Meet the Help Desk: Debbie

1 Dec 2018

It’s the first in the Meet the Help Desk series and we’re kicking it off with Team Leader, Debbie. She’ll be telling you all about her day-to-day activities, what she’s responsible for and her love for HomeSwapper!

First things first, tell us about your role

I’m the Team Leader on the Help Desk, which is more of a mixed bag than you’d think! First and foremost, I’m the line manager for the rest of the team, which means I’m always there to offer support, advice and try to pass on my passion for HomeSwapper!

I make sure the Help Desk is running smoothly and queries from tenants are being dealt with in the right timeframe and in the right way.

Occasionally in busy periods I’ll also be on hand to help the team answer tickets, but a large part of my role is around building personal relationships with the landlords registered with HomeSwapper. I generally spend a lot of time chatting to landlords to make sure they’re using the system correctly and that they understand all that HomeSwapper can do for them and their tenants. The idea is that if landlords are using it right, then they can support their tenants in using it too.

What are you responsible for on the Help Desk?

I’ll assess all email tickets as they come in, making sure that the rest of the team is working through them in the correct order, (first come first served basis) as well as within our target time of a 48-hour turnaround – at the moment we’re working at a 24-hour turnaround rate, which is brilliant!

As many tenants will have noticed, when they get a reply from the Help Desk, they’ll be asked to share how helpful that was with a red, orange, yellow or green face. This feeds into a customer service score, which I monitor – the monthly target for customer satisfaction is 80%. I’ll review this weekly and if we’re falling behind on this, then I’ll get the team together to try and turn this around.

When a member of the team receives a green face it’s so appreciated and always great for motivating them to help even more swappers! Generally, however, if a customer feels we haven’t answered their query as well as they would have liked and have given us a red face, then we’ll go back and see if we can help in any other way – the team is always trying to produce a good outcome for the customer. We do try to answer queries as quickly as possible, but I also ensure they’re always answered in the best way possible!

How did you get into this job?

I joined Housing Partners in August 2012 and after a period, became Assistant Partner Manager, which meant going out and meeting the landlords registered with HomeSwapper.

In March 2015 we relaunched HomeSwapper with a brand-new site, which is when the Help Desk was born. At first it was unbelievably hectic – there were 3 of us and over 1500 tickets a day! I took on the role of educating landlords in how to support tenants to better use the site once things had calmed down.

Why is HomeSwapper important to you?

In my first few months working at Housing Partners I picked up the same passion as everyone else working there – essentially that of helping tenants. When I started, I used to attend the tenant events put on by landlords and got to meet the people that I was trying to help. Seeing and hearing about some tenants’ circumstances first-hand really stuck with me.

What I love most of all about this job is that we are literally changing people’s lives; there are tenants out there who are struggling in very real ways and to know you’re making a real impact on their lives by helping them to change their situation is incredible.

What do you love about your job?

The team I work with are great – I love working with them, but aside from that, as you can possibly tell, HomeSwapper really is my passion. I always try to get that passion across to new team members – by literally making them sit next to me! I want my team to understand that HomeSwapper is not just a software product, but about the people using it.

I’ve literally never had that ‘Sunday night feeling’ working at Housing Partners – there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t been excited about coming into work, seeing the team and getting on the phone to landlords.

What are you most proud of about your team?

They’re really a great bunch of girls; they’re all here for the same purpose and I can’t fault them at all. Every one of them is really dedicated and we all try to motivate each other – they’ve got a real positive energy that they pass on to each other.

Every morning we’ll spend 10 minutes together going over what happened yesterday and what’s going to happen today. We’re kind of like a family – we all support each other.

Do you have a favourite moment you can share about your job?

I don’t have just one specific moment, but generally I love it when I speak to landlords and they can’t believe that HomeSwapper does all the things it does. After a 45-minute call with a landlord, it’s great having them get it and be able to take that knowledge back to tenants.