Service is key for housing provider
TEIGN Housing is continuing to provide better customer service since achieving Investors in People Gold status, the charity has claimed.
The organisation, registered as a social landlord, manages more than 3,600 homes across South Devon, from Dartmoor National Park to the urban centres of Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Dawlish. It undertook the Investors in People assessment in October 2011.
Investors in People is a national quality standard awarded to well-run organisations which demonstrate good management practice with a high emphasis on best practice people management and development.
Prior to attaining the gold standard, just 57 per cent of Teign Housing customers said they were satisfied with the complaints process.
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Through utilising Investors in People processes, the company developed and implemented an annual service improvement programme called Thrive, from which the Let's Sort It Out complaints procedure was established. Customer satisfaction with the new process now stands at 84 per cent, up 27 per cent in just one year.
Furthermore, 92.5 per cent of complaints are now resolved at the first attempt, up from 71 per cent in 2011/12.
Karen Johnson, head of customer and corporate services at Teign Housing, said: "An integral part of our Investors in People standard has been the development of Thrive, which has empowered our staff to provide the best possible service to our tenants.
"To this end we, together with our tenants, completed a full review of our complaints process and looked into how communication could be improved for our customers.
"As a result of the first review the new Let's Sort It Out phase of the official complaints procedure was set up to give staff more ownership over issues raised by customers.
"It also gives them the opportunity to sort the problem out before it gets processed as an official complaint."
During their assessment in October 2011, Teign Housing put together a series of in-house Investors in People workshops, from which an interactive poster that provided a clear format for staff to see exactly what they achieved each year was compiled.
In January 2012, Teign Housing was awarded the Investors in People Champion status, given to role model organisations that promote the Investors in People values through a series of best practice sharing events.
John Telfer, managing director of Inspiring Business Performance (IBP), which delivers Investors in People across London and the South, said: "I would like to congratulate Teign Housing on their commitment to continuous improvement.
"Through adopting Investors in People processes they have seen a marked rise in the levels of customer satisfaction, a trend that I have no doubt will continue in the coming years.
"I was delighted to see that Teign Housing had developed an interactive Investors in People poster.
"We feel this resource is really useful and is now available on our website."