Contact Centre Resident Visit
Resident Bob Skipp attends his local Resident Area
Panel meetings and was given the chance to visit the Contact Centre
in Bromley. He found it a real eye-opener. Here, in his own words,
is what he experienced:
“My first impression was the size! When you
consider that Affinity Sutton has over 50,000 homes, I expected
floors full of people, frantic calls, and rushing up and down
waving sheets of paper about. How wrong can one be? It was quite a
large office block, but the Contact Centre only occupied one
There was no rushing around; instead there were
lots of people calmly answering phones and quietly jotting down
notes, transferring their contacts to the different departments
that each caller wanted.
The Contact Centre is divided into two sections:
one that deals with Affinity Sutton housing enquiries and the other
section deals with CBS repair enquiries. I was there early
afternoon on what they called one of their quiet days and Affinity
Sutton had answered over a thousand calls, whereas CBS had answered
just over eight hundred. Both their response times were at 99%.
I was allowed to sit in on a few calls (with the
caller’s consent). Firstly I sat with Paul, who took me through all
the different types of training. I was surprised how thorough this
was. The calls varied immensely, from someone wanting to get their
first home with Affinity Sutton to a man whose father had passed
away and was ringing in to help his mother with their joint
tenancy. I was very impressed with Paul’s compassion when he
handled this caller.
Then over to CBS, where I was with Leanne. Her
contacts were very different. She received calls from the residents
that had problems, and we all know what they can be like. These
varied from a young lady who had a couple of smoke detectors fitted
that went off for no reason, to an irate young man who had been
promised the glazier would be round that day but had not turned up.
Leanne handled every call with the upmost tact and sincerity.
So having seen it in action, I for one will not
knock the Contact Centre like many of us do.”