• Embedding & Impact; Two and a Half Years of Customer Success with Midland Heart

At a glance

To maintain and improve customer satisfaction levels, social housing provider Midland Heart implemented a customer satisfaction programme in 2018 encompassing 10 elements of service provision. This programme was designed to streamline processes around data cleansing, monitoring and management systems to reduce survey fatigue, while improving sampling and the quality of customer feedback.  After two and a half years, and over 30,000 customer surveys, Midland Heart are able to report measurable customer satisfaction performance, alongside high-quality verbatim feedback informing all their customer-facing services.

About the client

Founded in 1925 and based in the heart of Birmingham, Midland Heart manages 33,000 properties for 70,000 social housing customers in the Midlands. Midland Heart needs insightful, impartial and independent evidence to continually improve service provisions for their customers.

Midland Heart

Challenges and objectives

Midland Heart’s continuous research programme needs to effectively monitor performance across 10 service areas, while achieving several objectives:

  • Continuously review customer databases to ensure data accuracy
  • Undertake steps to prevent survey fatigue – a common challenge with such a large and wide-ranging customer satisfaction programme
  • Ensure GDPR compliance
  • Regularly engage with stakeholders to gain buy-in of the benefits of the programme

To ensure effective ongoing stakeholder engagement, the system needed to make an immediate and lasting difference to their customer insight programme; adding robust, reliable evidence on which to base decisions. Quality verbatim feedback was also critical to ensure meaningful and tangible improvements to services can be made to benefit customers.

Solution

Midland Heart commissioned a suite of 10 customer satisfaction surveys, delivered by telephone interview, with SMS boosters to maximise completion rates. These surveys cover services ranging from satisfaction with anti-social behaviour and complaint resolution, through to a variety of maintenance services including gas servicing, asbestos remediation, responsive repairs and grounds maintenance.

All staff and internal stakeholders are given access to IFF’s Resident Voice reporting platform to ensure transparency of results and enable fast issue resolution. With email trigger alerts set up at point of interview to flag issues with Service Leads and the operations team to address service failure immediately and enable them to work with the customer to remedy the situation.

Working with IFF, Midland Heart have put in place robust processes to ensure quotas are achieved each month and survey fatigue minimised.

“One of the key benefits of the on-going customer satisfaction measurement programme is the ability to react to performance in real-time rather than waiting for a report to be produced at month end – the programme allows a reactive approach to performance data. Our approach puts us on the front foot and allows the unpicking of data, customer comments, and the drawing on trends, over periods of time to take place immediately. This approach benefits our customers in the long term, and supports us as an organisation to deliver service provisions.

A key aspect of our programme is allowing key stakeholder, both internal and external, access to the Resident Voice reporting platform in order to view and analyse customer insight data in real-time, as soon as interviews take place. This is a valuable insight tool internally and one which is pivotal in strengthening our position in implementing service improvement strategies immediately”.

Kevin Wedge, Performance Manager, Midland Heart

Impact

After collecting feedback over 30 months, encompassing over 30K customer surveys, Midland Heart are pleased to report:

  • Maintaining overall customer satisfaction levels at c.90% in 19/20 and 20/21 YTD
  • Achieving 90%+ satisfaction levels for half the service areas measured in 20/21 YTD
  • Maintaining 90%+ satisfaction performance for responsive repairs, gas servicing and gas repairs combined
  • Increases in performance in four service areas in 20/21 vs 19/20. These currently include new lettings, income services, planned works and new homes.

“Our supervisors review each email alert on a daily basis and in addition these are analysed monthly by our complaints clinic and Regional Managers, to identify if there have been any failings related to our processes. The team investigate and review whether there is a need for further remedial action with the customer. The alerts and information from the customers is vital and allows us to monitor and improve the service we offer.”

Steve Eustace, Regional Manager, Midland Heart

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To gain important insights and improve your housing services, contact Kate Roberts, Associate Director of Housing Research

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