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Housing providers have been urged to think about how they make their housing offer and services more customer centric, instead of just customer focused.
Speaking at an HQN event on the topic, Andreas Pattichis of Hellon said customer centric policy is “about viewing the product/service from the customers point of view”.
Using the Social Housing White Paper as an anchor for his comments, Pattichis said the mentions in the document on continuing engagement, effective engagement and creating the tools to influence and hold landlords to account are all crucial to a customer centric approach.
He added: “Language does play a big role in how we view the people we serve. We need to reflect on the language we use before we think about reimaging services, at the end of the day we are all human who want somewhere safe to live.
“We need to change our culture and the way we behave if we are to hit the objectives in the White Paper.”
Speaking about developing a strategy, he urged housing to stick with it, saying “this all takes time, it is about changing behaviours”.
He said customer experience strategy happens when it is used on every project and there may even be customer experience on board level.
“It is an interplay between the corporate empathy and customer experience initiatives. We need to ensure we always look at both.”
And his colleague Pinja Piipponen, added to this by saying: “Culture stems from your brand and customers, but also from your employees.”
She used the statistic that 89% of consumers shift service due to one single negative customer experience, emphasising the point that it is not just the big aspects that housing needs to focus on, but also the smallest service offered.
Although choice is hard to come by in the social sector, in terms of satisfaction it is important to remember that all services are important to residents.
Hellon will be partnering with HQN on how to bring customer journey maps to life in their next session on Wednesday 17 February. There are still a few places remaining if you would like to book on.