In this month’s GGP column, Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) discusses the importance of data and analysis for raising standards within the industry.
We have all witnessed a digital revolution within our lifetimes, and it has affected the way each and every one of us lives and works. As consumers, we see this across the way we bank, order goods and services, book holidays – almost everything we do now is down to a huge explosion in digital services that are designed to streamline our lives. The simple fact is that we are all reliant on digital services, and organisations providing those services therefore are reliant on data. Collecting and analysing data enables a greater understanding of customer behaviour which in turn enables more efficient operations. Managed correctly and responsibly, data is one of the most powerful tools we have.
The vetting process
Data is key to our operation at DGCOS. If we are to fulfil our role as a consumer protection organisation, and if we are to offer the best possible service to homeowners, we have to exploit the available data as much as possible. It starts with vetting potential new members. The process is rigorous and we investigate all aspects of the installer company and its owners to ensure they are operating to a professional level. This vetting service gives us a holistic view of the business, their longevity and highlights any potential risk. After all, we want to work with installers that should be in the industry, who will not disappear overnight leaving consumers high and dry and who will stand the test of time.
This process is not just done before installers become a member; it is an ongoing process managed by our Compliance team. They monitor, for example, alerts from Companies House if there are any changes in ownership of a member. We also monitor credit scores. This is important to maintain the quality of our membership and ensure that our members aren’t struggling, in case we can be supporting them better. Part of this process is to conduct an Annual Health Check with each member, with varying degrees of depth, depending on how much support the member would like.
This is offered as a benefit to members to help them keep their businesses on track, but another distinct advantage is to reduce any insurance risk. The rising cost of insurance claims affects all of us eventually, and compliance is able to minimise that risk. This is a fair approach to both members and homeowners, and it means that any householder can initiate an installation project with confidence. It is part of our role as a consumer protection organisation, and can help installers nip any issues in the bud to ensure they remain on track. Ultimately, it’s a win-win for both parties.
Another area we monitor is the registration of jobs for any unusual behaviour. Anything out of the ordinary may indicate that a member is struggling, and we would then be in a position to have a conversation with them to find out what support they need. Alongside the Compliance team, our membership team works closely with our members to support them to be successful, in any way we can. Not only do we want to mitigate against potential insurance claims, we also want to raise standards in the industry. DGCOS lives and dies by the quality of our membership and it’s something we take extremely seriously.
Last but by no means least are our Customer Services team – the gatekeepers of DGCOS. They manage a broad spectrum of calls from, for example, members looking to register jobs or needing advice, consumer queries and claims advice across all schemes. They also issue membership certificates and make outgoing calls. to the team can take over 100 calls per day and the only way we can make sure the service is operating as efficiently as possible is by data analytics. We look at call waiting times, average call times and drop out rates to ensure maximum efficiency of our team.
Only by collecting and analysing all this data can we fulfil our role as an Ombudsman Scheme effectively. It is all about ensuring consumers are protected and members are supported in their journey as DGGOS installers. It’s vital that homeowners can rely on our scheme, and our data analytics play a fundamental role in making sure that happens. Data is intelligence and intelligence is king.