In September, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) announced the final outcomes of its consultation period on the introduction of Tenant Satisfaction Measures for registered providers – a new system for assessing how well social housing landlords in England are doing at providing good quality homes and services.
Published in November 2020, the Government’s Charter for Social Housing Residents white paper expected Tenant Satisfaction Measures to have two aims: to provide tenants with greater transparency about their landlord’s performance and to inform the regulator about how a registered provider is complying with the consumer standards under a proactive consumer regulation regime.
From April 2023, the RSH will require all housing associations, ALMOs and local authorities in England to collect and publish data for a total of 22 Tenant Satisfaction Measures based on transactional and, for the first time, perception-based feedback.
Many registered providers already carry out their own perception surveys and will be well placed to implement the new TSMs by April 2023. Voicescape provides customer engagement and tenant sustainability solutions for social landlords and local authorities, and we’ve seen a notable shift from one-off surveys to more frequent quarterly or monthly feedback surveys, which increased during pandemic and continued into the current cost of living crisis – helping organisations to better understand customer behaviour and target support where it’s needed most.
Jigsaw Homes Group is one of the largest housing groups in England with more than 35,000 homes across the North West and East Midlands. As an organisation it runs a robust programme of transactional satisfaction surveys for repairs and planned works, gas service, anti-social behaviour and contact centre experience.
In response to the Regulator’s consultation on the introduction of TSMs, Jigsaw Homes saw an opportunity to develop a trial in line with the expected requirements to glean insight into perception-based questions, customer engagement rates and the most appropriate survey method for its residents. One of the requirements of the new TSMs is that results can be collected by post, telephone, online or face-to-face – or a hybrid of these methods – though the methodology must be published by the organisation.
Using Voicescape’s automated Feedback technology, Jigsaw surveyed a randomised population and opted for using an online web survey link and an automated telephone survey. To alleviate concerns around customer survey fatigue, the survey was split into two parts.
Within just five days of the trial going live, Jigsaw had successfully contacted its tenant population and received a total of 5,000 responses – well in excess of their required sample size of 2,700 responses – determined by the size of the relevant tenant population for each registered provider.
89% of respondents completed the automated survey in full, while more than half (52%) of respondents completed the survey over the phone – reinforcing the power of the human voice to engage with tenants.
Next steps, learnings, and opportunities
Since completing its trial in August, Jigsaw has been working with Voicescape to further refine the technical requirements of its surveys, as well as considering addition perception-based questions that will deliver further insight into what is driving lower resident satisfaction in the areas that its trial survey identified such as repairs service delivery. In turn, this will help the ways in which the organisation can engage with residents sooner and enhance communication to deliver a positive resident experience.
One of the key outcomes of the trial is that it has provided Jigsaw with the opportunity to develop a core set of comparable measures for regular benchmarking ahead of April 2023, that will also be implemented into the development of the organisation’s corporate KPIs to deliver transparency on the ways in which the organisation is delivering against the consumer standards. Jigsaw is now able to continuously monitor resident engagement rates more closely and adjust the frequency of other transactional surveys as required to maintain the outstanding response rate achieved during the trial.
Commenting on the outcomes of the Regulator’s final Tenant Satisfaction Measures, Sarah Chilton, Head of the Chief Executive’s Department at Jigsaw Homes Group, said:
“The decision statement highlighted some minor changes to the TSMs that we expected to see. The only question likely to need more work is the new separate question about whether residents consider their home to be safe. This question was previously a combined question with maintenance, asking it separately could trigger a different response from the tenant and it is important that we follow up any responses about safety concerns appropriately.
“The benefit of our position from the trial is that we now have a working model in place with Voicescape Feedback, allowing us to repeatedly test and learn from our approach to understand how our customers interpret the new perception-based questions and where, as an organisation, we can take action to support customers during these incredibly difficult times and improve service delivery.”Sarah Chilton, Head of the Chief Executive’s Department at Jigsaw Homes Group
Bill Williams is chief revenue officer at Voicescape, a technology provider to registered social landlords and local authorities.