Annual Report 2019/20 – Customer service
Last year, Longhurst Group colleagues answered 205,515 calls from our customers between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020. This figure does not include calls to report repairs as these are handled by our contractors.
Of all the calls we received, 53 percent were answered within 30 seconds. On average, it took 98 seconds to answer customers’ phone calls.
In the same period, we received 11,218 completed ‘Contact Us’ form submissions through our website.
We recognise that there are areas in which we need to further improve and we’re working hard to ensure we deliver the excellent service that all our customers expect and deserve.
Throughout the last 12 months, we’ve rolled out Customer Excellence training to all frontline colleagues, while also delivering more in-depth training for our Customer Service Advisors to enable them to resolve more enquiries at the first point of contact.
Our approach to customer complaints considers each customer’s personal circumstances and the experience they’ve received.
While looking at complaints at an individual customer level, we also use this information to compare patterns and trends to improve the service we deliver to our customers.
We recognise that we need to improve our response times for our customer calls and to continue to learn from complaints, in order to help reduce the number of complaints we receive.
We understand that complaints about outstanding repairs are particularly important and this is an area where we know we need to improve.
In response, in May we introduced a second stage to our complaints process to help achieve satisfactory outcomes for customers more quickly. We’ve also recruited three members to an independent complaints panel.
By expanding our complaints process, we’re pleased to say that there have been more comprehensive resolutions for customers and the number of complaints being escalated to the Housing Ombudsman has reduced.