#ExpertView: Why customer service is important to TDS
At TDS, we pride ourselves on delivering the best customer service to our members, regardless of which TDS scheme they chose to use (TDS offers both Insured and Custodial deposit protection schemes) or what method they’re using to contact us.
Tenancy deposit protection is becoming increasingly digitally-based, so a key focus for TDS is to ensure that our deposit protection services are as user friendly as possible.
Many of our colleagues have worked in the private rented sector so are able to understand the pressures that our members face. That is why we are always looking for ways to further improve the customer journey, through our online services, to make deposit protection as straightforward as possible.
Although our systems allow agents, landlords and tenants manage their deposit protection online, if they need to contact TDS, we have dedicated, in-house operations teams providing support to our members. It is still important for TDS to maintain a personal approach to the service we provide, which is why we have a dedicated team on hand to help resolve any deposit-related issues.
How are we performing now?
Our customer service team works tirelessly to provide advice and support to members on topics ranging from registrations to tenant change-overs, deductions and disputes. Recently, the team was accredited with the Customer Service Excellence Award from the UK Cabinet Office for services that are ‘efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering’.
As a government-approved deposit protection scheme, we are set certain targets for call and email answering times which we regularly exceed. In May 2018, for example, our average call answering time was under 30 seconds and only a few hours for email enquiries.
What improvements are we making?
There’s always room for improvement, so we will continue to engage with members regularly to find new ways to deliver the services they require. For example, we are working closely with landlords and agents to understand the customer journey, making it as seamless as possible.
A key focus for driving further improvement is through the introduction of innovative technology and software to improve our offering as well as the performance of our existing digital tools.
Our team also receives regular training to stay at the forefront of developments in customer service.
TDS is already an industry-leader in terms of our customer service levels, but as the only not-for-profit scheme, we invest heavily in developing our colleagues, products and services to provide real value to our members.
Landlords and agents looking to move to TDS, can now do so online. Find out more about switching to TDS through the links below:
About the author
Louise Walton is TDS’ Head of Customer Experiences. She is responsible for overseeing the operational teams and driving change. She has 35 years’ experience of leading customer service teams.
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.