Rethinking customer insight: Moving beyond the numbers

Published by HACT, August 2018

Using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research, this report examines customer satisfaction and concludes that social housing needs to adopt a new approach to the issue.

Our findings highlight two key issues for the future of customer satisfaction:

  • First, rather than collect data to demonstrate how good you are, collect data to improve how good you are.
  • Second, communicating with your customers needs to be more targeted, more intelligent, and more responsive.

The approach you take should depend on your organisational priorities. You shouldn’t expect a one-size-fits-all model to work for you, just because it works for another housing association down the road.

Rather than a new model for customer satisfaction, we’re proposing a new approach:

  • Only ask a question if it’s relevant to your business and your business objectives.
  • If you’re not going to use the responses to the question to develop actionable insights, don’t ask the question.
  • If you’re going to use the data, tell your customers why you’re asking the question, what you’re doing with their responses, and how they can continue to be involved.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your customers to engage with the process using their choice of channel, at their time of choosing.
  • If satisfaction rates for a particular service plateau, perhaps it’s time to stop asking questions, at least until changes are made to the service. Start asking again to gauge the impact of the changes.
  • Review, reflect and redesign, and start again.

The research was funded by bpha, Catalyst, Equity, OneManchester, Peabody, settle and Trafford Housing Trust.

More Resources