While the Internet plays an increasingly large role in our lives (especially during lockdown when more of us spend most of the day on Zoom calls!), it’s important to remember that not everyone has access to a smartphone or an available Internet connection. According to the Office of National Statistics, 7% of British households do not have the Internet at home, which means the renters among them are unable to use online ways to report repairs and maintenance issues. As life in lockdown leads to more property managers moving transactions from offline contact methods like phone calls or face-to-face meetings to the online world of emails and portals, how can you make sure your digitalisation process remains inclusive and doesn’t disadvantage internet-poor residents?
Offer Alternative Options
The best way to ensure your repairs and maintenance process is accessible to everyone is to always ensure you’re providing alternative options, particularly given that those who do not have online access may also be your more vulnerable tenants. The next step is ensuring that the alternative options available still achieve the effectiveness of their online counterparts. And that’s where the challenge arises, given that traditionally enhanced digitisation was driven by the fact that online options offered efficiencies – such as 24/7 availability and remote readiness – that offline couldn’t compete with.
What is IVR?
Now new features like IVR (interactive voice response) have come onto the market to bridge the gap and cater for those who don’t have the luxury of instant Internet access. Using IVR, tenants can now report their repairs and maintenance issues over the telephone, using the call in a similar way to logging an issue online. The tenant will be asked a series of automated questions about the repairs and maintenance problem. While they will not be able to record or transmit images or videos through the phone call, the questions should be enough to pinpoint the problem and allow the property manager to make an informed decision about the repair request.
Innovate with a New Telephone Function
IVR’s real advantage is that it can be accessed remotely anywhere, anytime. With Fixflo, your property management team will have their own dedicated telephone number for the purpose of receiving repair requests. This can be advertised on its own or be integrated into your main telephone function. And, with so many people working from home causing occasional connection outages, in some cases, IVR can also provide your property managers with a back-up reporting channel when residents can’t do so online! For more information on Fixflo’s IVR phone feature, why not book a free callback from one of our team members and discuss how it may benefit you?