Building trust with our customers

Trust is one of our core values here at Onward and for the duration of the month, we’ll be exploring what trust means to us and the importance of building trust with our customers.

One of the key ways we offer trust and transparency to our customers is by giving our customers a voice then taking action on the feedback.

Working with customers, we created three Regional Scrutiny Boards (RSB) for Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester/Cheshire which gives customers the opportunity to monitor, analyse and challenge our performance and decision making.

What do our Regional Scrutiny Boards do?

The role of the RSBs is to work collaboratively with staff, build in clear lines of accountability to customers, identify what we do well and highlight any areas requiring change.

Our RSBs meet every three months to consider how our services are performing and ways in which we can improve.

So what are the latest updates from the Regional Scrutiny Board?

For the first round of scrutiny projects, the RSBs focused on how we communicate about our repairs service as well as looking at aspects of our environmental services.

A number of recommendations were made from both staff and customers that have led to improvements within both areas.

Merseyside and Manchester/Cheshire RSBs focused on repairs communication and the following changes have now been made or are underway:

• Repairs information on our website is improved.
• Further training has been conducted with customer service staff for handling complaints and this will continue to be a focus for us.
• Plans to build in a photo uploading and repairs diagnostic tool to the ‘My Onward’ portal are underway and customers have been involved in testing the new features.

Lancashire RSB focused on environmental services and the following changes have now been made or are underway:

• An environmental service handbook has been developed in consultation with customers.
• Work is underway to map all areas that environmental services are provided to do, to ensure services charges are calculated accurately.
• Performance indicators for the service are being developed and will be reported to the RSBs when available.
• A form has been developed to allow tenants to monitor the services they receive, this process will be piloted over the next few months with volunteers from each of the regions and will provide us with valuable insight.
• Customer service staff have access to more information to answer customer queries.

The RSBs will continue to monitor progress against the action plans and identify further areas of improvement.

Transparency is a fundamental part of us building trust with our customers and we hope we can provide this by providing regular updates from the organisation and our RSBs.

Find out how you can get involved with our Regional Scrutiny Board below.