We work hard to try to understand our customers and to improve based on what people tell us. We have lots of ways for getting feedback which include our My Voice online community, our Insight Committee, our complaints process, face-to-face interviews and regular customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys alone were completed by 1,900 customers in the last year.
Information from all of these sources is shared with our senior teams and Board to help them understand what we’re getting right and wrong, and to shape improvements.
We currently use an independent market research company, IFF Research, to carry out regular surveys with customers about their experience of Futures. This covers areas such as satisfaction - not just overall, but with specific services such as repairs, our contact centre or our work to deal with antisocial behaviour. Things are about to change though.
The survey we use now typically takes around 17 minutes to complete. You’ve told us that is too long. And alongside this the Government is bringing in a new standardised set of questions that all housing associations have to ask customers as well as different ways of carrying out surveys. We're addressing both of those issues.
So what does this mean?
From April 2023 we will launching a new survey based on Tenancy Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) set out by government and that all housing associations need to use nationwide. This will include general questions about how you think we’re performing, such as how safe you feel in your home, how satisfied you are that we listen to you, and whether you think that we treat you fairly and with respect. This survey should only take around ten minutes to complete and we will only ask each household to take part once a year.
At the same time we will be introducing a number of smaller surveys which will ask for your feedback about any specific services you have interacted with, such as repairs or our customer services team. These include questions about the service such as the quality of the repair, the helpfulness of the staff you dealt with, and how easy it was to get your issue resolved. These surveys will be only take around five minutes. We will invite you to take part after each time you interact with us.
These changes mean that you could receive multiple invitations to complete surveys, depending on how many times you interact with us. This is useful for us as it means we can get feedback more regularly to help us make improvements. If it’s not convenient, you can opt-out of this at any time by letting us know at email@example.com but we do hope most customers will take this time to help us.
IFF will still carry out the surveys for us. Because they are independent experts, we get objective feedback and you can choose to stay anonymous if you want. Because IFF work for other housing associations, we can also look at how our results compare.
You can choose to complete these surveys either electronically or by phone, whichever works for you.
It makes a difference
Customer feedback really does make a difference. Some of the changes we’ve made recently in response to what you’ve told us include:
- launching a programme of neighbourhood community tours and recruiting more staff to our Neighbourhoods team after you said you’d like to see us out and about more.
- offering winter winter warm packs, supporting vulnerable customers with our hardship fund, creating a series of mini-guides to help you keep energy and food bills down and signposting other sources of help because you asked for more support during the cost of living crisis.
- bringing together several teams, including those offering help with money, employment, domestic abuse, health and wellbeing into a single Tenancy Sustainment team because you told us it was confusing to have to deal with lots of separate departments when you needed this kind of support.
- Introducing a better computer system, restructuring the Customer Services team and reviewing our repairs and maintenance process in response to your feedback that we sometimes take too long to follow-up on issues you’re reported.
Find out more and get involved
If you want to find out more about the new Tenant Satisfaction Measures click here, or for an easy read summary, click here. You can also find out more about our My Voice community and join the 230 members we already have here.