Cover Page. Research report. Customer Satisfaction Survey. Prepared for: Solon South West Housing Association

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1 Cover Page Research report Customer Satisfaction Survey Prepared for: Solon South West Housing Association

2 Customer Satisfaction Survey Prepared for: Solon South West Housing Association Prepared by: BMG Research August 2012 Produced by BMG Research Bostock Marketing Group Ltd, Project No.: 8752 Registered in England No Registered office: 7 Holt Court North Heneage Street West Aston Science Park Birmingham B7 4AX UK Tel: +44 (0) UK VAT Registration No Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Member No. B4626 Market Research Society Company Partner ESOMAR Member (The World Association of Research Professionals) British Quality Foundation Member Market Research Quality Standards Association (British Standards Institute) Investors in People Standard - Certificate No. WMQC 0614 Interviewer Quality Control Scheme (IQCS) Member Company Registered under the Data Protection Act - Registration No. Z

3 Executive summary Table of Contents 1 Executive summary Overall satisfaction: Repairs and maintenance Contact with Solon to 34 year olds: Key Findings Introduction and methodology Background Methodology Overall satisfaction with Solon Views on the home The quality of the home Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live Contact with Solon Recent Contact with Solon Reason for last contact Ease of contacting Solon Getting hold of the right person Helpfulness of staff Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query Difficulty obtaining services from Solon Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondent the opportunity to make their views known Recommending Solon to family or friends Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Knowing how to make a complaint Repairs and maintenance Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance

4 Customer Satisfaction Survey Satisfaction with aspects of the repairs service Satisfaction with the repair being done right first time Views on Solon Future resources What is valued about Solon Introduction Background Methodology Comparison with previous survey data Comparison with other organisations Satisfaction with the service provided by Solon Overall satisfaction with Solon Views on the home The quality of the home Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money The neighbourhood Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live Contact with Solon Contact with Solon Reason for last contact Ease of contacting Solon Getting hold of the right person Helpfulness of staff Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query Difficulty obtaining services from Solon Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondent the opportunity to make their views known Recommending Solon to family or friends Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Knowing how to make a complaint

5 Executive summary 10 Repairs and maintenance Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance Repairs completed in the past 12 months Satisfaction with aspects of the repairs service Satisfaction with the repair being done right first time Views on Solon Future resources What is valued about Solon Ethnicity and disability satisfaction level comparison Profile Information

6 Customer Satisfaction Survey Table of Figures Figure 1 Satisfaction with overall service provided by Solon Figure 2 Satisfaction with the quality of the home Figure 3 Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Figure 4 Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money Figure 5 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live Figure 6 Contact with Solon in the past 12 months Figure 7 What did you last have contact about? (Respondents who contacted Solon) Figure 8 Ease of getting hold of the right person (Respondents who contacted Solon) Figure 9 Helpfulness of staff (Respondents who contacted Solon) Figure 10 Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently (Respondents who contacted Solon) Figure 11 Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query (Respondents who contacted Solon) Figure 12 Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them Figure 13 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondents the opportunity to make their views known Figure 14 Likelihood of recommending Solon to family or friends Figure 15 Level of satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service Figure 16 Rating of aspects of the repair service (Respondents who have had a repair completed) Figure 17 What Solon should focus on in the future Figure 18 What is valued about Solon

7 Executive summary Table of Tables Table 1 Comparison with previous survey data Table 2 Comparison with other organisations Table 3 Satisfaction with the overall service provided by Patch Area Table 4 Satisfaction with the quality of the home by Patch Area Table 5 Satisfaction with rent paid provide value for money by Patch Area Table 6 Satisfaction that services charges paid provide value for money by Patch Area Table 7 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live by Patch Area Table 8 Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them by Patch Area Table 9 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondents the opportunity to make their views known by Patch Area Table 10 Likelihood of recommending Solon to family or friends by Patch Area Table 11 Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Table 12 Knowing how to make a complaint if unhappy with a service that Solon has provided Table 13 Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance by Patch Area. 38 Table 14 Ethnicity and disability satisfaction level comparison Table 15 Profile table

8 Customer Satisfaction Survey 1 Executive summary Overall satisfaction: The results for the key indicators (satisfaction with the overall service, satisfaction with the quality of the home, satisfaction with repairs and maintenance and satisfaction with the neighbourhood) have all increased by at least three percentage points since Repairs and maintenance Repairs and maintenance is the area that the majority (seven in ten) of respondents want Solon (to continue) to focus on in the future. Other research within the housing sector has established that satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service is likely to be a key driver of satisfaction with the overall service provided. Satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service, depends not just on aspects of the physical repair, but also on the flow of communications around the repair, such as being told when work will start. The proportion of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service from Solon (one in four) is twice that typically seen by BMG Research for other landlords. Certain aspects of the repairs service, such as attitude of the workers, are viewed particularly favourably, but these are generally those aspects which are known to be less important in driving satisfaction with the service. The repair being done right first time is a lagging indicator, with three in ten respondents expressing dissatisfaction. Actions required: As the repairs and maintenance service is probably the biggest driver of overall satisfaction, Solon should continue to review its activities related to the repairs and maintenance. This should encompass more than the physical aspect of repairs to include how repairs are reported to organisation and how subsequent actions are communicated to tenants. What the organisation can achieve for aspects of the repairs and maintenance service need to be constantly communicated with messages given about the service standards the organisation works to for different types of repair. In this way, tenant expectations can be held in check and the service quality gap, between the expected service and the service actually received minimised Contact with Solon The survey establishes that nine in ten respondents have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months. This proportion is larger than what BMG Research has recorded for other landlords. Amongst respondents aged 16-34, the proportion making contact is in excess of 95. 8

9 Executive summary The introduction and adoption of new technologies, in particular by, younger customers means that communicating messages around service need has increased in complexity and Solon needs to be adept at receiving and sending communications using a variety of platforms, whilst maintaining a consistent message. Actions required: Whilst Solon is seen to be an organisation that is easy to contact, with almost all respondents highlighting that it is, the organisation may wish to monitor if it is being contacted by residents about aspects that are outside its scope, just because it is easy to contact. Secondly, Solon may wish to examine by what methods residents make contact with it and how it should respond to growing use of technology associated with mobile phones and in particular their use by younger people to 34 year olds: In common with other landlords, respondents aged are more likely to express dissatisfaction with Solon across a range of indicators. As noted above the proportion of respondents aged making contact is in excess of 95. Therefore, the group most critical of Solon is also the group that is most likely to make contact with it. Communicating key messages consistently and repeatedly will be important in attempting to manage expectations in an environment where other providers of services are innovating and updating their offer. Action required: Solon should begin to segment its communication strategy and choose communication channels that are actively used by younger tenants / families. Messages around how the organisation is performing or service standards for repairs should be tweaked so they are presented in a way that has heightened appeal and perceived relevance to these groups. 9

10 Customer Satisfaction Survey 2 Key Findings 2.1 Introduction and methodology Background As part of its ongoing commitment to seek the views of its customers, in February 2012 Solon South West Housing Association Limited (Solon) commissioned BMG Research to carry out a satisfaction survey amongst its customers. The purpose of the survey was to obtain information from Solon s customers to ascertain their satisfaction with services provided, to identify areas for service improvements and as input to Solon s approach to continuous improvement Methodology A postal survey to all 945 customers of Solon was carried out from March to April Following two reminder mailings, 301 questionnaires were returned. To boost the number of returns, telephone follow up interviews were conducted with 75 questionnaires being completed to bring the response to 40. Based on a population of 945 a sample of 376 is subject to a maximum confidence interval of ±3.9 at the 95 confidence level on an observed statistic of Overall satisfaction with Solon Over four fifths (83) of respondents are satisfied with the service provided by Solon. In contrast 11 are dissatisfied. 2.3 Views on the home The quality of the home Four fifths (79) of respondents are satisfied with the overall quality of their home. Conversely, one in seven (14) are dissatisfied Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Four fifths (80) of respondents are satisfied that the rent paid provides value for money while just 7 are dissatisfied Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money Almost half (46) of respondents are satisfied that the service charge paid provides value for money while 16 are dissatisfied. 2.4 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live More than four in five respondents (85) are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live. Conversely, 9 are dissatisfied with their neighbourhood. 10

11 Key Findings 2.5 Contact with Solon Recent Contact with Solon All respondents were asked whether or not they had been in contact with Solon over the last twelve months. Nine in ten (89) respondents indicated they had been in contact with Solon over the last twelve months Reason for last contact Those who had been in contact with Solon in the last 12 months were then asked to say what they last had contact about. Four in five (81) contacted Solon about repairs while around one in eight (12) made contact about rent or housing benefit Ease of contacting Solon Asked to say if it was easy to contact Solon the last time they made contact, 97 said it was easy Getting hold of the right person Just over four fifths (82) of respondents who have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months found it easy to get hold of the right person, while a further 9 found it neither easy nor difficult. Around one in twelve (8), then, said they found it difficult to get hold of the right person when last contacting Solon Helpfulness of staff More than four fifths (85) of respondents who have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months found the member of staff helpful. A further 7 found them unhelpful Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently Respondents who had been in contact with Solon in the past twelve months were then asked how satisfied they were with the ability of staff to deal with their query quickly and efficiently. Four fifths (80) of staff expressed satisfaction with 14 dissatisfied Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query The majority (68) of respondents reported they were satisfied with the final outcome of their query. Conversely, 22 expressed dissatisfaction with the final outcome. 2.6 Difficulty obtaining services from Solon All respondents were asked if they had ever had difficulty obtaining services from Solon because English is not their first language. One in twenty (5) said they had while the vast majority (95) said they had not. 2.7 Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them The majority (67) of respondents are satisfied that Solon listens to their views and acts upon them, compared with 14 who are dissatisfied. 11

12 Customer Satisfaction Survey 2.8 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondent the opportunity to make their views known The majority (77) of respondents are satisfied that Solon gives them the opportunity to make their views known. The proportion dissatisfied is just Recommending Solon to family or friends The majority (72) of respondents would be likely to recommend Solon to family or friends while 12 would be unlikely and 16 would be neither likely nor unlikely Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Asked if they were aware of Solon s Service Standards, approaching two thirds (64) of all respondents said they were aware with the remaining 36 unaware Knowing how to make a complaint Asked if they know how to make a complaint if unhappy with a service that Solon has provided, almost nine in ten (87) of all respondents said they do know Repairs and maintenance Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance Seven in ten (69) of all respondents are satisfied with the service. In contrast, almost a quarter (23) are dissatisfied. All respondents were asked if they have had a repair completed in the past 12 months. Over three quarters (77) have had a repair completed during this period Satisfaction with aspects of the repairs service Those respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months were asked how satisfied they were with ten aspects of the repairs service. The lagging indicator for Solon (and for other landlords) is the time taken before work starts, with 75 of respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months satisfied Satisfaction with the repair being done right first time The majority (63) of respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months, are satisfied that it was done right first time. At 30, the proportion dissatisfied with the repair being done right first time is the largest for any of the ten aspects of the repairs and maintenance service respondents were asked to comment on. 12

13 Key Findings 2.13 Views on Solon Future resources Asked to say what they think Solon should focus on in the future, seven in ten (72) think Solon should make repairs to homes quickly and efficiently, while just over half (52) think it should build more new homes What is valued about Solon All respondents were asked what, if anything, they value most about the organisation. Two fifths (41) believe that Solon staff treat them with respect and they can be trusted while a third (34) think Solon staff are supportive and caring. 13

14 Customer Satisfaction Survey 3 Introduction 3.1 Background As part of its ongoing commitment to seek the views of its customers, in February 2012 Solon South West Housing Association Limited (Solon) commissioned BMG Research to carry out a satisfaction survey amongst its customers. The purpose of the survey was to obtain information from Solon s customers to ascertain their satisfaction with services provided, to identify areas for service improvements and as input to Solon s approach to continuous improvement. 3.2 Methodology A postal survey to all 945 customers of Solon was carried out from March to April Following two reminder mailings each comprising a letter, questionnaire and reply paid envelope, 301 questionnaires were returned. To boost the number of returns, telephone follow up interviews were conducted with 75 questionnaires being completed to bring the response to 40. Based on a population of 945 a sample of 376 is subject to a maximum confidence interval of ±3.9 at the 95 confidence level on an observed statistic of 50. The questionnaire used for survey was developed by Solon and BMG Research and used questions from HouseMark s STAR survey. In order to ensure that the survey results reflect the views of all tenants the data were weighted prior to analysis by Patch Area and by Rent Group. This weighting corrects the relative housing stock imbalances within the returns. The data used in this report are rounded up or down to the nearest whole percentage. It is for this reason that, on occasions, tables or charts may add up to 99 or 101. Where tables and graphics do not match exactly the text in the report this occurs due to the way in which figures are rounded up (or down) when responses are combined. Results that do differ in this way should not have a variance which is any larger that 1. In addition to this written report, data tabulations have also been produced which present the data as a whole. The written report is based on valid responses, i.e. if a respondent did not answer a question, or answered it incorrectly they were excluded from the analysis for that question. 14

15 Comparison with previous survey data 4 Comparison with previous survey data Solon has previously conducted customer satisfaction surveys. The following table provides a comparison of key questions between the 2008 and 2012 surveys. Table 1 Comparison with previous survey data Question Satisfied with the overall service Change since last available data respondents satisfied Satisfied with the quality of the home Satisfied Satisfied with the neighbourhood as a place to live Satisfied Easy to get hold of right person Easy Found the staff helpful when last contacted the landlord Found staff helpful Staff were able to deal with the query quickly and efficiently Found staff able to deal with the query Rent represents value for money Satisfied Satisfied with repairs and maintenance Satisfied

16 Customer Satisfaction Survey 5 Comparison with other organisations BMG has developed its own benchmarking since STAR was introduced. The following table compares Solon HA s performance on six key indicators against other organisations in the South West where BMG has completed work general needs customer satisfaction surveys. Organisations will remain anonymous and BMG intends the information below for use only for Solon HA to compare themselves against other landlords who manage general needs stock in their local area. Table 2 Comparison with other organisations Satisfaction with the overall service provided by your landlord GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average 85 9 Satisfaction with the overall quality of your home GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average Satisfaction that rent provides value for money GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average

17 Comparison with other organisations Comparison tables continued... Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average 85 7 Satisfaction with the way your landlord deals with repairs and maintenance GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average Satisfaction that views are listened to and acted upon GN stock size Satisfied Dissatisfied Solon HA Organisation A 1, Organisation B 3, Organisation C 2, Organisation D 4, Average

18 Customer Satisfaction Survey 6 Satisfaction with the service provided by Solon This section will look at respondents level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service provided by Solon. 6.1 Overall satisfaction with Solon Over four fifths (83) of respondents are satisfied with the service provided by Solon. In contrast 11 are dissatisfied. Figure 1 Satisfaction with overall service provided by Solon Very satisfied 36 Fairly satisfied 47 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 83 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base:

19 Satisfaction with the service provided by Solon The proportion of respondents from each of the four Patch Areas who are satisfied or dissatisfied with the service provided by Solon, is as the following table illustrates, broadly the same. The table also shows the net rating which is calculated by subtracting the proportion of respondents who are dissatisfied from the proportion who are satisfied. Table 3 Satisfaction with the overall service provided by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [364] Patch 1 [111] Patch 2 [105] Patch 3 [111] Patch 4 [37] Those who live in new or purpose built properties are slightly more likely than those living in rehab or converted properties to express satisfaction (85 cf. 82). Dissatisfaction with the overall service provided by Solon is at similar levels across all demographic sub-groups. The reasons for dissatisfaction with the overall service provided can be many and complex, but the following findings relate to making contact with or receiving information from Solon. One in nine respondents (11) who have contacted Solon in the past 12 months are dissatisfied with the service provided. This compares to just 3 amongst respondents who have not made contact, although care must be taken when interpreting this finding due to the relatively small number of respondents (just 34 respondents or around 9 of all residents) who had not made contact. Amongst those who are dissatisfied that their views are listened to and acted upon 51 are dissatisfied with the service provided by Solon. The majority of those making contact with Solon in the previous 12 months will have done so to report a repair and this experience (both in reporting and what happened afterwards) is likely to have a major impact on their views of the overall service from Solon. Approaching two fifths (37) of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service are dissatisfied with the service provided by Solon. Perceptions and experiences of the home and the local area will also have an influence on satisfaction with the overall service. Over half (52) of respondents who are dissatisfied with the quality of their home are dissatisfied with the service Solon provides. This compares to just 3 where respondents are satisfied with the quality of the home. 19

20 Customer Satisfaction Survey 7 Views on the home This section will focus on respondents views of the home, specifically their satisfaction levels with the quality of their home. 7.1 The quality of the home Four fifths (79) of respondents are satisfied with the overall quality of their home. Conversely, one in seven (14) are dissatisfied. Figure 2 Satisfaction with the quality of the home Very satisfied Fairly satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 79 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 370 Satisfaction with the quality of the home does not vary significantly by Patch Area. Table 4 Satisfaction with the quality of the home by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [370] Patch 1 [112] Patch 2 [107] Patch 3 [113] Patch 4 [38]

21 Views on the home Those who live in new or purpose built properties are more likely (but not significantly so) than those living in rehab or converted properties to express satisfaction (84 cf. 77). In terms of gender, 80 of males and 79 of females are satisfied. This compares with the 2009 survey when it was reported that 74 of males and 72 of females were satisfied with the quality of their home. There is no difference in satisfaction between those who do have a health limitation and those who do not (79 each). In 2009, those with a disability were less likely to be satisfied than those without (67 cf. 77). Non-BME residents are more likely than their BME counterparts to express satisfaction (81 cf. 74) as was the case in 2009 when 75 of non-bme residents were satisfied compared with 67 of BME tenants. Satisfaction with the overall quality of the home varies by age, with respondents aged 65 and over significantly more likely to be satisfied with the quality of the home than those aged under 65 (94 cf. 78). Almost one fifth (18) of those aged are dissatisfied in this respect as are 16 of those aged years. Amongst those aged the proportion dissatisfied is 11 and it is 0 amongst those aged 65+. For respondents of working age (16-64), the proportion dissatisfied is 15. Approaching half (48) of those dissatisfied that their views are listened to and acted upon are dissatisfied with the overall quality of the home, as are half (50) of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service. 7.2 Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Four fifths (80) of respondents are satisfied that the rent paid provides value for money while just 7 are dissatisfied. Figure 3 Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money Very satisfied Fairly satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 11 Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Not applicable Satisfied 80 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base:

22 Customer Satisfaction Survey Satisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money does not vary significantly by Patch Area although is a little higher in Patch Area 3. Table 5 Satisfaction with rent paid provide value for money by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [370] Patch 1 [112] Patch 2 [106] Patch 3 [114] Patch 4 [38] In terms of gender, 78 of males and 81 of females are satisfied. This compares with the 2009 survey when it was reported that 67 of males and 71 of females were satisfied that their rent paid provides value for money. There is little difference in satisfaction between those who do have a health limitation and those who do not (81 and 79 respectively). In 2009, those with a disability were less likely to be satisfied than those without (68 cf. 71). Non-BME residents are more likely than their BME counterparts to express satisfaction (81 cf. 71) as was the case in 2009 when 72 of non-bme residents were satisfied compared with 65 of BME tenants. Dissatisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money varies by age, with older respondents more likely to be satisfied than younger residents: 73 of those aged are satisfied compared with 80 of year olds, 86 of year olds and 87 of those aged 65+. Around one in eight (12) of those aged are dissatisfied in this respect as are 8 of those aged years compared with just 2 of year olds and 0 of those aged 65 and over. A third (34) of respondents who expressed dissatisfaction with the overall service provided by Solon also expressed dissatisfaction that the rent paid provides value for money. 22

23 Views on the home 7.3 Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money Almost half (46) of respondents are satisfied that the service charge paid provides value for money while 16 are dissatisfied. Findings are coloured by the high proportion of residents for whom this question was either not applicable (27) or who were ambivalent (11) who, when summed together, account for almost two fifths of the total. Figure 4 Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money Very satisfied Fairly satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Not applicable 27 Satisfied 46 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 364 Satisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money is higher amongst residents of the Patch 2 and 3 areas as may be seen from the following table. Table 6 Satisfaction that services charges paid provide value for money by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Not applicable Net ratings Total [364] Patch 1 [109] Patch 2 [107] Patch 3 [110] Patch 4 [38]

24 Customer Satisfaction Survey Dissatisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money is higher amongst those aged than amongst those aged 65+ (18 cf. 3) and amongst those without a health limitation compared to those with (19 cf. 10). Just over three fifths (63) of respondents who expressed dissatisfaction with the overall service provided by Solon also expressed dissatisfaction that the service charge paid provides value for money. 24

25 The neighbourhood 8 The neighbourhood Social landlords have been encouraged to conduct activities that benefit communities, rather than just be providers of housing. These activities can extend into improving the look and feel of the neighbourhoods where their housing stock is situated. This section will examine respondents satisfaction with their neighbourhood. 8.1 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live All respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their neighbourhood as a place to live. More than four in five respondents (85) are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live. Conversely, 9 are dissatisfied with their neighbourhood. Figure 5 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live Very satisfied 52 Fairly satisfied 33 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 85 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base:

26 Customer Satisfaction Survey The area where the largest proportion of respondents is dissatisfied with the neighbourhood as a place to live is Patch Area 4 (16). Respondents from Patch Area 4 are significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with the neighbourhood as a place to live than respondents from Patch Area 2 (5). Table 7 Satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [366] Patch 1 [110] Patch 2 [107] Patch 3 [111] Patch 4 [38] Dissatisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live varies by age, with respondents aged (15) more likely to be dissatisfied than those aged 35-54, and 65+ (9, 7 and 0 respectively). 26

27 Contact with Solon 9 Contact with Solon In recent years the customer base of social landlords has become increasingly fragmented and expectations of what services should be provided have grown. In addition, the plethora of channels and opportunities now available for communication between social landlords and their customers provides a challenge as well as an opportunity for service providers. This section will examine respondents contact with Solon, whether the staff were helpful if they had made contact and if their query was answered in a reasonable time. In addition, satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them and satisfaction that it gives the respondent the opportunity to make their views known are explored. 9.1 Contact with Solon All respondents were asked whether or not they had been in contact with Solon over the last twelve months. Nine in ten (89) respondents indicated they had been in contact with Solon over the last twelve months. Figure 6 Contact with Solon in the past 12 months Contacted Not contacted Can't recall Unweighted sample base: In terms of Patch Area, the proportions who had made contact are very similar 91 Patch Area 1, 90 Area 2, 88 Area 3 and 87 Area 4. Females, however, are significantly more likely than males to have contacted Solon (92 cf. 83), while younger residents are also more likely to have made contact 96 of those aged had contacted Solon compared with 87 of year olds, 90 of year olds and 88 of those aged

28 Customer Satisfaction Survey Where respondents are dissatisfied with an aspect of the service provided by Solon, the majority have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months, Dissatisfied with the service provided 98 Dissatisfied with the quality of the home 93 Dissatisfied that rent paid provides value for money 92 Dissatisfied that views are listened to and acted upon 91 Dissatisfied with repairs and maintenance 91 Dissatisfied with the neighbourhood as a place to live Reason for last contact Those who had been in contact with Solon in the last 12 months were then asked to say what they last had contact about. Four in five (81) contacted Solon about repairs while around one in eight (12) made contact about rent or housing benefit. Figure 7 What did you last have contact about? (Respondents who contacted Solon) Repairs 81 Rent/housing benefit 12 Neighbours/neighbourhood issues 10 Garden/communal areas 7 Other 7 Transfer/exchange 5 Can't remember Unweighted sample base: Ease of contacting Solon Asked to say if it was easy to contact Solon the last time they made contact, 97 said it was easy. Those in Patch Area 4 are significantly more likely to say that it was not easy to make contact (9 said it was not easy) compared with just 3 in Patch Area 1 and 1 each in Areas 2 and 3. 28

29 Contact with Solon Those aged (7) are more likely than other age cohorts to say it was not easy to contact Solon (0 65+, and ) Getting hold of the right person Respondents who had been in contact with Solon in the past 12 months (89 of all respondents) were then asked if they had found it easy or difficult to get hold of the right person. Just over four fifths (82) of respondents who have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months found it easy to get hold of the right person, while a further 9 found it neither easy nor difficult. Around one in twelve (8), then, said they found it difficult to get hold of the right person when last contacting Solon. Figure 8 Ease of getting hold of the right person (Respondents who contacted Solon) Easy 82 Difficult 8 Neither 9 Can't remember 1 Unweighted sample base: In terms of Patch Area, those in Areas 1 and 4 (11 and 15 respectively) are more likely to have found it difficult than those from Areas 2 and 3 (5 and 6 respectively). Females are also more likely to have found it difficult (10 cf. 5 males) whereas males are significantly more likely than females to have found it easy (89 cf. 79). Respondents aged and 65+ (5 and 14 respectively) are more likely to say they found it difficult to get hold of the right person than those aged or ). 29

30 Customer Satisfaction Survey Helpfulness of staff Respondents who had been in contact with Solon in the past 12 months were also asked if they had found the staff helpful or unhelpful. More than four fifths (85) of respondents who have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months found the member of staff helpful. A further 7 found them unhelpful. Figure 9 Helpfulness of staff (Respondents who contacted Solon) Helpful 85 Unhelpful 7 Neither Unweighted sample base: 324 In terms of Patch Area, those in Area 4 (12) are more likely to have found it difficult than those from Areas 1, 2 and 3 (7, 7 and 4 respectively. Respondents aged are more likely to highlight that staff were unhelpful than older respondents, (16-34, 14; 35-54, 5; 55-64, 2; 65+ 7). This report has previously identified that those respondents aged are more likely to have made contact with Solon in the past 12 months (96 against an average of 89). 30

31 Contact with Solon Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently Respondents who had been in contact with Solon in the past twelve months were then asked how satisfied they were with the ability of staff to deal with their query quickly and efficiently. Four fifths (80) of respondents expressed satisfaction with 14 dissatisfied. Figure 10 Ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently (Respondents who contacted Solon) Very satisfied 45 Fairly satisfied 35 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 80 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 325 By Patch Area, those from Area 3 are least likely to be dissatisfied (9) compared with those from Areas 2, 1 and 4 (13, 17 and 18 respectively). Dissatisfaction with the ability of staff to deal with the query quickly and efficiently varies with age, with respondents aged most likely to be dissatisfied, (16-34, 18; 35-54, 14; 55-64, 7 and 65+, 10). 31

32 Customer Satisfaction Survey Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query Respondents who had been in contact with Solon in the last twelve months were also asked to rate their satisfaction with the final outcome of their query. The majority (68) reported they were satisfied with the final outcome of their query. Conversely, 22 expressed dissatisfaction with the final outcome. Figure 11 Satisfaction with the final outcome of the query (Respondents who contacted Solon) Very satisfied 40 Fairly satisfied 28 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 68 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 310 Dissatisfaction with the final outcome of the query is highest in Patch Area 2 (28 are dissatisfied) when compared with Areas 1, 3 and 4 (15, 23 and 24 respectively). Dissatisfaction with the final outcome of the query again varies by age, with respondents aged most likely to be dissatisfied, (16-34, 21; 35-54, 26; 55-64, 26 and 65+, 16). Respondents dissatisfied that their views are listened to and acted upon are significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with the final outcome of their query than respondents who are satisfied that their views are listened to and acted upon (79 and 9 respectively). 32

33 Contact with Solon 9.2 Difficulty obtaining services from Solon All respondents were asked if they had ever had difficulty obtaining services from Solon because English is not their first language. One in twenty (5) said they had while the vast majority (95) said they had not. The highest proliferation of those who had encountered difficulty in obtaining services is in Patch Area 1 (9) compared with just 4 in Area 3, 3 in Area 2 and 0 in Area Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them All respondents were asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they are that Solon listens to tenants views and acts upon them. The majority (67) of respondents are satisfied that Solon listens to their views and acts upon them, compared with 14 who are dissatisfied. Figure 12 Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them Very satisfied 27 Fairly satisfied 40 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 19 Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied 6 9 Satisfied 67 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base:

34 Customer Satisfaction Survey There is very little variation in satisfaction by Patch Area as may be seen from the following table. Table 8 Satisfaction that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [369] Patch 1 [113] Patch 2 [105] Patch 3 [113] Patch 4 [38] In terms of age, respondents aged under 65 are more likely to be dissatisfied that Solon listens to respondents views and acts upon them than older respondents. Amongst those aged the proportion dissatisfied is 17, it is 13 amongst respondents aged and 15 amongst respondents aged Amongst respondents aged 65+ the proportion dissatisfied is 8. For respondents of working age (16-64), the proportion dissatisfied is 15. Females are more likely than males to be satisfied that Solon listens to their views and acts upon them (69 cf. 62). In 2009, however, the obverse was found, when males were more likely than females to be satisfied that their views were taken into account (58 cf. 49). There is no difference in satisfaction between those who do have a health limitation and those who do not (66 each). In 2009, those with a disability were more likely to be satisfied than those without (56 cf. 47). Non-BME residents less likely than BME residents to express satisfaction (67 cf. 71). In 2009, however, non-bme tenants were slightly more likely to express satisfaction (52 cf. 50). 34

35 Contact with Solon 9.4 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondent the opportunity to make their views known As well as being asked about their satisfaction that Solon listens to their views and acts upon them, respondents were also asked how satisfied they are that Solon gives them the opportunity to make their views known. The majority (77) of respondents are satisfied that Solon gives them the opportunity to make their views known. The proportion dissatisfied is just 7. Figure 13 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondents the opportunity to make their views known Very satisfied 46 Fairly satisfied 31 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 16 Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied 4 3 Satisfied 77 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 367 The area where the largest proportion of respondents is dissatisfied is Patch Area 1 (9), although dissatisfaction is quite low across all Patch Areas. Table 9 Satisfaction that Solon gives the respondents the opportunity to make their views known by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [367] Patch 1 [113] Patch 2 [105] Patch 3 [112] Patch 4 [37] Some variation in satisfaction that Solon gives respondents the opportunity to make their views known is apparent by age. Satisfaction is highest amongst those aged (87) compared with 68 of year olds, 78 of those aged and 79 of those aged

36 Customer Satisfaction Survey Amongst respondents who are dissatisfied that their views are listened to and acted upon, 42 are dissatisfied that Solon provides respondents with the opportunity to make their views known. 9.5 Recommending Solon to family or friends Respondents were asked how likely they would be to recommend Solon to family or friends. The majority (72) of respondents would be likely to recommend Solon to family or friends while 12 would be unlikely and 16 would be neither likely nor unlikely. Figure 14 Likelihood of recommending Solon to family or friends Not at all likely Extremely likely Likely Unlikely Unweighted sample base: 368 Again, there is little variation by Patch Area as may be seen from the following table. Table 10 Likelihood of recommending Solon to family or friends by Patch Area Likely Neither Unlikely Net ratings Total [368] Patch 1 [110] Patch 2 [105] Patch 3 [115] Patch 4 [38]

37 Contact with Solon 9.6 Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Asked if they were aware of Solon s Service Standards, approaching two thirds (64) of all respondents said they were aware with the remaining 36 unaware. Residents of Patch Area 3 are more likely to be aware of the Service Standards than those from other Areas, as may be seen from the following table. Table 11 Awareness of Solon s Service Standards Aware Unaware Total [362] Patch 1 [110] Patch 2 [103] Patch 3 [112] Patch 4 [37] Awareness increases with age so that while 50 of year olds are aware this rises to 60 of year olds and then again to 77 of year olds and 85 of those aged 65 and over. 9.7 Knowing how to make a complaint Asked if they know how to make a complaint if unhappy with a service that Solon has provided, almost nine in ten (87) of all respondents said they do know. Residents of Patch Area 3 are significantly more likely than those from all other Patch Areas to say they do know how to make a complaint. Table 12 Knowing how to make a complaint if unhappy with a service that Solon has provided Total [367] Patch 1 [110] Patch 2 [105] Patch 3 [114] Patch 4 [38] Yes No 37

38 Customer Satisfaction Survey 10 Repairs and maintenance This section will focus on the repairs and maintenance service provided by Solon. Satisfaction of the service overall, as well as with specific elements of it will be examined 10.1 Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance All respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the way in which Solon deals with repairs and maintenance. Seven in ten (69) of all respondents are satisfied with the service. In contrast, almost a quarter (23) are dissatisfied. Figure 15 Level of satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service Very satisfied 28 Fairly satisfied 41 Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 8 Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Satisfied 69 Dissatisfied Unweighted sample base: 372 Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance does not vary significantly by area. Table 13 Satisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance by Patch Area Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Net ratings Total [372] Patch 1 [114] Patch 2 [106] Patch 3 [114] Patch 4 [38]

39 Repairs and maintenance Those who live in new or purpose built properties are more likely than those living in rehab or converted properties to express satisfaction (72 cf. 67). Males are slightly more likely than females to be satisfied with the way in which Solon deals with repairs and maintenance (71 cf. 68), which is similar to the 2009 survey in which 69 of males and 66 of females were satisfied. There is little difference in satisfaction between those who do have a health limitation and those who do not (69 and 68 respectively). In 2009, those with a disability were slightly less likely to be satisfied than those without (66 cf. 67). Non-BME residents are equally as likely as BME residents to express satisfaction (69 cf. 70). In 2009, however, non-bme tenants were substantially (but not significantly) more likely to express satisfaction (69 cf. 59). Dissatisfaction with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance varies slightly by age, so that respondents aged and are more likely to be dissatisfied with the repairs service (25 each) than those aged and 65+ (19 and 17 respectively). Three quarters (74) of respondents dissatisfied that their views are listened to and taken into account are dissatisfied with how Solon deals with repairs and maintenance, compared with just 8 who are satisfied. A respondent s perception of the repairs and maintenance service will also be influenced by their views on their home. Four in five (79) respondents who are dissatisfied with the quality of the home are also dissatisfied with the repairs and maintenance service compared with just 12 of respondents who are satisfied with the quality of the home Repairs completed in the past 12 months All respondents were asked if they have had a repair completed in the past 12 months. Over three quarters (77) have had a repair completed during this period 82 Patch Area 1, 77 Area 2, 76 Area 4 and 71 Area 3. Those who live in rehab or converted properties are significantly more likely than those living in new or purpose built properties to have had a repair completed in the past 12 months (81 cf. 71). 39

40 Customer Satisfaction Survey 10.2 Satisfaction with aspects of the repairs service Those respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months were asked how satisfied they were with ten aspects of the repairs service. The lagging indicator for Solon (and for other landlords) is the time taken before work starts, with 75 of respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months satisfied. This suggests that expectations as to when a repair will be dealt with differs from published service standards. Figure 16 Rating of aspects of the repair service (Respondents who have had a repair completed) The attitude of workers Beimg able to make an appointment Keeping dirt and mess to a minimum Being told when workers would call The overall quality of work The speed of completion of work Time taken before work started The repairs service you received on this occasion The workers doing the job you expected The repair being done 'right first time' Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied Amongst those respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months, respondents aged under 65 (16-34, 15; 35-54, 23 and 55-64, 12) are more likely than respondents aged 65+ (4) to be dissatisfied with the time taken before work started. In BMG Research s experience, the two aspects of the repairs and maintenance service receiving the highest ratings (attitude of the workers and keeping dirt and mess to a minimum) are of less importance to tenants and therefore have little influence in determining satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service. 40

41 Repairs and maintenance Satisfaction with the repair being done right first time The one aspect, in BMG Research s experience, that does influence satisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service is whether the respondent perceives it was done right first time. The majority (63) of respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months, are satisfied that it was done right first time. At 30, the proportion dissatisfied with the repair being done right first time is the largest for any of the ten aspects of the repairs and maintenance service respondents were asked to comment on. Amongst those respondents who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months, respondents aged under 55 (16-34, 34 and 35-54, 32) are more likely than respondents aged (26) and 65+ (16) to be dissatisfied with the repair being done right first time. In addition, 33 of females who have had a repair completed in the past 12 months are dissatisfied that the repair was completed right first time compared with only 21 of males. 41

42 Customer Satisfaction Survey 11 Views on Solon 11.1 Future resources Solon has only a certain amount of resources to allocate to the different things it does. To help its organisational plan a question was asked of all respondents to ascertain their views on what Solon should focus on in the future. Seven in ten (72) think Solon should make repairs to homes quickly and efficiently, while just over half (52) think it should build more new homes. Figure 17 What Solon should focus on in the future Making repairs to homes quickly and efficiently 72 Building more new homes 52 Replacing older properties with new homes where possible Making improvements to the work Solon does and how it does it Making more effort to deal with antisocial behaviour Making sure Solon's published service standards for how it does things are Encouraging tenants to become more involved in Solon's work Playing a more active role in the community - being more than just a 23 Upgrading older propeties/home improvements/energy efficient homes 3 Other 9 None of the above 1 Don't know Unweighted sample base:

43 Views on Solon The majority (81), of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the repairs and maintenance service highlighted making repairs to homes quickly and efficiently an area for Solon to focus on What is valued about Solon All respondents were asked what, if anything, they value most about the organisation. Two fifths (41) believe that Solon staff treat them with respect and they can be trusted while a third (34) think Solon staff are supportive and caring. Figure 18 What is valued about Solon Solon staff treat you with respect and I can trust them 41 Solon staff are supportive and caring 34 Solon is small enough to provide a service that is tailored to my needs 26 Solon is independent and not part of a larger group 25 Solon is local to where I live 24 Other 3 None of the above 7 Don't know Unweighted sample base:

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