What You Can Expect From Us
Housing Customer Care Standards
Over and above this, we are committed to providing a higher level of customer service through our Housing Customer Care Standards.
When you visit us in person:
- We will introduce ourselves to you.
- Waiting areas are clean, comfortable and welcoming.
- Reasonable adjustments will be made for those with a disability.
- If you are kept waiting for any length of time, we will regularly update you on progress in dealing with your matter.
- Lime Tree House is open for business Monday to Friday, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.
- The service is closed for staff training every last Tuesday of the month between 3.30 and 5.00 pm.
When you telephone the office
- Your call will be answered by a member of staff within 30 seconds.
- We will return your call if we say we will.
Comments and complaints
- Genuine feedback is treated seriously and impartially.
- Your problem will be dealt with there and then, where possible.
- We will make you aware of the Council's Complaints Policy when the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction.
Reality check of corporate Customer Charter standards in Housing
A reality check against the Customer Charter shows that Housing is meetings its standard for the quality of service provided to its customers. In particular, customers advised that their visit to us achieved what they wanted it to and all were satisfied with the service they received.
Reality check of corporate complaints process in Housing
We recently carried out a telephone survey with a sample of our customers who had made a formal complaint during the year 2010/11. This feedback informed us of our good practice in dealing with complaints:
- Our Housing customers understand the complaints leaflet
- Customers feel that Housing staff understand why customers made the complaints they did
- Housing staff are polite and friendly to customers making a complaint
- We advise customers who have complained when they will receive a response to their complaint, especially when it is outwith timescale.
- Our responses to complaints are easy for the customer to understand.
The reality check also informed us where we need to improve our performance:
- We need to increase our customers' awareness of the complaints process
- We must ensure we send our customers a complaints leaflet with all complaints acknowledgement letters
- We must try to ensure that the outcomes of our customers complaints better meet their expectations
- We must advise our customers what improvements have been made since their complaint was made.
We are committed to building upon our good practice improving our performance in dealing effectively with customer complaints.
We have learned from best practice
Early in 2010, we visited a top performing local authority to learn how they had helped tenants in rent arrears and significantly reduced levels of debt. We learned that they worked in partnership with other housing providers to share best practice. As a result, they developed a self-assessment framework for others to use to improve their services to customers and their performance results. We have used this self-assessment framework to review our approach.
Our aim is to make it easy for you to pay your rent and to get help as soon as you have a problem with paying your rent. Some of the things that we have done to improve our service to you are:
- We carry out a visit to your home as soon as we know that you have a problem with paying your rent.
- We have increased the number of visits we make to your home during the period that you have problems with paying your rent.
- We have improved our links with others who can help you if you are having problems with paying their rent.
- We are reviewing the information that we provide to all tenants about paying rent.
We understand there are many reasons why people fall behind with their rent but there are also lots of ways we can help you. We're here to help and the earlier you let us know there's a problem the better it is for you and for us. We will continue to work hard to introduce best practice we have learned from others to improve our services to you.
Help or advice about paying your rent
If you need help or advice about paying your rent please telephone the Income Team on 0845 055 7070 (option 3) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performance Management System
The Housing Service has introduced a corporate-wide performance management system. This system will record all of Housing's performance data, our risk register and help us manage and report on business plan progress. This performance management system will make all this information available from one single location.