In 2017, customers, staff and board members worked collaboratively to redesign our Resident Engagement Strategy. You may remember being involved.
We have been reflecting on what parts of the strategy we have successfully delivered and what we have yet to achieve, and invited customers to give their views. You can see the full results from the survey here. The results of this survey will inform our new Resident Engagement Strategy.
It may be some time before you notice any significant changes, but in the meantime here's what we are currently working on:
You said: Respondents feel disappointed by the lack of opportunities to provide feedback on the service areas that matter most to them and lack of influence over the way services are delivered locally.
We did: We’re moving away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach. We’ll be consulting with customers on our larger estates from April 2021, on issues like grounds maintenance and communal cleaning to make sure that we’re delivering the services that customers actually want and expect. We’ve already changed contractors and specifications on some leasehold schemes.
You said: Respondents feel disappointed by the lack of communication generally.
We did: Managing customer data to deliver the right message to the right customers at the right time is challenging, especially when things change at short notice. We have published guidance to help Customer Partners/Homeownership Specialists communicate messages through a range of channels. We have also given Customer Partners/Homeownership Specialists access to tools like SurveyMonkey to help them carry out polls and questionnaires.
You said: Respondents agreed that operational staff could benefit from training on customer consultation practices.
We did: We are sorry to say that we have not been able to give customer consultation the attention that it deserves this year, due to the challenging circumstances – but we are planning to deliver training for Customer Partners and other staff on customer consultation practices in time for next year. Customer engagement will also be embedded into the new staff induction programme.
You said: Respondents would expect to be consulted (or at the very least informed) about changes which affect their estates through a range of channels. They expect consultation processes to be fair, reasonable and accessible.
We did: We’ll be holding meetings with customers to discuss their preferences and to explain why service charges are going up or down. We’ll be making use of videoconferencing platforms like Zoom to encourage participation from customers where face-to-face meetings are not possible. We’ve already had some success with this on leasehold schemes.
You said: Respondents who take part in surveys would expect to be kept informed about results, decisions made on the basis of feedback and progress on any actions taken.
We did: We’ll be contacting survey participants periodically to keep them informed about the progress of their recommendations. We’ll make you aware of any actions that we have been unable to progress and the reasons for this.
You said: Respondents would like feedback to their comments, suggestions and complaints in real-time.
We did: From April 2021, you’ll be able to take part in discussions and consultations via our new online forum. There will be a member of staff available at Accent to facilitate the discussions and you’ll be able to interact with customers across the country.
You said: There appears to be an appetite for local news and regular updates aimed at keeping customers informed about what is happening in their areas.
We did: You may remember receiving a ‘personal statement’ back in April detailing the activity Accent has carried out in your area. We’ll be including specific case studies on particular neighbourhoods in next year’s personal statement. We will also be able to issue tailored digital newsletters using our new online forum.
Join the Accent 500
An informal online community of involved residents, who take part in regular surveys and consultations.