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Summary of complaints 2013/14

Handling complaints effectively is an essential part of L&Q's commitment to meeting the needs of residents and improving resident satisfaction.

As part of our service standards, we publish an annual summary of our complaints.

Doing this gives us the chance to look at what we've achieved over the past 12 months and helps us to see where there is room for improvement.

Summary of complaints between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014

Number of complaints

We received 1,679 complaints over the year compared to 1,415 for the year before.

We have around 72,000 properties, so this is equivalent to about two complaints for every 100 homes we manage (two per cent).

Response time

We responded to 96% of complaints within ten days, which means we hit our target.

Resolving complaints

  • 92% of complaints were resolved locally at stage one
  • 26 complaints went to the final stage panel meeting
  • 2 Complaints were reviewed by Designated Persons (MP ,Councillor)
  • Four complaints were referred to the Housing Ombudsman Service
  • The Ombudsman decided that we had acted appropriately in all cases. We are  waiting to hear the outcome of two other cases.

Satisfaction

More than half (59%) of the people who made a complaint were satisfied with how we kept them informed. But this was lower than the 65% target we had set ourselves and we have taken steps to improve this in future.

Type of complaints

The main topic of complaint was repairs and maintenance. This totalled 49% of complaints, with the repair not being completed being the main reason. Tenancy Services accounted for 16% complaints received, with Neighbour Nuisance being the main cause for the complaint in this area.

Method of complaint

More than 85% of complaints were made via this website.

Comparison with complaints from previous years

In 2012/13, we had 1,528 complaints. Thats roughly two complaints for every 100 homes we manage (or two per cent). Of these, 40% were about repairs and maintenance issues.

In 2011/12, we had 1,367 complaints (two per cent).

How we act on complaints

We analyse all complaints to help to improve our services, increase resident satisfaction and reduce complaints in the future. This year we implemented some of the recommendations from the Customer Journey Mapping exercise and established a Resident Satisfaction Group and used this as a platform for improving the services for our residents.

We introduced the following key improvements in 2013/14:

Repairs and maintenance

  • We set up L&Q Direct Maintenance in one pilot area and recruited professional technicians to carry out day to day repairs.
  • L&Q Direct Maintenance now prepare Void (empty) properties for new residents in the pilot area.
  • We meet with contractors on a monthly basis to discuss all complaints and feedback with a view to improving their service and  to stop the same mistake  happening again
  • Property Services Teams now report to one department ensuring a consistent  approach
  • Property Service  coordinators assist with progress of complaints to ensure the works are completed
  • Property Managers meet with their managers monthly to discuss complaints and outstanding queries.
  • We have asked 3 specialist contractors to be responsible for  communal repairs and carry out inspections on the standard of the work.

Communication and customer service

  • We have increased our use of text messaging to improve communication with residents.
  • Customer Service staff Own an Enquiry and monitor queries that may be complex until resolution
  • We have introduced a work flow system to assist with the monitoring of call backs ensuring they are actioned within the set timescales
  • Staff now have one day in the office to  monitor all reported anti-social behaviour incidents to ensure they are followed up with calls to residents
  • We introduced closer monitoring of case notes. This assists staff on the front line by making it easier for them to respond to queries and get it Right First Time
  • All departments review  Complaints and feedback weekly to ensure all actions are progressed
  • A new DVD has been produced for residents having major programme works. It details the level of disruption and anticipated timescales
  • All departments have been reminded of the importance of keeping accurate records and documenting discussions  at meetings
  • Duty officers at all neighbourhood offices are available for questions and calls from contact centre staff to ensure a Right First Time response.

Policy changes

  • We have updated the Mutual Exchange Policy and changes have been communicated to staff.

Training

  • All property Service staff undertook a  letter writing course
  • Customer Service Team Leaders participated in a  telephone skills workshops
  • We held a surveyors training day to ensure they are fully up-to-date with their processes
  • We arranged technical workshops for contact centre staff to improve their understanding of plumbing, heating and gas repairs
  • We have held customer service workshops for our new programme contractors who will carry out major kitchen and bathroom works.

Every month all complaints and feedback are circulated to senior managers and discussed at their management meetings. Service improvements are identified from these meetings and fed back into the business to ensure continuous improvement.