Improving our repairs service

In the last edition of Connections, we acknowledged that our repairs service has not been good enough. Some residents have had issues and repair complaints unresolved for too long, and since June we have been taking urgent action to make improvements. This has involved getting in more contractors that residents trust to do a good job, putting a dedicated team in place to deal with complicated cases and also going out more to visit residents in their homes to see issues first hand. While there is much more to do, feedback is telling us we’re making steps in the right direction.

More than 75 per cent of the outstanding repairs complaints that we had in June have now been resolved and closed. Teams are working through the rest to ensure we have robust plans in place to fix the issues to our residents’ satisfaction.

79 cases were prioritised at the start of the project as ‘high risk’ due to certain factors including the vulnerability of the residents. Of these, 59 cases have been successfully closed while the remaining cases all have action plans in place and are being closely monitored.

To help us to measure whether our repairs service is working well we use customer satisfaction surveys through a company called ‘Bright’. When repairs are completed we ask Bright to carry out a satisfaction survey for us. We ask 4 questions are part of this and use the scores to tell us how we are doing, and the comments to help us identify what is working/not working and improve the service.

We are already receiving positive feedback from happy residents. One resident said: “I am writing to thank you and the contractors for the professional work in my kitchen. I have been complaining about these problems since February. Since you called me and arranged the major repairs, all of my repairs were done in three days with outstanding effort. All officers were respectful, punctual and made an excellent effort in their work. Also, the repairmen tidied up and cleaned after finishing the work.”

Another resident called to say: “The surveyors you sent around were the best I’ve ever had. They were friendly and thorough and my faith in the service has been restored. People are always quick to complain, so I wanted to make sure my compliments were passed on.”

While this indicates we’ve made a good start, we clearly have more work to do and we will continue to keep you updated with our progress.

One of the housing officers working on this project, Leann Moran told us about her experience:

“The project team is made up of different parts of the business. As a housing officer I meet with our residents, taking the conversations beyond a phone call or email. 

“By meeting residents in their homes, I am able to see the repair, discuss the experience of residents and advise on next steps. With a visual understanding of the repair and a better understanding of the household, I am able to share this with the project team to create a tailored plan to complete the repair alongside the needs of the household.

“All situations are different, so I enjoy being able to work with residents to ensure they have a full understanding of what is needed and what they should expect. As their single point of contact, residents can get in touch with me if they have any questions or just need an update.

“I’ve met with a few residents now, and the feedback has been good. Although we still have a lot to do, this has been really encouraging. The feedback from our residents has been really important and will continue to be as we keep developing and reviewing our repairs, to offer an all-round effective and meaningful service.”

In the meantime, if you receive a satisfaction survey call following repair please do take two minutes to let us know your scores and comments so that we can use this information to make changes to improve the service.

* This article was edited on 07/10/19 to provide the most up-to-date figures.