As you’ll see from the infographic below, we’ve had a challenging few months when it comes to answering your queries and dealing with your requests. This is having an impact on lots of areas of our business, such as repairs and complaints.
We often see an increase in calls at this time of year as lots of customers have questions about the rent and service charge review.
Delivering excellent customer services to you is incredibly important to us, so we’re working hard to put this right and bring our scores back in line with where we want them to be, but we thought we’d tell you a bit more about why we’re seeing these results.
Much like other housing associations across the country, we’re dealing with a lot more queries this year than ever before. The cost-of-living crisis has meant that more and more people need help on a day-to-day basis, and labour and materials shortages continue to create a challenging environment to deliver repairs.
In 2022-23, our team received more than 370,000 queries which is the most we’ve ever dealt with.
We’re doing our best to handle them all as quickly as we can, while making sure that we take care to listen to each customer’s needs and concerns, to make sure we’re able to offer the right support. With more complex cases coming in, this means it can take a little bit more time to sort out, and this has meant longer waiting times for some customers.
During the especially busy periods, we’ve been making use of our call back service, meaning that customers can leave us their details and we’ll get back to them as soon as we can, rather than ask them to wait on hold when they have got something else they need to do.
If you haven’t got time to wait on the line and you’re not offered a call back, then you can always call us back at less busy times, such as after 6pm on weekdays, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a direct message on social media.
Our team has also been working hard to get queries right first time, making sure that, where possible, the person you speak to can resolve your issues, meaning you don’t have to speak to another colleague in a different part of the business. This can sometimes mean that we spend more time talking to customers in the customer service centre to make sure we fully understand the issue before we organise the right kind of support.
What are we doing about it?
Since April 2022, we have been working on an extensive recruitment campaign to get new people into Stonewater that can help us deal with this extra demand.
Due to the national recruitment issues that many organisations are facing, this has proven to be a challenge, but we have been able to find some great new team members to help us deal with your queries.
As with all new starters, our new team members have a rigorous training period to make sure they understand what they need to do to help our customers.
We’re currently working hard to get our new team members up to speed, and we’re also still doing what we can to make sure we can continue to attract the right people to our business to support our customers.
We’re also making sure that our digital channels, such as MyHome, social media, email and live chat continue to improve so that, for those who are able, customers can make use of these and give us extra time with more complex issues.
We appreciate that waiting on the phone is frustrating for customers, especially when you just want something fixed.
But we believe with the right approach to recruitment and training, as well as our commitment to accurate support, we can keep supporting customers when they need us.
Remember, if you don’t have time to wait on-hold, you can always use MyHome to report issues to us, send an email to email@example.com or send us a message via social media. Issues such as parking permits, non-urgent repairs like a broken cupboard door or something simple like updating your details can all be done without having to call us. You can also report no heating or hot water through MyHome.
If you have an urgent issue which could cause a risk to you or your home such as an uncontainable leak, then give us a call and we’ll get to you as soon as we can.