Giving tenants a voice wins recognition

Leading housing provider Stonewater has been shortlisted for a national housing award, recognising its outstanding work with customers and giving tenants a voice.

Scrutiny panel

The key to Stonewater’s success has been putting the customer first, ensuring they not only meet but anticipate customers' expectations – particularly online. This has involved creating customer forums and testing groups, encouraging customers to make recommendations and influence what services are offered and how they are delivered, by Stonewater.

As a result of its work, Stonewater has been shortlisted in the outstanding tenant engagement – over 10,000 homes category, for this year’s Tpas Awards. The Tpas Awards recognise excellent tenant engagement and best practice in the housing sector and winners will be revealed at a ceremony taking place on March 27.

In addition to getting its customers involved with decisions regarding internal initiatives and campaigns, Stonewater has also enabled customers to vocalise their opinions about the Social Housing Green Paper and at National conferences.

Stonewater has also evolved its customer engagement model to focus on digital inclusion. In fact, Stonewater’s ‘Customer Hubb (Help Us Be Better)’, which was created to support the organisation with organising consultations and advertising any job or volunteering opportunities, also allows customers to chat with colleagues online, about repairs and other queries – at a time that suits them.

Alongside launching the Customer hubb, Stonewater launched its own ‘in home’ digital training, helping customers who have never used a computer or IT device, to get online and have the confidence to buy their first laptop, computer or tablet.

Dean Ballard, Head of Customer Insight at Stonewater, said: “While we always aim to do the right thing by the customer, when we don’t get it right we do our best to positively improve the situation and let the customer know how they have helped to make a difference.

“At Stonewater we are always looking for new ways to ensure that our customers trust us and feel like their voices are being heard and we are incredibly proud of what our Customer Involvement and Scrutiny Manager, Michelle Hocknull and her team, have managed to implement and achieve. The work carried out by the team has enabled us to not only improve our communication with customers, but also ensure that the work we are doing is truly reflective of the needs of our existing and prospective customers – ultimately delivering the right services for as many people as possible.”