Comprehensive Availability of the Central Customer Service Team
Although Vonovia provides its services at local level on principle, it has centralized all tasks that can be provided based on uniform quality standards and in a more cost-efficient manner at a nationwide level. The Group’s property management platform is characterized overall by a high degree of automation and full integration.
The central customer service center comprises almost 1,000 employees and serves Vonovia customers across Germany from two customer service departments that are identical in terms of both the infrastructure used and the content of the work they perform. The department operates across two locations in Duisburg and Dresden and can be reached using a regional service hotline as well as by email, fax or post. The customer service center acts as a central unit that is responsible for processing all matters relating to lease agreements, energy consumption and ancillary expense bills, among others. This process is managed according to defined service levels in order to ensure that customers receive a swift and binding response to their inquiries. The customer service structure is tailored as closely as possible to suit the needs of our customers and offers multilingual support. Four employees, for example, are currently responsible for the inquiries made by, and the concerns of, Arabic-speaking customers. Our customer service team resolves around 85% of all incoming telephone inquiries directly. At peak times, when lines are busy, customers have the possibility to use “call back” and a member of the customer service team will return their call. The customer service team has a special emergency hotline that is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to deal with emergencies.
Tenants can also use the online customer service platform. Since 2011, this platform has enabled them to access their contractual details and additional functions around the clock.
The relaunch of our customer portal and the associated integration of “self-services” makes our customer service available around the clock, offering functions that meet the expectations of today’s customers in terms of interaction and communication. Customers can use these functions, for example, to download or consult important forms such as lease agreement certificates or ancillary expense bills themselves. As far as new rentals are concerned, a messenger service also allows potential tenants to arrange their own apartment viewing appointments. The plan is to expand these services further in the future. As well as contributing to a higher level of customer satisfaction, this provides additional opportunities for boosting cost efficiency within customer service.
The repair center is responsible for scheduling the tenant visits to be made by the local craftsperson. This is done in close cooperation with the nationwide technical units of the on-site technicians’ organization. Here, too, Vonovia will be allowing tenants to arrange their own appointments using the self-service function in the future.
The quality of ancillary expense and service charge bills was again attested by ISO 9001:2008 certification by TÜV Rheinland. The certification verifies the efficiency of our processes as well as the high quality of our ancillary expense and service charge bills.
The systematic incorporation of ancillary expense-related matters into the remit of the customer service department also allowed the number of customer complaints to be reduced further last year. At the same time, we have been able to increase tenants’ understanding of the ancillary expense bills by communicating with tenants’ associations and other institutions in a transparent manner.