In this week’s #ExpertView blog, Alex Hillier, Interim Head of Technology at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) outlines the importance of customer service and technology at TDS.
Customer service is paramount to TDS. We go to great lengths to ensure that we always provide and improve on the level of service our members have come to expect.
In one step towards fulfilling this commitment, I was appointed as Interim Head of Technology, earlier this year, to lead on the IT system improvements.
TDS is constantly re-training and up-skilling our colleagues to meet the challenges faced in the modern and increasingly online world of tenancy deposit protection.
All of our customer service team go through an extensive training course, Together Drives Success, to understand our business.
An online service with a personal touch
As more agents, landlords and tenants demand access to online solutions, it’s imperative for TDS to provide them with, and constantly improve, the delivery of this service.
In recent times, we increasingly consider ourselves as an online company, but with a personal and accessible touch, a vision which can only be achieved through technological and customer service excellence.
Ultimately, we aim for our online systems – like deposit registration, or submitting dispute evidence – to be as streamlined and user-friendly as possible.
However, our members still value a personal service, so it’s important that we don’t lose that touch. That’s why, instead of automated responses and lengthy replies, your emails are responded to by a person.
Our performance so far
We aim to answer all calls within 30 seconds, which is no mean feat considering that in 2016-17 we received over 130,000 calls across our Insured and Custodial schemes.
Over the same time-frame the team responded to almost 30,000 emails.
The next steps
TDS is continuing to invest in its technology and customer service functions to provide a seamless service for tenants, landlords and agents. While more of our systems and services move online, we are still committed to customer service excellence and aim to provide the same personal touch as always.
Landlords and agents looking to move to TDS, can now do so online. Find out more about switching to TDS at the links below:
Join TDS Insured as a Landlord here
Join TDS Insured as an agent here
About the author
Alex Hillier is TDS’s interim Head of Technology. He is a hands-on technical infrastructure and Service Delivery management professional. Educated to degree level, he is Prince 2 qualified and holds numerous Microsoft qualifications and a Cisco CCNA.
He has a strong track record for successful management of IT change projects including IT service transitions, system migrations, infrastructure refreshes (server, network and telephony), cloud-based services (SaaS, BaaS and IaaS) and application-related projects.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.