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Customer Commitments March 2024

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Welcome to our latest Customer Commitments blog, where we give you a snapshot of how we’re performing when you speak to us. 

If you want to see the full picture, take a look below at our infographic to see the latest numbers. 

Not standing still 

Woking with our Scrutiny Panel (our team of dedicated customer volunteers), we’ve been creating an action plan to improve services including anti-social behaviour, customer services and rent and service charge communications. Our Scrutiny Panel spoke to hundreds of customers to find out your views and make recommendations to help us improve. 

We’ve heard your frustrations about things like call waiting times, and we began an extensive recruitment drive to increase resources in our customer services team. As you can see below, these new team members are helping us to increase customer satisfaction and bring down our waiting times, and I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made. 

In January and February 2024, we’ve seen even better customer satisfaction scores and we're already hearing some brilliant feedback from customers about their experiences when contacting Stonewater. With the improvements in queue times and customer satisfaction, we're excited to keep up the momentum and continue providing the best service for our customers. 

Satisfaction in ASB case handling and complaints have both gone up by 11%, which we’re pleased about as we know these areas are really important to you and show that the changes, we’ve made to these areas are having a positive impact.  

Looking forward 

We’re never complacent and are continually working to get better and improve the quality of our services for customers.  

In terms of complaints, one of the key drivers of dissatisfaction is where we commit to do something in our complaint response and then fail to deliver it. We’ve rolled out a new commitment tracker to better manage these commitments and make sure we deliver them. We hope that this will continue to help us improve satisfaction. 

When we moved away from having Tenant Services Officers working on patches to a specialist, national way of working we saw a lot of positives and benefits. Having specialist Customer Partners who can help with tenancy, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood issues has meant that we’ve seen satisfaction in these areas continue to grow. We’ve also been able to cope with a much higher volume of enquiries and reduce inefficacies of having colleagues travelling hours to carry out a couple of site visits. But you’ve told us that you don’t always see us enough, you don’t always know who to contact and it can feel like you’re being passed between our specialist teams. 

I am excited by a pilot we’re running in Sommerset which brings our specialist Customer Partners together in to one team focused on this location. We’ve been able to write out to customers in this area, to let them know who does what and how they can be contacted, and it has enabled us to build more local links with partners like the local authorities and be more present. We’re keeping a very close eye on this pilot and will share with you how it’s going and what our plans will be next.  

As is normal at this time of year when we send out our rent and service charge review letters, we expect that some of these scores may change. 

We understand the frustration that many customers feel when we tell them we’ve had to increase rent and service charges, and we’re standing by to help anyone who needs us. 

We expect that the demand for our services will go up a lot over the next few weeks, which is why we’ve created a number of resources to help you get the answers you need before you get in touch. 

Our rent and service charge guide contains all the most frequently asked questions in this area, and the money matters page of our website contains a quick form which you can use to request a call back rather than wait on hold. 

We’ll always do our best to answer you as quickly as we can, but during this time, you may find that we’re a bit slower than we’d like as we aim to make sure we give everyone the best advice that we can. 

As ever it’s a busy time and I hope you can see that the feedback we receive from our customers makes a huge difference in making us better. We have a great range of ways in which you can get involved and give us your feedback, there really is something to suit everyone so please check out our engagement guide.

Best wishes, 

Dave Lockerman, Director of Housing Operations