Sovini housing Customer Complaints Champions
Wednesday 5th of December 2018
We asked Sovini Housing Group to tell us more about their customer complaints panel.
Here, Katie Chandley, the Customer Complaints Coordinator tells us what's involved with the group and what a team approach between tenant and landlord can achieve.
What are the Customer Complaint Champions?
Customer Complaint Champions are a group of involved customers who have been trained to assist fellow customers who require a little help throughout the complaint process. This might include help with getting the complaint across, accompanying the customer to meetings, or just someone to have a chat with.
What are the benefits to both the organisation and tenants?
Customers feel they can open up to a fellow customer, which allows us to potentially understand the essence of the complaint more and the impacts it is having. This naturally leads to the Champions finding out what the desired resolution is for the customer which allows the complaint to be resolved quicker and also helps the Investigating Officer manage the customers’ expectations when it comes to a resolution. Having someone who is willing to listen gives the customer reassurance that their complaint is being taken seriously. Because our involved customers are well respected the feedback they provide helps to shape how the Investigating Officer handles the complaint and ultimately the outcome provided to the customer. As the Champions undertake complaint training they know what a customer should expect from the process of a formal complaint and they can therefore pass this knowledge on (e.g. an acknowledgement should be received within two working days and an outcome within 10 working days). This knowledge empowers customers to follow up with us if they haven’t received this service.
What have been the positive outcomes?
We are gaining a customer perspective into how complaints are impacting customers. A complaint which can seem fairly trivial to an investigating officer can have a massive impact on a customer. The Champions can ascertain how the customer is feeling and the impacts the complaint is having. One customer was on the verge of going to see their MP before speaking to our Complaint Champions. As a result of feedback from the Champions the Investigating Officer was able to step in and resolve the issue quicker. One of the biggest positive outcomes is that our Champions feel empowered to become involved in improving our service and being advocates for our business.
Some feedback from our Champions:
“The training and support I get to be a Champion has given me the confidence to make suggestions and challenge the staff.”
“The whole process is so invigorating, I do feel that my involvement leads towards change in OVH services.”
“I feel that it is important to be involved and to try and make a difference for the better”.