With The Charter for Social Housing Residents putting tenant safety, transparency, and engagement in the spotlight, it’s never been more important to ensure that residents have a way of sharing feedback with you in real-time, and that complaints are promptly dealt with before they’re escalated to the Ombudsmen.
To help support your efforts, we’ve put together some top tips and tactics to ensure you’re not only meeting the expectations of the charter, but exceeding the expectations of your residents and driving positive change throughout your organization.
Top Tips to Prepare for The Charter for Social Housing Residents
- Conduct a baseline survey – with the Regulator of Social Housing keeping a watchful eye on Landlords, now is the time to capture their feelings. That way, once you start acting on their feedback, you will have baseline CSAT scores to compare your performance to and, therefore, will be better equipped to measure success.
- Engage at all points across the customer journey – customer feedback shouldn’t be limited to one survey, and with the charter emphasizing the importance of listening and engagement, it’s crucial that you demonstrate a commitment to ensuring as many voices are heard as possible. Regardless of the channels on which you interact with your audience (calls, emails, Live Chat, portals, etc), you need to make sure you’re capturing feedback relating to all journeys, such as lettings, repairs, planned maintenance, complaints, ASB, grounds maintenance and contact center to ensure you’re alerted to feedback relating to these areas.
- Ensure you’re always listening – help tenants feel safe and heard by enabling them to share feedback on their terms. ‘Listening Posts’ – QR codes or SMS short codes advertised in public residential areas, allow you to capture feedback in real-time and take action in the moment, rather than waiting for the next triggered survey. This is important, not only to capture feedback, but also to demonstrate to your tenants that you care.
- Use logic to act on problems before they become complaints – Being able to quickly react and manage problems is crucial in reducing complaints. To achieve this, you need to close the loop with customers when their experience isn’t satisfactory. However, when internal resource is tight, it can be difficult to ensure feedback is acknowledged and acted upon in a timely manner. Use logic to separate complaints between tenants that simply wanted to share their thoughts, and those who wish to discuss in more detail. E.g., if a customer gives a low score, trigger an automated response to ask for further details and if they would appreciate a call back. That way, your team can more easily prioritize feedback.
- Adjust your taxonomy – Maintaining resident safety is paramount. That’s why Upland Rant & Rave leverages a housing-specific taxonomy to enable insight to be quickly categorized, allowing you to focus your attention and resource in the right area. Make sure that your taxonomy is set up to alert you to particular words or phrases, such as gas repairs, general repairs, mould and damp, fire and asbestos, so that issues are promptly directed to the right person in your organization.
- Build transparency – if you have a board of tenants, or a similar group of resident representatives involved in your decision-making processes, ensure that you’re sharing key themes of feedback with them. Utilizing reports built within Rant & Rave’s Discover tool is an easy way of presenting CSAT scores, sentiment and feedback topics in a dashboard or report without the risk of sharing personally identifiable information (PII). Building transparency is equally as important within your organization as it is with your tenants. By sharing this information with your team, you can show the progress you’ve made relating to specific areas and celebrate success.
- Unify your data – when asking for feedback, it’s important to not view customer verbatim in isolation, but instead build a bigger picture by looking at it alongside the metadata asked at the point of survey, or data from your existing CRM records. Data points that we’d recommend collating include geographical location including ward or area, named housing officer/manager, asset type (flat vs house), known contractors/suppliers, tenancy type, and vulnerability status. By doing so, you will be able to filter your data more clearly, get to the root cause, and prioritize action items based on need. This data will also empower you to increase service accountability across the organization and can be used, for example, to hold contractors to account or identify vulnerability in certain areas. We’d recommend you combine this metadata with your taxonomy to derive powerful, actionable insights.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need more inspiration please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to help!