Celebrating our customer scrutineers in National Scrutiny Week
Today sees the launch of National Scrutiny Week and we are celebrating the essential role our customers play in our ongoing drive to be a first-class landlord.
Hundreds of our customers have volunteered to be Midland Heart’s “eyes and ears” and work with our Customer Scrutiny Team to help shape our services for the benefit of all customers.
Scrutiny activities range from completing surveys about our services to talking to other customers to find out their views, and from undertaking regular inspections of the communal areas where they live, to taking a long, hard look at topics as diverse as our catering offer, how to reduce the volume of repair recalls, and improving diversity in retirement living.
Jess Woodley, Customer Scrutiny Team Leader, said: “We want to get feedback from as many customers as possible but we know not everyone has the time or inclination to attend meetings. So, we have developed a scrutiny offer that gives people the chance to get involved and to choose how and how much they want to do that.
“Our task and finish groups, for instance, include some customers who are university students who like to dip in and out of activities depending on their studies and their holidays. They recently helped us look at the diversity of our retirement living offer by talking to customers living in those schemes. It’s a really powerful way of gathering feedback because customers usually relate to other customers and feel they can be very honest and open.”
Customers can also get involved by joining our online or postal survey group; so far this year we have had almost 800 responses to surveys looking at complaints, independent living, catering and our warden call service.
Jess explained that even if a customer was unable to get to a meeting or didn’t have internet access, their voice could still be heard. Last year, the Customer Scrutiny Team and involved customers gathered customers’ views via phone calls and knocking over 2,660 front doors of homes across the Midlands.
“Since April we have had survey feedback on a range of topics including our warden call service,” added Jess. “A total of 419 customers responded to that survey and overall the majority told us the system is cost effective, useful, easy to use and they value the peace of mind it brings. They also said they wanted Midland Heart to arrange this service rather than sort it themselves, and they didn’t want it to include wellbeing calls.”
Scrutiny is much more than surveys and gathering feedback, however. Our scrutiny structure includes a very active customer scrutiny panel made up of involved customers who take an in-depth look at up to four topics a year such as our grounds maintenance service and make recommendations to managers for changes.
Once approved, the recommendations pass to our customer oversight group, also made up of involved customers, to monitor actions taken for at least six months.
The customer oversight group is currently monitoring almost 100 different actions that will be “signed off” only once the group is satisfied they are working effectively and benefitting our customers.
You can download a case study on our Place Champs here