Last year, we had a challenging 12 months delivering repairs and maintenance to Southway’s residents. You can read more about why this happened here.
A lot of work has gone into trying to bring the service back up to the previous high standards. It’s taken time to see the improvements and there is still a lot do; however, the good work is starting to return results.
Across May and June, we reduced overdue repairs to the lowest they have been in over two years, which I’m really pleased about and committed to maintaining. We also introduced a new ‘Repairs Chase Team’ which helps us take a more customer-focussed, proactive approach to repairs, and staff and customers are telling us this is working.
Feedback & accountability
Despite the disruption, our team continues to deliver an excellent service; this is now more clear thanks to our new ‘Trip Advisor’-style satisfaction rating system. It asks customers to rate the service on a 1-5 scale (1 = terrible and 5 = excellent.)
It’s still a new system but since we started in June, we’ve scored an average of 4.6 for the service – if that were a holiday, I’d like to think you would consider booking it!
It’s not just this rating that tells us we’re improving; our customers also tell us.
These are just a few examples from the feedback we’ve recently received:
He is very good at his job and went out of his way to go the extra mile and get the job finally finished to an excellent condition.
The worker did a great job and was an absolute a gentleman, so respectful and considerate to my needs. Being severely disabled, I had to disrupt his working a few times and he never once complained or pulled a face. For all the above, I’m so grateful. The great work is appreciated very much too. He is a credit to Southway and I’d like to say a big thank you to him. My repairs are always done to a high standard.
I have always found Southway’s engineers and trades people very polite, they explain what they have done to rectify problems you have had, they always clear up after they finish.
Of course, we know we don’t get it right every time - but to better understand where we don’t, we contact customers who aren’t happy to find out why.
Please know that your feedback is very valuable to us, and continue to give it, including in response to my blog below.
Knowing who knows best
We also recognise that the people who often know best about day-to-day issues are our operatives themselves; so we’ve had more meetings to listen to their views, understand job difficulties and see what we can do to help them improve the service.
The meetings have shown we have a passionate workforce who want to deliver a first-class service and enjoy working for Southway.
One of our apprentice Heating Engineers said:
I started working as an apprentice with Southway Housing Trust after being self-employed as a plumber. I really missed working as part of a team and this position was also a really great way to further my qualifications. When I finish next year, I'll have an NVQ Level 3 in Gas Utilisation, but it's the on-the-job experience that is really invaluable. The work can be really varied and whilst it's often very challenging, it's so rewarding to help deliver services that really make a difference to people. Our tenants help so much by making sure my learning environment is positive, their patience and understanding doesn't go unnoticed. I'm lucky enough to work with some incredibly experienced people, and I'm working hard to make sure I'm as knowledgeable as I can be when I finish next year.
It has been great to be reminded of the individuals behind the services we run who truly and clearly care about their work, and put in a lot. By working with them, and our tenants, I’m confident that we can continue to improve and work towards a repairs satisfaction result of which we can be just as proud.
You can help us with this by commenting below if you have any suggestions or feedback. I do appreciate your thoughts and time.