Customer Involvement Strategy

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Customer Involvement Strategy2009-11 www.stockporthomes.org 1.0 Introduction 3 2.0 Background to the strategy 5 3.0 Why we involve customers 7 4.0 The National Agenda 9 5.0 Local Context 11 6.0 Putting customers at the heart of services 14 7.0 Menu of involvement: ‘Your Home, Your Voice, Your Choice’ 16 8.0 Priorities for 2009/11 20 Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011 2

Text of Customer Involvement Strategy

  • Customer Involvement Strategy2009-11

    www.stockporthomes.org

  • 2 Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Contents

    1.0 Introduction 3

    2.0 Background to the strategy 5

    3.0 Why we involve customers 7

    4.0 The National Agenda 9

    5.0 Local Context 11

    6.0 Putting customers at the heart of services 14

    7.0 Menu of involvement: Your Home, Your Voice, Your Choice 16

    8.0 Priorities for 2009/11 20 Involving customers to deliver continuous service improvements 21

    Involving customers in strategic budget setting 22

    Delivering wider community engagement 23

    Engaging with young people in our communities 24

    Involving vulnerable customers 25

    Involving customers in Repairs and Maintenance 27

    Valuing diversity and overcoming barriers to involvement 28

    Building customer confidence, capacity and skills 30

    Developing the Customer Resource Centre 31

    Working with partners 32

    9.0Service Standards for Customer Involvement 34

    10 Measuring performance 36

    11 Monitoring and review 37

  • 3Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    1.0 Introduction Contents

    Stockport Homes mission is to deliver a customer driven service providing quality homes where people want to live.

  • 4 Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Here at Stockport Homes we want

    allcustomerstogetinvolved in

    influencing how services are delivered.

    Stockport Homes mission is to deliver a customer driven service providing quality homes where people want to live. The Customer Involvement Strategy demonstrates this commitment to involving customers in shaping the services they receive to genuinely drive through service improvements.

    Whilst Stockport Homes accepts that many customers are satisfied with services or choose not to be involved, our aim is to maximise opportunities for those that do want to become involved at a level that they choose. It is recognised that the involvement of customers is vital to the success of the organisation which is why there are a variety of ways for customers to influence services, both at a local and strategic level, through a customer involvement structure. The involvement opportunities available are set out within Stockport Homes Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement is a tri-partite agreement between Stockport Council,

    Stockport Homes and its customers. It contains clear service standards for the delivery of customer involvement and the resources Stockport Homes will provide as determined by customers.

    The strategy details Stockport Homes vision for customer involvement, where the organisation is now and where the organisation wants to be over the next two years, in particular setting out priorities for customer involvement and how they will be achieved.

    1.0 Introduction

  • 5Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    2.0 Background to the strategy

    5Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Customers who are members of the Stockport Homes Board.

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    Stockport Homes became an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) in 2005 but previously had a long history of working with tenants through local tenant and resident associations and Stockport Tenants Federation. Stockport Homes Board comprises a tenant majority group (five tenants), in addition to four Councillors and four independent professional people. Customers are engaged and empowered from the top of the organisation downwards.

    Customer includes anyone who uses Stockport Homes services: tenants, leaseholders, people who access the Homechoice or Housing Options service, people who live in Temporary Accommodation Schemes, people with tenancy support needs who use the Resettlement Service, Carecall service users, asylum seekers and other residents who live on Stockport Homes managed estates. Stockport Homes made a conscious decision to refocus and rename the tenant participation service to Customer Involvement to take into account the wider consultation of non-tenants and ensure that staff treat tenants as customers of the organisation.

    There has been a shift in emphasis from tenant participation towards wider community engagement and citizen empowerment. Whilst Stockport Homes values existing traditional participation structures, since 2005 the scope of involvement has widened to make sure all customers are being provided with opportunities to influence services. This has meant looking beyond the formal process and government requirements to greater choice, regular training, increased flexibility and a more localised approach.

    This strategy has been developed to provide a framework for priority actions needed in the short and medium term to develop services which not only meet current needs, but will be appropriate in the future. It covers a two year period from 2009 to 2011, but will be kept under review and updated at the end of each year.

    2.0 Introduction2.0 Background to the strategy

  • 7Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    3.0 Why we involve customers

    7Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Customers taking part inan Estate Walkabout.

  • 8 Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Customers are at the forefront of these services.

    By getting involved we have the chance to

    make a difference for the future.

    Keith Spurr, Chair of Stockport Tenants Federation

    Involving customers in influencing service delivery is vital for Stockport Homes to obtain an understanding of their needs and aspirations, and also to constantly enhance and improve services. There are wider benefits to customer involvement including improving neighbourhoods, developing individual

    skills for life and improving the health and wellbeing of communities through various community projects.

    By involving customers at a level they choose, there are many benefits for both customers and Stockport Homes including:

    increasing customer satisfaction; enhancing accountability by having diverse representation on the

    Board of Directors and Board Sub-Groups; ensuring that policies meet the needs of customers; continuous improvement in service delivery; ensuring that customers are involved in making decisions that affect them; improving the community and the environment, and promoting sustainability; customers having a better understanding of policies that affect them; and to comply with legal requirements.

    3.0 Why we involve customers

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    4.0 The National Agenda

    9Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    Customers who are members of theTemporary Accommodation Expert Panel.

  • 10 Customer Involvement Strategy 2009 - 2011

    A comprehensive review of social housing was undertaken by Martin Cave in 2007. His conclusions were that there was a strong case for social housing regulation that should be based on minimum intervention and a risk based approach.

    As a result, the Housing and Regeneration Bill became law on 22 July 2008 and brought into effect a range of radical changes to transform the way social housing is funded and regulated. Most notably, the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) has been established to regulate all social housing providers by April 2010 and is currently setting standards for all service areas, including a Tenant Empowerment Standard and requirements around customer-led self-regulation1. This will give customers far more control in terms of influencing the way services are delivered.

    Earlier initiatives such as the introduction of Tenant Compacts in 2000 further highlights a long-standing Government aim to empower people. The current proposals arising from the Cave Review 2007, point to a Government aiming to place tenants centre-stage in decision making. The Government believes power in society is too centralised and too concentrated in government. It wants to alter the balance and empower people and argues that tenants must be able to speak for themselves nationally, regionally and locally 2, in influencing government and key partners like the new regulator, the TSA. The new National Tenants Voice (NTV) was also a key recommendation of the Cave review. The establishment of the NTV offers an historic opportunity to place tenants at the heart of government. It is central to the next phase of change and will have the effect of anchoring tenants interests in the new regulatory regime.

    More generally, the climate for customer involvement is also changing with more and more emphasis placed on housing organisations to evidence their performance against the Audit Commissions Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE) for Resident Involvement3. This KLOE is seen as cross-cutting across all service areas and in particular, housing organisations need to:

    clearly demonstrate how services have been influenced by customers; have a wide range of means through which residents can participate in decision making; ensure that involvement is an integrated part of all activities and services and this is evident in the culture and the way the organisation delivers services; ensure involvement is an integral part of the continuous improvement process and central to the evolution of the business; and ensure there is adequate funding and staff which demonstrates the organisations commitment to customer involvement.

    4.0 The National Agenda

    Building a new regulatory framework, TSA, June 2009.

    Citizens of Equal Worth, National Tenants Voice, 2008.

    Improving Services through Resident Invovlement, Audit Commission 2007.

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    5.0 Local Contex