At a glance

To maintain and improve customer satisfaction levels, social housing provider Midland Heart needed to implement a customer satisfaction programme encompassing 12 elements of service provision. Midland Heart and IFF Research introduced data cleansing, monitoring and management systems to reduce survey fatigue while improving sampling and the quality of feedback.  After one year and over 15,000 customer surveys, Midland Heart reports significant, measurable increases in satisfaction in five of their services, with high-quality verbatim feedback informing all their tenant-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. A major provider of care and support services to their customers, Midland Heart needs insightful, impartial and independent evidence to continually improve services.

Midland Heart

Challenges and objectives

Midland Heart needed a high-quality customer insight programme that would effectively monitor performance across 12 services, while achieving several objectives:

  • Review of their customer database to ensure data accuracy
  • Prevention of survey fatigue – a common challenge with such a large and wide-ranging customer satisfaction programme
  • Ensuring a GDPR compliant customer insight programme
  • Importing three years of historic customer feedback data from their incumbent supplier for continuity and trend analysis

To ensure effective internal uptake, any new system needed to make an immediate and lasting difference to their customer insight programme, adding robust, reliable evidence on which to base decisions.


In September 2018, Midland Heart commissioned 12 bespoke customer satisfaction surveys, covering 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.

Following a data cleansing exercise, three years of historic customer feedback data was imported into IFF’s My.Research portal which enables data collection, analysis and reporting. After which, a plan was implemented using the portal’s automation functionality to minimise survey fatigue and ensure GDPR compliant procedures.

To ensure the effective integration of the programme, training was provided covering how to use the portal for data analysis and reporting, including how each department can access the real-time feedback to respond to issues quickly.

Email alerts were also implemented to alert on customer dissatisfaction, enabling Midland Heart’s supervisory team to investigate issues and arrange remedial actions.

The one thing that stood out were the effective systems and processes IFF have in place. This assisted the project set up phase to run smoothly.”

Kevin Wedge, Performance Manager, Midland Heart


After 12 months of feedback, Midland Heart can demonstrate that they are listening to feedback and improving services to customers month-on-month, reporting:

Midland Heart Celebrating One Year of Success

The quotas achieved suggest survey fatigue was minimised.

My.Research’s reporting functionality helps Midland Heart to easily identify trends in success or failure, enabling them to implement changes required to improve customer satisfaction. With real-time reporting and email alerts, Midland Heart can continuously improve services to customers, while making cost savings. In addition, individual service leads are now taking responsibility for accessing feedback data, ultimately reducing the resourcing burden to their insight team.

“The email alerts are monitored daily by our supervisory team who investigate each survey to identify if we have failed in our processes and to check whether we need to take any further remedial actions with the customer. The alerts allow us to improve how responsive we are as a service by giving us the info from the customer as quick as possible.”  

Paul Barker, Head of Maintenance (In-House)

Customer satisfaction surveys undertaken by IFF on behalf of Midland Heart from
1 September 2018 to 30 September 2019 using CATI methodology.

Download this case study

To help other organisations launch their own large-scale research programme, Midland Heart is sharing this case study with the social housing sector – simply click to download.

Midland Heart Customer Success Case Study

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