By integrating Notify for SMS with NEC Housing, the London Borough of Lambeth has transformed customer service in Repairs.
Lambeth Council‘s housing team has worked with NEC since 2004. Always on the lookout for ways to improve, they spotted an issue with repairs appointments. Assistant Director of Housing Chris Flynn explains:
“We often found that residents weren’t there to let the contractors in. Or that if teams were running late, there was no easy way to let people know. It could be inconvenient for customers and inefficient for us.”
So Lambeth began using NEC Housing to send SMS messages to customers to streamline contact. They opted to integrate Notify, the GOV.UK service that lets councils send up to 250,000 free text messages per year.
“Sending text messages through GOV.UK Notify is half the price of similar services, and it’s easy to trigger and track them through NEC Housing.”
As the first NEC Housing customer to use GOV.UK Notify, the teams worked in close partnership so they could get it right.
Lambeth’s new service went live in October 2020 and has delivered immediate results. Customers have a two-hour slot for a repair visit and receive a courtesy SMS message when teams are one hour away. Customers are now more likely to be at home when staff arrive and satisfaction with the service is improved.
“We were happy to be the early adopters because we knew we’d reap the rewards,” says Lambeth’s ICT Team Leader, Jose Garcia. “We knew NEC Housing would help us make good use of SMS. With GOV.UK Notify, we’ve also got a low cost way to send them.”
“We’re sending 25,000 free texts a month in Repairs alone. It’s so effective, we’re now looking to roll it out to other areas.”