Involved customers are at the heart of Homes Plus. They ensure that that your views are taken into account about the way that we are run and the work that we do. They are helping us to deliver even better services across Staffordshire and Shropshire.
You don’t need any previous experience to get involved. We’ll provide all the training and support you need to make a positive difference.
Becoming an involved customer is your chance to improve services. It can also be a great way to meet new people, gain valuable volunteering experience and boost your work-related skills.
What you think about your home and your neighbourhood is important to us and there are lots of ways to get involved.
If you can spare a few minutes, share your views in surveys carried out online or by telephone. If you would like to play a more active role, you could join our Customer Partnership Panel (previously known as Scrutiny Panel), which carries out in-depth service reviews, influences policies and proposes improvements.
Register using our online form and a member of the Improving the Customer Experience team will be in touch to help you get involved.
What is Improving the Customer Experience?
Improving the Customer Experience is made up of four key measures to ensure that we regularly seek customer experience feedback through our:
- Customer Partnership Panel
- Transactional surveys
- Tenant Satisfaction Measures
Feedback gathered from this extensive range of measures will ensure that your voice is heard and used to inform and influence service improvement recommendations.
You can find out more about each of the four key measures listed above in the drop-down sections below:
Customer Partnership Panel
The Customer Partnership Panel is customer-led and made up of involved customers. The group acts as a ‘critical friend’ who challenges performance by reviewing services and proposing improvements.
The group gives customers a strong collective voice, ensuring experiences are routinely considered and performance and decision making is challenged.
Customer Partnership Panel update – March 2023
Our Customer Partnership Panel customers have been busy working on a range of significant projects over the last few months, including:
- Launching our customer approved stamp, which now goes on all documents that have been reviewed and approved by the Scrutiny Panel.
- Reviewing several policies, giving detailed feedback on how the policy could be made more customer friendly and ensuring that they are accessible to all our customers.
- Helping to put together our Annual Report, providing a customer perspective.
- Providing evidence from a customer’s point of view on how Homes Plus are compliant with the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaints Handling Code.
- Working with us to ensure that the information included in our rent letter was clear, easy to understand and would answer as many questions that they thought customers would ask.
- Meeting with the Board in person to discuss new ideas on customer engagement and how we as a business can work together to ensure Homes Plus are hearing as many customer voices as possible.
- Attending the Tpas National Tenants Conference.
- Testing our new chatbot prototype.
Transactional surveys take place after a service has been delivered. Customers are contacted and asked for feedback on their experience and any suggestions they may have for improvement.
Tenant Satisfaction Measures
Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) were introduced by the Regulator of Social Housing from April 2023 and will enable tenants to scrutinise our performance and give us insight about where we can improve.
Customers are contacted directly by Acuity, our contractor, to complete a perception survey.
This feedback will enable us to measure how well we are doing at providing good quality homes and services. We will report on the outcome to customers, to provide visibility on how well we are performing and to provide assurance that we are meeting the relevant regulatory standards.
The perception surveys will cover:
- Overall satisfaction
- Keeping properties in good repair
- Maintaining building safety
- Respectful and helpful engagement
- Effective handling of complaints
- Responsible neighbourhood management
The Housing Ombudsman issued an updated complaint handling code in March 2022 requiring all landlords to be compliant by the 1 October 2022. As a result of this we have:
- Launched a revised complaints policy on 1 October 2022, which meets the new requirements of the code.
- Launched a new Unreasonable Persistent Complainant Policy on 1 October 2022 outlining how we manage customers who use the complaints process unreasonably.
- Updated our compensation policy on 1 November 2022 to ensure it meets the requirements of the complaint handling code.
The new complaints policy makes it even easier for customers to make a complaint, whether online – via our websites and social media accounts – over the phone or in writing. The stages have also been simplified to ensure that complaints are investigated by the relevant service team and resolved as quickly as possible.
Complaints are individually analysed and reviewed against transactional and tenant satisfaction measure survey results and any other feedback to enable us to see if there are issues with a service, staff member or internal process.
To view our complaints policy and process and see our latest self-assessment you can visit the Complaints Page on the Homes Plus website.
What are the regulatory standards?
As a registered social landlord, there are a number of regulatory standards we had to take into consideration when developing Improving the Customer Experience.
The Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard requires housing providers to provide choices, information and communication that is appropriate to the diverse needs of their tenants in the delivery of all standards.
The government’s social housing white paper published in November 2020 sets out the actions the government will take to ensure that residents in social housing are safe, are listened to, live in good quality homes – and have access to redress when things go wrong.
All providers of social housing are required to publish an annual self-assessment against The Housing Ombudsman’s Complaints Handling Code. The code sets out requirements for landlords that will allow them to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.