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Our new Customer Scrutiny Group is launched

POSTED: 19/01/2021


Since our merger took place on 1 April with Equity Housing Group, we have been working to bring the two customer scrutiny groups from the legacy organisations together under the ‘Insight’ banner and we’re pleased to say this has now been achieved.

The ‘Insight’ group provides a real opportunity for customers to help shape our services and hold us to account for our decisions. It is made up of customers who volunteer to take a detailed look at how Great Places can improve services; work with us to collect ‘evidence’ about how we currently work and speak with other customers about their experiences with us; and use what they learn based on evidence collected to recommend changes that will improve our services in the future.

Services are selected for review based on latest performance information and customer feedback from satisfaction surveys and complaints to identify areas that may need to be investigated.  Scrutiny reviews are carried out to services that typically impact a majority of Great Places customers, which if improved will add value to the customer experience and satisfaction with services.

Getting involved is an opportunity for our customer volunteers to develop new skills, gain valuable work experience and meet like-minded people. No previous experience is needed though members are expected to work collectively as a team member listening to others’ views, discussing findings and challenging data to inform an objective view of the service. We provide any relevant training and cover expenses such as travel and carer costs.

Customer Scrutiny Co-ordinator Tracy Gregory says that bringing together the two groups is a great achievement, and the customers involved are already doing some great work collectively:

The new-look Insight group began working together about 6 months ago and since September have been assessing our response to the COVID pandemic from a customer perspective. The group presented its findings to the Great Places Board recently and its final report was very well received.  It analysed our response to frontline services and looked at how we’ve communicated with customers throughout the crisis to explore how customers were supported and kept up-to-date, and review their experience of service delivery.

It was a really useful and informative presentation and their overall summary on this first joint project concluded that they were encouraged by the co-ordinated approach across the business. They observed that all colleagues showed an enthusiastic, can-do attitude and determination to continue to deliver services to the best of their abilities, and remarked that the compassion and empathy shown towards customers has been admirable. They were also pleased to see that great effort has been made to adapt processes and provide comprehensive guidance where necessary.

Early in 2021, Insight will initially focus on helping us respond to the recent social housing white paper, The Charter for Social Housing Residents, and provide some scrutiny over our corporate planning priorities, before setting out a timetable of reviews over 2021/22.

If you would like to get involved or to find out more about our customer scrutiny group then please visit the Insight pages.