Meet Orla, our neighbourhood experience manager

OrlaWe have centralised our customer contact points and changed how your queries are answered to make your experience with Catalyst simple, effortless and convenient.

Part of this change involves replacing the role of neighbourhood managers with neighbourhood experience managers and setting up a digital neighbourhood service centre.

We caught up with Orla Mead, one of our neighbourhood experience managers, to find out more about these changes.

What does your role involve?

I’m responsible for the strategic planning of services in a particular area. In practical terms this means identifying the needs of a neighbourhood, and then planning and developing services customers need in that neighbourhood.

How is this different to what neighbourhood managers did?

Both roles are actually very different.

Neighbourhood managers used to focus on resolving day to day customer queries often specific to one property or one customer. The types of tasks they traditionally did – such as dealing with anti-social behaviour, taking potential customers to view homes and signing up new customers – will be dealt with specialist teams.

This means we’ll have more time to plan, develop and provide services that our customers tell us they need.

Will you be working closely with customers?

I’ll be working to develop services for customers by working with other Catalyst teams and local organisations. But I won’t have direct contact with customers.

What do customers do if they have a query or need your help?

Customers can get all the help they need and their queries answered by contacting our digital neighbourhood service centre:

Skilled Advisors in our digital neighbourhood service centre can help you with queries on repairs, rent, homeownership, maintenance, cleaning, caretaking – basically everything.

What if an adviser can’t answer a particular question, can customers contact you?

The simple answer is no. As I’ll be working with external organisations and partners I won’t necessarily  be around to answer customer queries.

Our digital neighbourhood advisers are also continually being trained to answer queries first time around and without the need to go to specialist teams. This means they are the best people to deal with and answer customer queries.

The team has also started using Ask Catalyst – an online internal database where we can see the answers to all possible customer questions. So when someone calls or emails us, they’ll have all the information to hand.

Do you think these changes will improve services for customers?

Yes – because it will help deliver what people actually need and want.

For example, if residents are continually unhappy about the cleaning of their communal area, I will work with our environmental services team to make sure the service improves. If it doesn’t, I will work with the management of that service to make sure action so it does improve.

Are you’re enjoying your new role?

I’ve only been in my role for a short time but it’s my dream job. We’re now working more strategically to find out exactly what our customers need and want, and then plan our services around that.

I’m looking forward to working with customers and our teams to make our neighbourhoods great places where people are proud to live in.