Working to improve our services
Providing services that make people’s lives easier is at the heart of our ambitions, as set out in our corporate plan ‘On your side: Working together’. We are working on building greater trust and a partnership approach with residents, with your views and priorities shaping our services and how they’re delivered.
The housing sector, alongside UK customer service more broadly, have seen a lot of challenges over the past few years and housing sector data shows a 7% reduction in satisfaction across the sector since 2018/19. We did see a drop in satisfaction earlier in 2022, but we are now back to where we were at 66%, which is in line with other London Housing Associations and with strong prospects for improvement.
We are doing lots of work to overcome challenges, including making sure we have people with the right skills and values joining, and staying, with us here at Origin. This includes supporting their progression and wellbeing, and that we listen better to residents and focus our efforts on the issues that concern you most.
For example, in response to feedback we’ve created a taskforce to improve estate security – to make sure your buildings are secure and to successfully tackle local issues like anti-social behaviour; we’ve developed local estate plans to address resident concerns. We've also re-started regular walkabouts on our estates alongside the people who live locally to ensure we are more closely connected with and visible to our residents. We have held regular ‘door-knocking’ and estate repairs days and held community events in London and Hertfordshire. We are confident that the changes we’ve been making will show through in more consistently good service in the coming year.
There are some positive signs with an 18% increase to 73% in satisfaction with the way we deal with communal maintenance and repairs by August this year and over 90% satisfaction with repairs carried out by our main repairs contractor Gilmartins.
“Origin’s services team are one of the best customer service teams I have ever dealt with. They work so hard to resolve my issues or try to reach the person that can help resolve them. I’ve never had a bad experience”
Engaging with our residents and listening to your feedback
Using over 6,400 pieces of feedback gathered throughout the year from our resident surveys, scrutiny panel, and other resident groups has helped shape our new repairs contract and how it'll be delivered to best serve our residents.
The new Repairs Service model we’re working to deliver is designed to be more flexible and reliable. This focus on listening and changing how we work has seen improvements in satisfaction, with 90% of our residents satisfied with their last repair and 92% of all repairs appointments being kept throughout the year, along with a 6% increase in satisfaction with repairs completed first time.
From your feedback, we know there is still more to do to improve how we manage complaints, so we’re recruiting extra resource in the team to make sure we can fix things more quickly when they’ve gone wrong.
We know that gaining deeper insight from our residents, understanding your views and feedback is key to continuing to shape and improve our services. We're grateful to our 500 'Involved Residents' who have taken the time to engage with us through events, surveys and meetings.
- 129 residents engaged with us through our involvement activities, including Scrutiny Group, our Spotlight panel, Neighbourhood Explorers, surveys and focus groups.
- 87 residents completed our survey to shape the re-procurement of our repair service and ensure that we capture what matters most to residents.
- 77 residents attended our Repairs Service Roadshow online and in person where they were informed about the upcoming procurement and given opportunity to question, and provide feedback, to our Executive Team.
- Our Spotlight and Scrutiny group have drafted a new parking policy that works for residents.
- We delivered face to face engagement events at our community spaces with positive feedback from residents.
There are lots of ways for you to get involved, so please visit our Resident Involvement page
to find out more, we'd love to hear from you!
Listening to your feedback
During 2021/ 2022 we received: 1,035 complaints. Of these, the most common reason for complaint
delay to repair;
the second most common reason for complaint was
quality of service delivery and the third most common reason for complaint
was lack of communication/failure to keep informed or consult with residents.
Complaints upheld –
||Number of complaints
It took an average 73.41 days to resolve a complaint . We understand that this is too long, so we developed an improvement plan to respond faster which included better management oversight, training and clear objectives for staff and a clearer escalation process.
Improving how we manage your complaint
We want to deliver services in a way which means you don’t have the need to complain. However, we recognise that sometimes things go wrong and it’s a valuable opportunity for us to listen, learn and put things right. This includes, how we manage your complaint.
Over the next 12 months, we’re focusing on improving how we manage your complaint so that you get a quicker resolution, a more thorough response and have confidence in us learning from your experience and putting steps in place so it doesn’t happen again in the future.
To do this, we are:
- Creating a centralised complaints team with highly skilled Officers who will act as a single point of contact until your complaint is resolved.
- Reviewing complaints at a quarterly workshop where we bring together senior managers so we can change the services and processes that caused the need to complain.
- Committing to responding to your complaint within 10 working days (or longer, where agreed) at stage 1 and within 20 working days at stage 2.
You can find more information on our Housing Ombudsman page along with our Self Assessment which is submitted each year to the Housing Ombudsman here.
Case study: Aids and Adaptations
We’ve been busy throughout the year ensuring our homes fit our residents’ needs. We install things like hand rails, entry ramps and wet rooms in our residents homes to ensure their homes fit their needs and make life easier for people as they get older or develop mobility issues.
Improving digital services
We’ve now integrated social media, our website forms and chat, so our Customer Resolution Team have all of the information from different channels available on one system. This is to make sure we have accurate records and can answer any queries or questions from our residents more efficiently and accurately. This resulted in a 5% increase in satisfaction for enquiries resolved at the first point of contact, to 55% throughout 2022/23 so far.
We’ve also been working to continually upgrade our online chatbot, Basil Bot, which makes contacting us quicker and easier 24/7. This means residents can now book appointments with our colleagues, ask questions and quickly get the information they need at whatever time is most convenient for them. As a result of the continued development Basil Bot won the 'Housing Innovation Digital Awards - Best Online Service award'.