Supporting our Armed Forces and their families through the COVID-19 crisis

15 April 2020
Image of a call centre worker sat in front of their desktop.

On 23rd March, the Government introduced increased social distancing measures to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. Since then, we have been working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to review our ways of working, so that we can continue to provide critical housing, maintenance and repair services to 47,000 Service family homes and 31,000 MOD buildings across the UK.

Our Customer Service Centre in Liverpool is usually a busy and vibrant place to work, but over the last few weeks we have been putting plans into place to ensure our employees are kept safe and our services continue to operate. Our priority is to ensure that customers, communities and our teams have the right support whilst minimising the risk of unnecessary contact during the pandemic.

What’s changed?

  • We have mobilised over 330 of our customer service centre staff to work remotely, including more than 150 Defence customer service advisors
  • Our IT team have established internet-based phones for our contact centre employees to take calls remotely
  • Our Accommodation Occupancy Services and Complaints Management functions have transitioned into a 100% digital service, meaning we are using digital chat platforms, text messages and emails to keep up communications with our customers
  • Our Occupancy Services team have supported a number of international evacuee cases, helping to repatriate Armed Forces personnel working and living overseas
  • Although our Local Customer Service Centres are all closed, our advisors continue to work remotely to support with the resolution of issues and complaints across the accommodation estate

Service delivery

Our dedicated customer service teams are fully committed to delivering the highest level of service to our customers during this challenging time. In our four Regional Prime contracts, customer contact handling performance is in line with contract requirements. In our National Housing Prime contract, although customers may find they have to wait a little longer to connect (due to an extended safety information voicemail), performance is good.

The power of digital communication

The switch to our digital channels has had a significant and positive impact on our levels of service. Over 50% of customer communication is now handled digitally, which is double the number pre-COVID-19. The channels are proving to be much easier and more effective to use within the remote working environment and we’re delighted that they are becoming popular with customers.

Stuart Jones, Amey’s Customer Service Director, Defence, said “I’m extremely proud of our teams as they continue to work to support the delivery of critical infrastructure across the Defence estate. Our DIO partners are providing us with some fantastic support throughout this constantly evolving situation and we’ve had some really positive feedback from our customers too, boosting the morale of our advisors and reassuring them that their work has never been more important than it is now.”

Colonel Andy Szabo, Regional Command Assistant Chief of Staff Infrastructure added “I wish to express my ever-deepening thanks for what the fabulous Amey team do for the Army and for all in Defence, and to DIO for working at pace to keep sites operating safely and securely. These are ever more trying times and lots of far more important people than I are writing and talking about how unprecedented they are. That said, Amey have the greatest team to help us all and I know that they will all be doing their utmost. I’d like to thank Amey, from all at Army Team Infra.”