Customers and communities
We’re acutely aware of the increasingly challenging issues faced by our customers and the communities in which they live. After an incredibly difficult 12 months, we’re more committed than ever to doing all we can to make a positive difference to the lives of those we serve.
Watch Alison Pember is now on the road to her dream job, thanks to our Employment and Training Advice service
Our customers remain at the heart of everything we do and improving the services they receive from us continues to be our top priority. We recognise that, over the last year, the service some of our customers received has fallen short of the high standard we expect and that they deserve. Transactional feedback received from customers – what our customers tell us after receiving a specific service from us – shows that, on average, 79 percent of customers were satisfied with the service they received. However, over the course of the last 12 months, we received 2,239 formal complaints – representing an increase on last year’s figure of 2,057 – underlining that we still have work to do.
As mentioned previously in this report, this year saw the Group served with its first ever severe maladministration finding by the Housing Ombudsman. When we get things wrong, it’s crucial that we understand why and identify the changes we need to make. We’ve introduced a Customer Care Team to ensure we’re better equipped to resolve customer queries within 48 hours and have improved the way we manage information within our systems to better prioritise work and support our most vulnerable customers.
Learning from feedback
Customer feedback is crucial to helping us learn from our mistakes and making sure we improve the experience our customers receive. Over the last 12 months, we’ve acted on feedback from our customers, including through the complaints they’ve made, as well as determinations we’ve received from the Housing Ombudsman as we continue to do all we can to improve the service we provide. In addition to the appointment of three regional repairs contractors, we’ve introduced a new freephone number and created a dedicated Repairs Contact Centre, which fielded 63,505 phone calls from our customers over the last 12 months. We’ve carried out deep-dive reviews into several complaints, resulting in changes to our policies and procedures and additional resource for teams working on complaints, damp and mould and complex repairs. Additional learning and development has been provided to colleagues with the introduction of CIH professional training and tone of voice training for colleagues. As part of our commitment to transparency, we regularly share the changes we’ve made as a result from customer feedback on our website. This information is also shared in our customer magazine, Our Voice.
Formal complaints received
Satisfaction with complaint handling
Satisfaction with complaint outcome
Total customer calls answered
Queries resolved on first contact
Connecting with our customers
This year our Contact Centres took 151,024 calls from our customers, with an average of 76 percent of these being resolved at the first point of contact, against a target of 75 percent.
In June, we launched The Hub, our online customer engagement platform where customers can have their say, share feedback and help shape the services we deliver.
Over the last year, 1,062 customers have signed up to The Hub, which received almost 8,000 visits.
Across 50 engagement projects, we had over 2,300 interactions from our customers, with the feedback they provided having a direct impact on how we deliver our services.
Launched in June, The Hub – our digital engagement platform – has gained 1,062 new members and has already seen customers participating in 50 engagement projects.
Supporting our customers
Our Community Investment initiative is key to delivering our Improving Lives vision. It underlines our commitment to supporting our customers with their mental and physical wellbeing and economic resilience.
Despite several colleagues being temporarily seconded to support other areas of our business this year, we're proud to report that we made over 6,000 interventions – with 94 percent achieving a positive outcome. Social value generated exclusively through Community Investment activity totalled over £7.9million in 2022/23.*
In total, 2,903 customers were supported to improve their health and wellbeing while 2,659 were supported with their economic resilience.
Over the last 12 months, we've supported 110 customers to move closer to the labour market, by either gaining first-time employment, re-entering the workforce or enhancing their skills. We also donated thousands of pounds to our customers and communities through the various funds we provide.
As part of our laptop gifting initiative, Longhurst Group donated six laptops to Encompass – a company providing rehabilitation services in Northamptonshire.
Mystery Shopper exercises completed
Reports from Clean and Green inspectors
Referrals to our services
Social value generated*
*Social value generated exclusively through our Community Investment services. Calculated using a blended and proportionate approach to identify social value, which has included HACTs, UK Social Value Bank and Insight tools, alongside unit cost databases and a range of publicly available financial proxies.
Helping Rebecca find work to fit her childcare needs
Rebecca Aserba, 33, and her two children aged 1 and 2, recently moved from temporary accommodation onto the Beechdale estate in Walsall.
She initially worked with our Tenancy Sustainment Service before being referred to our Employment and Skills Service for help in finding work.
Customers and communities
of customers told us they were satisfied with a particular service they’d received