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How customers' views are making a difference

How customers' views are making a difference

Hundreds of customers took part in our recent customer service survey. Customer Experience Manager Ashley Wallace explains what we’re doing with your views and how they’ll make a difference.

What was the survey all about?

We partnered with the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) to measure how customers and colleagues feel about the way we deliver our service, so we can continuously develop our customer experience. Using their national standard we can see how you think we compare to other similar organisations, as well as other industries like banks and supermarkets. A total of 428 customers took the time to respond to our survey – thanks to everyone who took part. Since then, we’ve worked with 19 groups of different colleagues to assess your feedback.

What were the headlines?

There are lots of positives to celebrate, but also some things that you think we should take a closer look at. We’ve developed action plans from your feedback that we’ll be working on over the next three years. There are lots of actions to talk about, so we’ve picked out some of the highlights here to share with you.

How Karbon compares to others

Karbon scored 75.1 out of 100, which is very good. The score for all organisations in the UK that take part (including big names like John Lewis, Tesco and Barclays) combined was slightly higher at 76.8. And the sector that Karbon would be measured against (public services) scored 74.4, so, we scored higher than organisations most similar to Karbon.

Things you told us you’re really happy with:

  • The ease of using our website 
  • Helpfulness of Karbon staff
  • Competence of KarbonsStaff

Things you told us you’d like us to improve

The lowest scoring area of the survey was complaint handling, so we’ll focus a lot of our effort here. Here you can see what you said you’d like improved and what we’re now doing to help improve it.

You said:

  • You’d like us to improve the outcome of complaints made and to speed up our handling of complaints

We’re working on:

  • Better recording. A new system is being developed so we can capture more accurate information about complaints made to us.
  • Checking with customers. A new satisfaction survey will ask a sample of customers how we handled things when their complaint comes to an end. This will help us pinpoint where we can keep improving.
  • Seeking guidance. We’ll make sure we are up to date with the latest guidance by working closely with the Housing Ombudsman Service. This is also a useful way to talk to other housing associations to solve common customer concerns.
  • More training. Our customer facing teams will receive refreshed training and guidance on effective complaint handling so we can properly support you if you need to make a complaint. We’ll also make sure we are clear on our policy and processes.
  • Learning lessons and sharing information. A new complaint review process will look at cases that are escalated to stage two of our process, or to the Housing Ombudsman Service. A small group of colleagues and customers will look back at closed complaints to identify ways we could have done better. We’ll share this learning across Karbon and with our customers.

We’re really pleased to announce we’ve been awarded ServiceMark accreditation by the ICS, we're one of only five housing associations to achieve this. This is a national standard, independently recognising an organisation’s achievement in customer service and its commitment to upholding those standards.

We're also working on...

  • Recruiting customers into our involved residents’ group. We’ll continue to build our network and champion diversity to help us shape the services we deliver. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved. Just drop us a line on connectwithkarbon@karbonhomes.co.uk or call on 0808 164 0111 and we’ll explain more.
  • Expanding the remit of our Group Performance Committee. The group will be more focused on customer performance such as the way we manage complaints and our regular customer satisfaction surveys. There'll also be customer representation on this committee.
  • Signed up to the new National Housing Federation Code of Governance. This is designed to help housing associations to achieve the highest standards of governance.
  • Climate change response. We’ll continue to work with customers to develop this. We’ve specifically set up a long-term project made up of Karbon colleagues who’ll look at how we can improve the quality and sustainability of our homes to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental practice.
  • Investing in insight about welfare reforms. This will help us to better support those who need it most through any new changes.

Complaint or compliment?

Do you know how to make a complaint or pass on a compliment to us? Choose from any of our usual communication channels – telephone, email, letter or social media.

We also have a dedicated web page for complaints featuring lots of useful information, including our policy and a customer brochure explaining our process, www.karbonhomes.co.uk/complaints. It also explains how to access external guidance via the Housing Ombudsman Service.

This was a really specific and one-off exercise, but you can have your say on the way we deliver our services regularly as we run monthly satisfaction surveys by telephone with our partner, Acuity. Please take the survey when we call you to pass on valuable feedback to us. 

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6 April 2022

Community , Support , Customer service ,

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