With the public agenda currently being very much around making efficiencies and reducing unnecessary spend, many organisations are looking to reduce their spend on surveys such as customer satisfaction programmes; however in the meantime, increasing customer satisfaction remains to be a central focus of their corporate plans. PA Housing needed a reliable research organisation that could provide excellent value for money, help them better understand residents' satisfaction levels, and identify and monitor all factors that influence the performance of service areas across the business, so that they can deploy resources where they are most needed.
This is the 7th year M·E·L Research has been working with PA Housing to deliver their transactional and STAR surveys.
M·E·L Research has been working with PA Housing, not simply as a contractor, but as their extended business arm, to provide timely support and useful advice in terms of how the survey programme can be further improved. M·E·L Research tailors its service to suit PA Housing's business needs, from planning the interviewing schedule, reporting cycle to being very flexible in terms of tweaking questionnaires and providing ad hoc support to other research requests that are not part of the survey programme.
Instead of religiously applying tried and tested research and reporting approaches to PA Housing survey programme, M·E·L Research is constantly looking for ways of upgrading its service offering and providing outputs that can really help PA Housing improve their customer satisfaction. For example: along with a monthly tracker report presenting results for all areas, M·E·L Research helped introduce individual dashboard reports for a number of key service areas, such as responsive repairs. This allows PA Housing's senior managers to quickly identify and monitor all factors that influence the service performance.
Around 9000 surveys are completed with PA Housing residents every year. The surveys are carried out on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis using M·E·L Research’s in-house CATI team, and contacting residents via email to take part online. Quota for each survey is set in line with the guidance of the HouseMark, to ensure the final results are representative of the overall stock.
The current list of surveys that PA Housing has commissioned M·E·L Research to undertake are as follows:
1. STAR General Needs
2. STAR Sheltered
3. STAR Homeowners
4. Responsive repairs
5. Communal repairs
6. Gas repairs
7. Gas servicing
8. Income Service
9. Welfare Benefits Advisory Service (WBAS)
10. Grounds maintenance
12. New lettings (including new build properties)
Results of this survey programme are fed back to senior managers on a regular basis. The instant reporting of negative feedback we provide also enables managers and staff to act quickly when necessary, and provides staff with a rolling picture of customer satisfaction across all services. Service teams follow up on dissatisfied responses with customers to find out more about the source of their dissatisfaction. Customer satisfaction data supplied by M·E·L Research is a key component of PA Housing's Key Performance Indicators in quarterly performance and board reports. The data is also used to measure contractor performance on the responsive repairs, gas servicing, grounds maintenance and cleaning contracts.
Over the years this programme has enabled PA Housing to have a broad snapshot of its residents’ overall perception. The results of these surveys continue to make a significant contribution towards improvements in PA Housing customer satisfaction, and has influenced changes being introduced in their processes over the years.
The outputs include: