Let’s have a conversation…

We want to put our customers’ voice at the heart of everything we do, which is why we recently asked a group for their opinions – our Customer Engagement Manager Jo has the round-up.customer engagement 2

In December we caught up with over 30 of our customers at the DW Stadium in Wigan.

We wanted to bring together members of our Regional Scrutiny Boards, Tenants, Leaseholders, Onward colleagues and members of the Board to find out how we can better listen to our customers.

We were also looking at creating customer service standards for Onward and shaping our new engagement priorities for 2020.

customer conversation 3Our Chief Executive Bronwen set the scene for the day by sharing what our corporate objectives and ambitions are for the next 5 years, followed by a Q&A session.

Bronwen, who is a Board Member of the National Housing Federation, then gave customers an update on their ‘Together with Tenants’ programme.

The programme includes a 4-point plan which focuses on:

  • 1. Accountability and scrutiny for Housing Association Boards
  • 2. A new Together with Tenants Charter
  • 3. Tenant oversight and reporting of progress against the Charter
  • 4. Giving tenants a stronger voice with the housing regulator

As an ‘early adopter’ we’re very keen to work with our tenants to make sure all these things happen.

We’ve developed a range of ways and opportunities for customers to get involved and influence our services. We also feel that we’re well on the way to embedding the Together with Tenants principles in the work we already do.

For example we have:

  • Made sure a healthy scrutiny framework is in place for tenants to hold us accountable
  • Reviewed and reinvigorated customer engagement to ensure it’s accessible, collaborative and fit for purpose
  • Created opportunities for the Onward Board and Regional Scrutiny Boards to work together

Workshops at the event gave us an opportunity to explore a couple of key themes in more detail.customer conversation 4

The results from our recent STAR survey told us that only 53% of our customers feel we’re listening to them. We asked them why they felt this way and got lots of feedback on how we can improve.

Delivering excellent customer services at all times is a top priority for us, and it’s so important that customers know the standards of service they can expect to receive.

During the afternoon we shared with customers our draft Customer Charter, asking their thoughts and getting feedback which we’ll use to create our final version. We’ll keep working closely with customers over the next few months to make sure it reflects their feedback.

customer conversation 5The day wasn’t all work though. Our Environmental Services Team gave a fun seasonal craft workshop too. Customers got into the festive spirit creating Christmas wreaths and decorations.

“I not only learned some new things but was also reminded of things that I had forgotten,” said one customer afterwards.

“The level of hospitality surely indicated your organisations value of us as tenants. Splendid.”

Do you want to be part of shaping the Onward Charter and the future of our services? We’d love to see you at one of our future events – sign up via the website.

Dates are:

  • Woodcroft Close,  Preston, Lancashire 11th  Feb 10am – 2pm
  • Weavers Court,  Bolton, Greater Manchester 11th Feb 10am – 2pm
  • Porchfield Community Centre, Croxteth, Liverpool 12th Feb 10am – 2pm

Get in touch for more information

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