Resident satisfaction: why we’re pushing for perfect

Older female resident smiles as Prima specialist completes his upgrade.As her team aims for 100% resident satisfaction, General Manager Anna-Maria Dreksler explains how small changes can make a big difference to strengthening relationships.

‘Thank you for doing such a good job’; ‘very professional’; ‘phoned in the morning; it was fixed by afternoon’.

Just a handful of resident’s comments we have had in our latest KPI feedback, as we go about our business of  providing solutions for social housing residents’ windows and doors.

Everything about our company has been geared towards providing the lowest cost service with the highest service delivery, but for this we need to establish trust and confidence in our services. We do this through transparency, engagement and results.

I lead Prima”s dedicated customer services team. When a resident reports a problem with their windows or doors we are the first point of call. We handle phone calls and emails to raise orders on our system. All appointments must be booked within target times, and to suit residents” availability.

Building and maintain resident relationships is central to this and engagement is led by feedback generated for our Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). These assess three main targets: Target date, First Viable Fix and at the top of this pyramid, Resident Satisfaction.

For each contract we either work with the landlord”s system of residents” satisfaction cards, or post our own after each completed job.

These are collated each month along with a percentage score based upon factors such as time-keeping, ID shown, work quality and appointment kept. They are also tallied against each engineer who is provided with a monthly report against all their completed jobs for the that month.

Encouraging results; continued improvement

Prima has been publishing KPI results openly on its public website since February 2012 and, in the short period when stats have been displayed, the trend has been overwhelmingly positive. We are already up into high figures, with the July score for resident satisfaction being 98.93%. Our aim now is to reach 100%.

We use our KPI data in various ways: From the detailed break down we might identify potential training issues for our specialist engineers, or if the engineer was deemed unpresentable we could look at improving uniforms. Internally we can ask ‘did the telephone and appointments system perform?’.

We took the decision from the start to publish all our results, good and bad. If we get poor feedback we want to know where it went wrong and how we can correct this. Usually we report what’s being done to resolve any issues on our website. This gives residents confidence that, whether they determine our work good or bad, it is continually improving.

Resident-led innovation

Our main aim is to minimise the lifetime cost of maintaining social housing stocks windows and doors, while providing the highest possible KPI’s.

As a specialist contractor we have a unique knowledge of our field, but it can often be the smallest resident-led changes and regular engagement which make the biggest difference to overall satisfaction.

To give a recent example: as part of our Asset Stretch service for Shepway District Council we visit all properties on our books for an annual service on their windows and doors.

It’s such a quick visit, it could be difficult to see its value, but through this regular contact we can instantly see any components which are likely to fail before our next visit. We can carry out repairs immediately to reduce failures during the year, saving the council money by avoiding the need to replace units and enabling them to predict their repairs budget more accurately.

These annual services are a sensitive issue for some residents as we book 30 per day and typically spend 15 minutes in each property. We lubricate the hinges and check the components. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced it”s done while we are on site. As we provide an am/pm appointment, it can be frustrating for a resident to wait in for half a day, only to get what they see as 15 minutes value. There has recently been a very high rate of no access.

We have been invited to attend the Shepway residents” quarterly meetings and in our first meeting last week we took the opportunity to ask for feedback on this issue. Resident”s suggested our annual service appointment letter could be used to explain the reasons for our visit. We have taken these comments on board and will take the revised letter back to the residents to make sure it meets their requirements.

Other recent innovations include new systems to request and confirm appointments using SMS and social media, to compliment more traditional methods like phone and email. We all like to be able to choose how we contact people — why shouldn’t residents? At the moment it may only be 10% of residents using Facebook and text to book appointments, but the point is we are offering choice and tailoring services to different needs.

Ultimately, the best thing we can do for resident satisfaction is to provide a high quality service that is sensitive to their needs, whilst maintaining channels for engagement.

This is the first in a new blog series on Prima Service”s KPI”s. To view our publicly published KPI data visit our website. To read more about the importance of choosing a specialist contractor to maintain windows and doors read our previous blogspot from Director Justin Halfpenny. Click here for more on our Asset Stretch repairs and maintenance service.