Piers Alington, CEO of Feedback Ferret, discusses the importance of resident feedback and how social landlords can effectively manage and analyse the data
We are now in a phase of greater political, regulatory and public agreement that resident and community engagement is the right thing to do. The Hackitt report, Social Housing White Paper and the Building Safety Bill are all crucial to the future of social housing and its customers.
The intent is clear. To ensure the voice of residents is heard. To focus on enforcing stronger measures to ensure compliance with regulations and to protect the health and safety of tenants.
We have already seen the appointment of a number of key industry figures in regulatory departments to bolster these efforts, and the recent adverse news coverage of the living conditions of a few tenants, has caused concern in both the housing sector and the wider community.
It is imperative now that housing associations act swiftly to ensure they can take remedial action on serious concerns and head off issues that may escalate to complaints and Ombudsman involvement.
The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) is warning providers to “take action” in advance of the new consumer regulation regime it will oversee as the sector is “under greater scrutiny that ever”.
Making sense of it all
Listening to the voice of customers, with annual surveys, face-to-face forums and on and off line media channels is, the relatively easy part.
The difficulties begin when large volumes of comments are received. Trying to manually analyse and decipher myriad comments with a degree of accuracy; or when the feedback contains more than one concern raised in the same comment; and there are mis-spellings or maybe even some sarcasm is thrown in; this is a time consuming challenge that can easily lead to missing urgent or high-risk issues.
Harnessing the power of feedback
The risk of missing vital issues is one of the reasons why housing associations are now starting to consider text analytics.
Managing large volumes of comments and turning them into insightful data is the essence of a text analytics solution. All the comments are sorted into pre-coded housing specific topics and themes.
This then produces data led reports that show scores and sentiments around each topic and these can be shared amongst the organisation’s key stakeholders.
“Text analytics is a vital tool in listening deeply and providing that essential reporting that shows an in-depth understanding of what matters to residents”
Given time, the reports can build a picture of operational efficiencies and opportunities for cost saving that can shape long term decision making.
The good news is that starting on a journey of using text analytics to learn what your residents are really saying is not difficult.
At Feedback Ferret, we provide a proof of concept using your data we simply upload your free form comments from an existing or legacy survey data.
Put it though our text analytics platform which analyses and accurately reports on all comments and feedback against a range of pre-coded topics and themes all aligned to the housing sector and the HHSRS Category 1 and 2 risks.
This gives you the peace of mind that we can deliver a service that works hand in hand with your desire to foster the trust of your customers and provide the best service to help make people’s lives better.
Finally, housing associations cannot afford to overlook their customer feedback. Text analytics is a vital tool in listening deeply and providing that essential reporting that shows an in-depth understanding of what matters to residents.
Then by acting on their concerns quickly and efficiently landlords can ultimately, drive significant improvements in satisfaction scores as well as opportunities for operational changes that improve services and save money.
Image: Piers Alington, CEO, Feedback Ferret
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