We contacted residents who had expressed an interest in transferring to another property or swapping homes with another resident, to find out if we were offering the best possible advice to residents thinking about moving home. The survey revealed that:
You said: When customers contacted Accent to inform us that they were thinking about moving home, only in 7% of cases were we asking if there was anything more we could do to help them to stay in their current homes. In only 5% of cases did Accent suggest alternative properties within our own stock, that might be better suited to their needs.
We did: Our new Customer Service Offer will aim to address how we can meet the diverse and changing needs of our residents. This means that we will endeavour to find alternative, suitable accommodation for current tenants as their families grow, or if their medical and health needs change as they get older. We will also aim to help residents who aspire to own their own home, by providing more opportunities for homeownership within our development programme.
You said: 70% of customers who were thinking about moving home would prefer to stay with Accent.
We did: Our Customer Retention Strategy will consider how we can retain and reward residents who adhere to the conditions of their tenancy, and look after their properties well. This could include prioritising them for transfers and mutual exchanges if properties which better suit their needs become available.
You said: When customers contact Accent to inform us they are thinking about moving, in some cases our staff are not explaining the mutual exchange process clearly. As a result, 55% of customers were unsure about the next steps to take.
We did: We will appoint three Quality Coaches in our Contact Centre to focus on developing the skills and knowledge of our Customer Service Advisors, so they are better equipped to give advice on transfers and mutual exchanges.
You said: More than 50% of residents had looked at the Accent website to view available properties, before contacting us to inform us that they are thinking about moving.
We did: As part of the ‘Let’s Move’ project, the way we advertise properties online will be improved, so that prospective residents (including current residents thinking about moving home) can find a property which matches their needs more easily. It will also be much easier to apply for an Accent property, with new online forms replacing the long paper forms we currently send out in the post. Prospective residents will also be able to upload documents such as proof of identity, to prove that they are eligible to rent a property from us, which will accelerate the lettings process.