New customer group aims to improve housing association services

Friday 3rd of March 2023

Plus Dane Housing has set up a new panel so that customers can have more of a say in holding the organisation to account.

The Customer Assurance Panel – or CAP – had its first meeting earlier this year. The new group replaces Plus Dane’s previous scrutiny panel and is made up of a team of ten customers from a range of backgrounds, supported by a Board member. 
The Panel works with Plus Dane to bring a customer perspective to its work and has a clear link through to the Board to make sure it brings the customer experience into its decision making. 
The CAP will meet four times a year and will consider topical matters at each meeting. So far this has included issues such as the cost-of-living crisis and its effect on housing association customers, the rent cap, damp and mould, and customer satisfaction. Its next meeting will have a focus on communications and performance.
Kate Jungnitz, director of customer service at Plus Dane, said: The CAP will hold Plus Dane to account by looking at how we are performing, how satisfied customers are, and providing suggestions for improvement. By carrying out in-depth service reviews, it will be able to see what is working well and what needs improving. It will be able to feed recommendations directly to our Board, to help it make informed decisions based on the needs and priorities of customers.”
Mark Sumner, who is chair of the panel and a Plus Dane customer, said: “It’s all about us working together so we can really investigate and challenge how Plus Dane is performing. We are here to give assurance to Board about Plus Dane’s services and satisfaction, and what better way to do that than for us as customers to understand, investigate and analyse how things are working.”
Updates from the panel and its findings will be made available on the Plus Dane website. 
The announcement follows the recent launch of the Plus Dane Customer Portal and the upgrade in telecommunications with the investment in the 8x8 system. Both of which will improve the engagement experience for customers and reaffirms Plus Dane’s commitment to delivering the best service to customers.