Written by Will Douch

Tenant Satisfaction and preparing to publish

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In April 2023, the Social Housing regulator implemented new tenant satisfaction measures (TSMs) for social housing providers to ask their tenants, as part of understanding the customer experience of using the services they provide. We have been working with several housing providers since then to help deliver and report on the TSMs. As the countdown to 30th June 2024 begins, we invited some of these housing providers from across the country to IFF’s offices to take part in a pilot workshop to discuss how they had been finding the TSMs so far, and what they were expecting in the future.

Communication is key

Everyone discussed how the TSMs have been received and used internally by the housing providers. The story is largely a positive one. Housing providers feel that the TSMs provide an ‘honest insight,’ into how their customers feel.

However, the TSMs have not come without their difficulties. IFF and the housing providers shared and discussed the various communication approaches they have taken towards making the findings from the TSMs integral to their company’s strategies going forward. ‘If you are going to ask the questions, you have to answer their responses.’ There was some initial scepticism that the TSMs would be viewed internally as a simple tick-boxing task, but as the year progressed, there has been more buy-in as they realised the value and insight they provide.

Looking ahead

Following this period of reflection on the TSMs so far, the second half of the event looked forward to the reporting and publication of results in the 24/25 financial year.

In this open discussion, housing providers shared their thoughts and worries heading into this period, such as whether they would be able to demonstrate the rationale behind their approach or how the process would work. While the Social Housing Regulator (SHR) had not delivered concrete guidance on this, the regulator was considered pragmatic and had given people a lot of scope in terms of the methodologies used for this first year of the TSMs.

However, it’s more than just who will see the TSM results. The customers of these housing providers will also be looking to see how their feedback has been taken and whether it will lead to changes. Housing providers recognise that the customer’s voice has to be at the centre of all policy moving forward. Another housing provider shared their internal concept of “No voice, no approval”, where internal changes need evidence supported by the customer’s voice to get approved.

Keeping the faith

Changing perception takes time and will not happen immediately. The most important thing to do as a new year of the TSMs begins is demonstrate to customers that you are engaged, listening, and taking action in a positive direction.

If you’re preparing to collect and report on your TSMs and are looking for guidance, get in touch with us today.