Keeping up with regulation: Are you ready to report against the Tenant Satisfaction Measures Standard this summer?

9th April 2024

Mark Gannon

by Mark Gannon

Originally implemented on the 1st of April 2023, the Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM) Standard aims to improve the lives of social housing tenants — making sure they are listened to, able to live in safe homes in good repair and their complaints are well handled. The new regime, based on several factors including maintaining building safety and helpful tenant engagement, will define what good tenant services looks like — providing landlords and housing providers something to strive for whilst holding them to account if services are not up to scratch. Those that prioritise process, workflow and responsive application design, by listening to tenants and adapting swiftly to their changing needs, are likely to excel.

With landlords and housing providers expected to submit their first year’s performance this summer, and the results to be shared publicly in autumn, the race is truly on to ensure processes are in place — to not only optimise the tenant experience, but capture satisfaction data that’s ready for reporting. Currently, of the 22 tenant satisfaction measures, ten of these need to be measured by landlords directly. The other 12 are to be measured by landlords via tenant perception surveys. That’s a lot of data to not only collect, but analyse and use to improve satisfaction in the future.

Whilst certainly a welcome framework — particularly following several incidents within social housing where issues such as damp and mould have had devastating consequences for residents — the reality is many housing associations do not have the processes in place to capture satisfaction reporting effectively.

Customer feedback solutions should be a key priority for housing providers. Not only will it support the need to report against TSM objectives, but it gives tenants the ability to feel listened to about topics such as housing conditions, maintenance and any other concerns. Automation plays a critical role here and can be implemented to trigger surveys and customer follow-ups as appropriate. When used in conjunction with reporting, automation and AI can also speed up the process and reduce the burden on housing providers by automating tasks involved with managing and analysing the required data.

Multi-channel communication is essential

A culture of open communication can be achieved by tenant surveys and both proactive and reactive engagement from the contact centre. This is vital to enabling improved tenant experiences. Surveys and other feedback mechanisms should be available via a range of channels – whether that be email, SMS, social media or a phone call. Providing access to 24/7 customer service and support is equally as important should issues arise outside of usual working hours – which can often be the case for residents. Not to be used in isolation, self-service options are an efficient and effective way of helping to manage this, by offering tenants the opportunity to access solutions and answers for themselves without needing to make direct contact. This helps reduce the burden on contact centres, whilst offering greater satisfaction and a better tenant experience.

Unify data to build a clearer satisfaction picture

Gathering customer feedback via open communication is certainly an important step to addressing the objectives of TSM, but housing providers must have a method of making sense of the critical data gathered from this, to inform the experience they provide in the future.

This is where a case management system, acting as a single view of tenant records, is critical. This system, like Tenant Hub, should have the ability to bring interactions across a number of different subjects including repairs, complaints and other issues such as damp and mould and anti-social behaviour, into one unified view. Such a system can be achieved using low-code solutions that accelerate the development process by offering simple, flexible drag-and-drop solutions to create new applications.

Using low-code tools, housing providers can harness data from multiple legacy systems to streamline workflows, enabling digital services and the creation of connected, self-serve tenant experiences by having the right data, in the right place, at the right time.

Turning data and insights into action

Using tools with built-in reporting metrics will not only ease the burden on housing providers, ensuring they are ready to submit their results this summer, but also enable greater operational efficiencies to be made in the future. Efficiency will lead to a more seamless and friction-free experience for the customer and delivers an opportunity for cost reduction across the organisation, offering a win-win situation for housing providers.

With the right tools in place — and by leveraging technologies such as low-code, RPA, AI and other solutions for the contact centre — housing providers can keep tenant needs firmly in focus, whilst achieving TSM objectives and taking advantage of greater savings and efficiencies.

Landlords getting the top scores in Summer 2024 will be those who embrace process, workflow and application optimisation — listening to tenants, delivering consistent service and responding quickly to changing tenant requirements.#

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