Listening to customers

Thrive supports and values customer involvement. Our Customer Experience Panel (CEP), now in its third year, enables direct customer access to our Board.

The CEP ensures:

  • a fair deal for customers by monitoring feedback and ensuring their voice is heard
  • a positive customer experience in line with independent customer engagement and consumer standards
  • value for money through good quality services
  • development of an annual Resident Involvement Statement.

"The purpose of the CEP is to scrutinise the way Thrive works and to ensure the experiences of Thrive’s customers are taken into account when business decisions are made that affect us. We both challenge and work with Thrive to make sure it keeps a strong focus on what’s important to customers.

We met regularly during 2017/18 and followed our agreed work plan which particularly focused on developing Thrive’s customer involvement standards and work to make sure Thrive gets good customer experience feedback from its independent customer surveys.The reason we chose to focus on this was to have confidence in our landlord’s commitment and to be certain Thrive hears and listens to the customer voice and our experiences.

We led on a project to completely overhaul customer surveys and the way Thrive measures the reality of the customer experience. Whilst this is still a work in progress, we are confident that Thrive is on the right track and, with a little tweaking, the new surveys and measures will accurately capture the reality of the customer experience."

Andy Sage, Chair, Customer Experience Panel

Based on feedback, the CEP found that these areas are the most important to customers:

Landlord services Customer service
  • Quality of home
  • Repairs
  • Value for money
  • Dealing with ASB
  • Maintaining communal areas
  • Polite and respectful staff
  • Fairness
  • Keeping to word
  • Easy to contact

Alongside this project we contributed to a quality assurance review of complaints and this resulted in a detailed action plan to improve the way Thrive deals with complaints, including low-level niggles that impact on the customer experience. Such niggles are frustrating and annoying but often do not lead to a formal complaint. CEP is working hard to ensure all niggles are logged and appropriate early action taken to prevent the service failing being repeated.

We’re having more input into the customer annual report and have confidence community grants achieve value for money and support partners, activities or events that directly benefit Thrive’s customers.

We review and challenge Thrive’s performance data to improve the customer experience. We interrogate the evidence using the feedback from other customers and our own judgement. Your feedback really matters to us, so keep it coming.

Next steps for us involve achieving a higher profile with customers and more diverse engagement and feedback. Thrive’s new Involvement Statement identified and agreed additional opportunities for customers to have a bigger say, including growing the pool of customer volunteers, developing a digital engagement offer using social media and new technologies and introducing Customer Question Time Events.

To find out more, email getinvolved@thrivehomes.org.uk

“A good example of how customer feedback makes a difference is that the repairs surveys showed that not everyone got called ahead to confirm appointments. This is much improved now and is being monitored. Across the period studied, only 40 complaints were received across 15,000 repair jobs.”

Jo Barrett, Operations Director, Thrive Homes