficult-to-reach customers. This targeted approach provides more time and support for those who genuinely need it.

“It has allowed us to take a much more proactive approach to the way we do compliance,” said Mitchell Bates, Service Improvement and Performance Officer at STH. “We’re now able to quickly identify people who are vulnerable or need extra support. The impact Voicescape Compliance has had on staff morale has also been significant.”

Any initial concerns around tenants adopting the new appointment-setting technology soon proved unnecessary, with STH consistently reporting engagement rates above 50%. What’s more, as Voicescape Compliance provides an audit trail of each engagement attempt, it has also allowed STH to quickly and more accurately collate robust court warrant information.

Contact us

To discuss how Voicescape Compliance can help you, give us a call on 0161 259 1122 or email hello@voicescape.co.uk. A member of our team will happily explain more.