Reach out to your residents – and reap the benefits

Whether you want to track overall satisfaction, or how well your repair team are doing, there are many benefits to organising telephone surveys – which makes them fantastically cost-effective.

Not only does it streamline getting the sample you need, but done properly, it can improve customer service and even support customer recovery. You’re effectively getting three services for the price of one and with the added benefit of being carried out by an independent, third-party expert.

For all these reasons, we recommend telephone surveys should be an important part of your survey strategy.

Getting the right information with a telephone survey

One major advantage of a telephone survey is that it makes it much more straightforward to get the quota you need to ensure that you’re getting a representative sample. Once you’ve got enough over-65s, for instance, you just stop calling them and concentrate on other groups.

Another is that with trained interviewers, you’ll get very good qualitative data as well as quantitative. Our staff can pick up on any negative answers or problems and ask further questions, asking what might have improved the situation or what might have made them give a higher rating. We will provide verbatim comments – the voice of the tenant – back to you, so you can read or hear the issues as described by your customers.

Make telephone surveys part of your customer service

Even better is if you present the calls as customer service rather than a survey. Our interviewers can explain that they are making a courtesy call on your behalf, to ensure they are happy with your service.

Again, they can follow up with the resident if it becomes apparent that they are unhappy about an aspect of your service.

Recover customers with a telephone survey (and why it’s better to use our trained staff for this)

If our staff encounter a resident who is seriously unhappy, they will ask if the resident would like the landlord to call them.

This gives the landlord the opportunity to put things right, as well as the opportunity to transform an unhappy resident into a satisfied one.

We believe it’s important to use fully-trained interviewers, who can ask questions in the right way, know how to follow on from residents’ comments – and may be able to intercede more successfully with people with a history of complaints or challenging behaviour.

We will also set up flagging systems which will make it clear whether a resident should be called back as a matter of urgency, or whether it can be done during more routine follow-ups.

Building up reliable results over time

Many clients choose to monitor satisfaction with repairs through telephone surveying, perhaps through a fixed number each month which can build over a quarter or a year or so to give a rolling overview of the service. This helps to present the results in a more reliable way as the margin of error is greatly reduced and trend lines give the direction of travel for the service. Again, this can be tailored so that you get a good cross-section of your different contractors, monitor the impact of any changes to the service, and so on.

How can Acuity help with telephone surveys?

We offer an independent, expert assessment of your service, which is the most valuable information you can have.

We’re very experienced at accommodating the different needs of small housing associations and using our many years of experience and accumulated data to help you get – and use- the information you need. If you’d like to find out more about how we can meet your needs, please do contact us to discuss the possibilities.

About Denise Raine

Denise Raine is a Director of Acuity Ltd, and has specialised in tenant satisfaction and feedback research for more than 20 years.
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