The Pioneer Group has launched a new complaints system to improve resident relations and ensure that any issues are resolved quickly.
While the Housing Ombudsman’s new code of conduct requires housing associations to acknowledge complaints within five days, The Pioneer Group is looking to go one step further and has trained its Customer 1st team to resolve potential complaints during first contact.
The Customer 1st team handles all incoming contact with tenants and as part of the new training, they have been empowered to recognise dissatisfaction and handle the situation, rather than it escalating to a formal complaint.
The new process aims to improve service delivery and reduce the number of full complaints, which need to be completed within ten working days.
David Bucknall, Insight & Engagement Manager at Castle Vale Community Housing, has been spearheading the new training for the Customer 1st team and Investigation Officers. He joined The Pioneer Group in 2020, after ten years at a customer experience company, and is passionate about improving customer satisfaction & engagement. He said:
We are learning every day and using feedback from customers to improve. Our Customer 1st team is critical to a successful complaints system. They are working hard to ensure that customers are listened to and are happy with our services. Any issues presented by tenants are logged, and feedback is given to relevant teams & contractors to ensure we are proactive and ultimately reduce the number of complaints overall.
The new system has shown to be working as since 1 January 2021, Customer 1st has handled 52% of complaints within 24 – 48 hours, and all complaints since the turn of the year have been resolved within ten days.