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Blog: Outstanding Customer Satisfaction SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Be the body

15 June 2020

sponsored by Southern Construction Framework (SCF)

Outstanding Customer Satisfaction SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Be the body (Sutton Housing Society)

*** Winner! ***

Sutton Housing Society is a small registered provider (RP) that owns and manages 485 homes - around 75% of these homes are specifically for older people (over 55s). Following a staff away day, they created the 'be the body' initiative, which underpins their collective responsibility. They aim to be the body that makes a difference to their customers, homes, colleagues and supply chain partners.

Using the 'be the body' initiative and working with their supply chain, customer satisfaction with their last repair rose from 91.1% in April 2018 to 97.4% in March 2019. This performance is being maintained. 

Sutton Housing Society has adopted a 'value for money and quality' strategy - being effective in how they plan, manage and operate their business. ‘Value’  means the appropriateness of homes to help meet local housing need, supported by the quality of homes and services which in turn create an improved quality of life Customers are central to their service; this is reflected in the way they run their business and in our communications with staff, contractors, supply chain and customers.

In more detail

Sutton Housing use results from their transaction surveys, e.g. day to day repairs and from the STAR Survey (housing industry satisfaction survey), to develop their staff training programme - introducing specific training that reflects their customers' needs. They introduced a disability forum, as over a third of customers indicated they were living with a disability. They also introduced additional ways for customers to be involved and to influence the services they received – for example in the preparation, selection and interview of the grounds maintenance, cleaning and window cleaning contractors.

To capture the customer voice from those that do not often participate, they introduced a personalised birthday card initiative. They issue a birthday card a few weeks ahead of every resident’s birthday, which also includes a short survey.

They are taking older customers on an appropriate digital journey. In 2018, they installed (free) Wi-Fi within all schemes - giving internet access at no cost to the existing 300+ customers. Some customers changed to their Wi-Fi immediately and are pleased with the financial savings they have made.

To support their investment, approximately 20% of staff have become digital champions and share their digital skills via regular Wi-Fi cafes at their housing schemes. They teach and demonstrate digital-related activities such as popular apps, social media, how to use a smartphone / iPad, and how to shop online. Over 90% of older customers accessing Wi-Fi / digital platforms are doing so via their community Wi-Fi and some via the loan tablets we provide.

In 2019, they created 'Celebrating 55…' as they were 55 years old. As Sutton Housing Society focuses on providing homes for the over 55s, they created and delivered 55 well-received resident focussed events. 

In the last year financial year, they received only 4 formal complaints but received 133 compliments. Year to date (10 months), they received no formal complaints and 113 compliments. They operate a 'you said, we did' system, with improvements based on feedback and shared with all residents.


Highlights:

  • Customers are central to their service; this is reflected in all that they do as a business and in their communications with staff, contractors, supply chain and customers.
  • Sutton Housing 'be te body campaign' emphasises collective responsibility and that it is individuals that truly make a difference to approach and delivery of services to customers.
  • Genuine change and improvement, demonstrated by customer feedback


About the Outstanding Customer Satisfaction Award:

In the best companies, the customer drives everything. These companies really understand and then provide precisely what the end customer needs, when the customer needs it and at a price that reflects the product’s value to the customer. Activities which do not add value from the customer’s viewpoint can be classified as waste and eliminated.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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