Between 1st – 5th October, Your Homes Newcastle celebrated Customer Service Week, hosting six pop-up celebration events across the city. We gave away lots of cake and treats, talked to lots of customers and raised awareness of some vital and often hidden services including Support and Progression, Financial Inclusion, Employability, Safe Living, Ostara, and Estate Services.

Thank you to everyone that took part, whether by coming along to our celebration events, answering our Customer Service Week questionnaire or commenting on our Facebook posts, blogs and videos during the week.

Over 80 customers attended our celebration events and over 120 customers completed our Customer Service Week questionnaire. The questionnaire helped us to identify customers who needed information, support or advice from a range of services where they otherwise wouldn’t have made contact with us.

For example, 30 people were referred to Newcastle City Council’s Energy Service to get some help in managing their energy bills, 11 people were referred to our Digital Inclusion Officer for information on accessing free digital training, and 25 people were contacted by our Safe Living Team after requesting some advice on tackling anti-social behaviour. We think this is great news.

We also had a delighted prize draw competition winner, Debbie from Walker, who won a £50 Intu voucher just for completing our questionnaire. Well done Debbie!

You said, we did

We’ve put together a short video which explains more about all of the actions that have come out of Customer Service Week and highlights exactly how your feedback has made a difference – take a look here.

Service feedback

Stuart Clarke, YHN’s Employability Manager, asked customers: “What kind of jobs are you looking for and what employers would you like to see at YHN’s job fairs events?” Customers commented they’d like more locally tailored jobs fairs with local employers taking part. Stuart and his team, as well as all the teams who collected feedback on their service during the week, are taking all of your comments on board so thank you for giving us your views!

Recognition for staff

During Customer Service Week we asked you whether you could recall a time when we’d given great service. Some of the comments we received were so amazing that several members of staff were put forward for a customer-nominated staff recognition award which they, and everyone at YHN, are really proud of. These stories included customers who were really grateful of the help they’d received in relation to their anti-social behaviour cases, and another customer who was very happy about the service she received when signing up for her new tenancy.

Room for improvement?

We also learned about things that YHN could get better at and were given some food for thought on things such as consistency of customer service, frustrations around some of our processes and concerns about gaps in information and updates from us. Please be assured we have fed these comments back to the highest levels and we continue to take this on board, so thank you very much for these comments and stories.

Ask Tina

As well as giving your views on individual services and teams, Customer Service Week gave us a chance to collect questions and comments on the things that matter to you for YHN’s Managing Director, Tina Drury.

Here are just a few of the questions and comments that we collected during the week:

 

    1. What do you think customer service means?
 
    1. It’s really hard to get through on the main phone number – will this improve in future?
 
    1. Does YHN offer support to people with eye sight problems who want to take part in the digital training courses?
 
    1. Why did we lose the Handyman service?
 
    1. How can we have more say – a say that makes a difference?
 
Answers and comments from Tina in relation to all the feedback we collected is available here: Ask Tina
Customer Service Committee on tour

And finally, YHN’s customer-led Customer Service Committee had a very successful Customer Service Week.

Committee members Liviu and Zara went on an estate walkabout in West Denton and Zara also went on a empty-property inspection in the West End with our Housing Services Teams to learn about how customers can get involved in improving their neighbourhoods and understand the customer experience in relation re-lets and allocations.

The Committee Chair, Tony, also attended a local primary school to see the work that Newcastle City Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens are doing with young people in looking after their communities in connection with their partnership working with Safe Living. Tony also got a demo from our Q-Bot robot which is working to make YHN homes more energy efficient.

The Committee are currently compiling a report based on all their observations, activities and customer feedback from the week and will be letting you know the outcome of this in the new year.

Once again, from everyone at Your Homes Newcastle, thank you for taking part in a great week! Take a look at our short round up video here