Learning from complaints
Learning from complaints
Customers who are dissatisfied with our performance can make a complaint. We hold ourselves to high standards and take customer feedback seriously. Capturing and more importantly implementing key learning action is essential to improving our services.
- 937 complaints were received this year, which is a 25% increase on last year.
- Over the full year, our response rate for complaints responded to in target was 67.42%. This compared to 45% the previous year. We’re increasing our targets to reflect these improvements and to comply with the Housing Ombudsman Code.
There has been an increase in complaints during 2022/23. We’ve faced several challenges, which affected resources and our ability to respond to a high number of repairs.
An increased focus on damp and mould, and extreme weather caused a large number of burst pipes and flooded properties. As a result, we’ve increased resources, including within our Customer Care Team, to help respond to customer feedback and complaints.
The top five reasons for customer complaints are:
3. Service failure
4. Service quality
We’ve taken a proactive approach to identify and resolve damp issues in our properties. A complete review of our damp and condensation process has been done and this will help is to prioritise urgent cases. Due to the high volume of repairs, there’s been a significant impact on timescales, this is reflected in the figures toward the end of our financial year.
How we’re learning and improving through complaints
We have identified numerous areas of learning over the past year, which have either resulted in, or contributed towards the evidence for, the following actions being taken:
- The introduction of a designated backlog repair team who will provide customers with proactive information on appointments. This was introduced after complaints about lack of communication with regard to outstanding repair work. The team are currently working on damp and mould complaints to ensure a timely resolution for customers.
- A review of the repairs policy to identify achievable timescales which customers agree with.
- We have provided further training for staff on new build defect periods.
- Neighbourhood Policy review – A rise in anti-social behaviour cases and subsequent complaints has led to a full review and introduction of a new policy.
- We’ve introduced a number of improvements to help customers trying to reach us by phone. Our phone message system means we can now inform customers of their position in the queue and average wait time.
- We’re also introducing a new ‘blended media system’ to provide customers with the opportunity to contact us through other channels like WhatsApp, social media, email, or our AI chatbot.
More coming over the next 12 months:
- Working closely with service areas across the organisation to act on feedback from customers. Learning from what went wrong and taking action to improve customer service.
- Improve access to our service via social media.
- Introduce a customer portal enabling customers to self-serve when booking repair appointments or paying their rent.
For complaints, compliments, and suggestions:
Phone: 01204 328000.
Private message us on Facebook or Twitter.
Write to Bolton at Home, 98 Waters Meeting Road, Bolton, BL1 8SW.
You can read more information and download a customer feedback form here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/customer-feedback