Luton Community Housing

As STAR, the new Satisfaction, Tracking and Review module within Housing Jigsaw, launches, we talk to one of the team behind its creation.

Insight

John Carthew

Director of Product

Housing Partners

Real Customer Satisfaction

Customer service is relevant to any person, department or organisation – it’s everyone’s responsibility. The minute you pick up a phone, answer an email or engage with someone – you should be aiming to provide a thoughtful, efficient, useful and relevant service delivered with an empathetic approach.

We are all aware of ‘likes’ from the retail, banking and online consumer, and sales-based businesses, which are perhaps the more well-known choices for ratings. A simple Trustpilot review however, does not quite meet the needs of the specialist customer support and service provided by housing and homelessness prevention services; those who are highly attuned to the real needs of customers, often in distress situations.

This approach and sector need, combined with the shared feedback of NPSS practitioners and dozens of frontline local authority housing teams, has driven the creation of STAR – the Satisfaction, Tracking and Review tool, which is the latest piece of the acclaimed Housing Jigsaw service from Housing Partners and NPSS.

STAR has been designed specifically to measure satisfaction with service around homelessness prevention and works exclusively with Housing Jigsaw. It follows the NPSS Flowchart that gives a best practice guide to handling all elements of the new HRA process from triage to remedy.

RELEVANT

STAR has focused satisfaction questions embedded at key points of the process in order to give a consistent and connected measure of feedback points, making it highly relevant to homelessness prevention teams.

This is because creation of STAR came through the input of local authority housing teams and NPSS practitioners, rather than from Housing Partners alone. Housing Partners in fact, followed their own principles of being customer-focused and driven through the creation of STAR, as John Carthew, Director of Product at Housing Partners explains:

“With our PRAH homelessness product, we run a series of training sessions and it’s there that we invite attendees to suggest and discuss what they would like to see next as part of the product development. The consistent request was a customer satisfaction tool.”

Taking this feedback on board, the development team at Housing Partners and the NPSS practitioner team worked together to develop a prototype in just eight weeks, which they took to the NPSS Conference back in July to have road-tested. It was here that the same frontline local authority teams and Housing Jigsaw users got to try and critique what worked and what didn’t. Taking in all the real user feedback, the product then went into full development.

STAR connects directly and naturally with Housing Jigsaw and comes with a series of pre-configured questions that can test key responses in a consistent manner. “They have been put there with the express intention of establishing how effectively the service is for the user and are specific and relevant to that part of the service. For example, you are asked how the reception service was when you arrived”, John tells us.

TEST

We actually tested John himself by asking directly what customer satisfaction meant to him and also his views on why STAR is important for the sector. Here’s what he told us:

“Customer satisfaction is a very important delivery measure – being able to test whether a customer is satisfied, to what level and about what specifically. It’s important to test whether your service is being well received and achieving the aims you set out for it to achieve. Clearly you can’t do that without asking. One of our own principles is to let the customer lead rather than think that we know best.”

FRAMEWORK

Benchmarking has also been one of the key capabilities embedded into the service. This enables housing teams using Housing jigsaw to create a framework to measure and compare their homelessness services with other local authorities who would want to opt into the capability. “The framework in the form of scores allows you to have a shared conversation about managing and providing better services leading to much wider shared improvements,” added John.

STAR launches in December 2018 and is available to Housing Jigsaw customers. If you want to know more and are considering reviewing or switching your homelessness management systems, please get in touch with our teams to find out more at info@housingjigsaw.co.uk

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