Customer Strategy at Magenta Living

Central concept of the strategy: Ensuring customers are central to the organisation's vision

Our customers are central to the successful delivery of Magenta Living’s vision of, lives, neighbourhoods. Magenta Living is far more than a traditional landlord focusing primarily on the property and is committed to engaging, and working in partnership with, customers to continually improve our service offer.

We take a customer-centred approach to service delivery, embracing diversity, offering support to vulnerable customers, and creating social value. One of our four strategic objectives in our 2018-24 Corporate Plan centres on customers: Excellent Customer Service and Service Transformation.

Our objective is to engage with customers and offer a service delivery model that is recognised by our customers, colleagues and stakeholders as being high quality, efficient and represents value for money. It makes good business sense to engage with a diverse range of customers in a variety of ways to help us better understand their needs and expectations so that we can use this insight to deliver excellent services. We aim to deliver our services in an equitable way which promotes inclusivity.

During the development of this strategy, Magenta Living has been able to reflect on changing customer trends and experiences, as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as ensuring the necessary regulatory focus exists and reflects the key messages of the welcomed Social Housing White Paper (SHWP). The SHWP includes a Charter for social housing residents which includes treating residents with respect and listening to the customer voice, principles which underpin this strategy. We will use this strategy to inform our approach to engagement and service delivery and test we are meeting the expectations of our customers.

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Gaps identified to be bridged

Better understand individuals, and if their actions, expectations and experiences are similar in any way: Understanding our customers

Through analysis and engagement, we have identified 6 customer personas informed by the data we have about our customers. The purpose of the personas is not to attach a label to each household, but to help us design services based on the needs and expectations of a range of customers.

The personas will be used in several ways:

  1. To provide services that meet the needs of different customers
  2. To understand the impact our services have on our customers
  3. To redesign and transform our services to meet the needs and expectations of our customers
  4. To understand how we need to change to meet the needs of our future customers
  5. To make sure our actions don’t negatively impact on any of our customer groups
  6. To understand the equality, diversity and inclusion impacts of our actions

Better understand how customers request services: Understanding our customer journeys

Through analysis and engagement, we have identified our key customer journeys and the main points at which they need support from Magenta Living. By identifying this journey, we can understand where our improvement efforts will have the most impact. To better understand our customer journey, we considered several areas of business activity including:

  • Finding and Moving Home
  • Tenancy Management
  • Neighbourhood Management including ASB services
  • Repair and Maintenance Services
  • Planned Improvements / Refurbishments of homes
  • Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Leaseholder and other Stakeholder interactions
  • Safety in the home and neighbourhood

Our Customer Vision

To help us better understand our Customers and the Customer Journey we have developed a customer vision:

“We will engage with our customers in a variety of ways, so we understand their current and future needs and expectations and use this insight to work in partnership with our customers and external stakeholders to design services that are value for money and deliver an excellent customer experience.”

The reason for, and purpose of, this strategy

  1. This is Magenta Living's first formal Customer Strategy which outlines our approach and intended improvements to customer engagement and customer experience and seeks to support our corporate vision of ‘Vibrant… homes, lives, neighbourhoods’ which entails putting the customer at the centre of everything we do.
  2. This strategy has developed at a time when the Social Housing Sector is changing, and there are more pressures on landlords to implement lasting change including improved safety, carbon footprint reduction, building new homes and partnering with local agencies to deliver regeneration. These competing pressures mean we need to be focused and concentrate our efforts where they are most needed. This prioritisation will be led by our customers. By engaging with our customers so that we effectively listen to and factor in what they are telling us, through a range of engagement channels as well as complaints, surveys, or other mechanisms, we can learn about where we need to improve. We will also listen to individual voices through social media, formal and informal engagement activities, during our daily activities and provide opportunities to influence Board decisions through involvement in Committees and the Board.

What our customers are telling us

Engagement through formal structures

Customers involved in our formal governance structures such as Magenta Communities Committee (MCC), assist us in looking in some depth at key customer-facing services as well as major changes to how we operate. Their feedback assures Board that the customer voice is central to our customer strategy and governance structure. Through this structured approach, scrutiny reviews can be facilitated where more in-depth analysis is required.

MCC has identified a priority order for community investment activities which are based on Magenta Living’s Company Objects:

  • Priority 1: Employment, Skills and Enterprise
  • Assisting customers gain jobs, apprenticeships and pathways to employment. Education, training and skills development. Supporting enterprises to grow and create employment opportunities.
  • Priority 2: Community Support
  • Relieving the impacts of poverty. Alleviating food poverty, furniture poverty and other impacts of deprivation. Providing support in terms of welfare, income maximisation and financial inclusion.
  • Priority 3: Community Facilities
  • Providing and supporting community facilities to engage local people.
  • Priority 4: Health and Wellbeing
  • Assisting and encouraging customers to lead healthier lifestyles, combatting social isolation, supporting those with disabilities and providing support for people with mental health issues.
  • Priority 5: Neighbourhoods
  • Neighbourhood environments. Ensuring neighbourhoods are clean, safe and attractive. Dealing with issues and positively enhancing the wider neighbourhood.

Other forms of engagement offer customer feedback on specific service areas, projects, policies or neighbourhood related consultations.

Engagement through Complaints and Feedback

Complaints are a great opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes and put things right for our customers. Recognising this, we have identified the top 5 reasons why our customers complain:

  1. Delays in repairs being completed after they have started
  2. Delays in repairs not being started
  3. Communication and not keeping customers updated
  4. Appointment not attended as agreed
  5. Staff conduct and attitude

Our complaint volumes have been reducing since the Ombudsman Code was introduced in September 2020, and these new levels have remained stable for the 12 months to January 2022. This means our customers have less reasons to complain, but there is still a lot more work to do. We have identified 109 pieces of potential learning since January 2021 and have committed to make changes to the way we work for 57 of these by December 2022. We have also introduced staff behaviours as part of the Magenta Way transformational plan.

Engagement through customer surveys

We survey a sample of our customers in the month after they receive services for us in the areas of repairs, planned maintenance, servicing (gas and electric), moving into a Magenta Living home, and complaints.

  1. Our data for the period January 2021 to December 2021 shows us where we need to improve. This tells us where our customers like what we do, and where we have room for improvement. We will concentrate on maintaining the services we deliver well and increasing satisfaction with the services where our customers are telling us we need to do better.

High satisfaction (>90%):

  • Planned maintenance satisfaction - 97%
  • Satisfaction with new lettings - 96%
  • Gas and electrical servicing satisfaction - 93%

Average satisfaction (80-89%):

  • Response repairs satisfaction - 98%
  • Customers kept up to date with their repair progress - 88%

Low satisfaction (<80%):

  • Customers receiving an appointment during their phone call - 76%
  • Ease of reporting a complaint - 76%
  • Communication when follow-on works are required - 60%
  • Time taken to resolve complaint - 56%
  • Trust that Magenta Living will do what they say (complaints) - 28%
Engagement through Magenta Connect

Magenta Connect is an online engagement platform which facilitates the two- way, real-time interaction between Magenta Living and customers. Introduced in response to the dynamic environment arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we plan to grow the reach and engagement of Magenta Connect through a marketing campaign and creating engaging content to become a central pillar of our strategy. Consultation subjects range from feedback on the customer principles and active asset management strategy to more service specific areas including the pet's policy, garages and the annual report. The platform is underpinned by detailed analytics which enable us to measure its success over time and there are two main factors which combine to create engagement:

  • Number of active users
  • Number of active consultations / topics

By measuring and analysing data around these strands, we will achieve an assessment of the positive impact of the platform in terms of quality active contributions to featured topics, measured, in order, by those aware, informed and engaged.

Engagement through Community Partners’ Panel

The Community Partners Panel was also established in response to the Pandemic to assist us to engage with customers who are less likely to engage through traditional direct consultation. Partners have agreed to assist us engage with the customer voice in 3 ways:

  1. Consulting users of their services to provide feedback on how Magenta Living provides services
  2. Extending the reach of consultation to customers who may not engage in more traditional meetings, surveys or other engagement mechanisms
  3. Spreading good practice and widening the customer support offer within our communities

Community Partners include organisations working with our customers in fields including:

  • Health and wellbeing, including mental health and smoking cessation
  • Community cohesion and combatting social isolation
  • Working with younger members of our communities, including education
  • Employment creation and enterprise growth
  • Older person’s support
  • Those with disabilities and additional needs
  • Community empowerment, including promoting diversity and inclusivity
  • Domestic violence support
  • Alleviating poverty and hardship

This partnership approach extends our engagement with harder to reach groups, making us more inclusive, extends the influence of identified customer groups and delivers value for money. This approach is a cost-effective way to ensure that diverse audiences are empowered to influence how we deliver our customer strategy.

Our Customer Principles

We asked our customers registered on Magenta Connect, Magenta Communities Committee and 100 colleagues to help us create our customer principles. From the numerous suggestions received we have created 9 core principles which we will use to measure, monitor and inform customers how we deliver services at Magenta Living.

In order to align with our 3 corporate values, we have grouped our measurable customer principles, as follows:

We are Accountable
  • “They listen to me, and I can see how my involvement makes a difference”
  • “They are professional, knowledgeable, efficient and accountable”
  • “They care about me, my home and my community”
  • “I only have to contact them once and they always follow through on their promises”
We are Ambitious
  • “I find it really easy to get the help I need”
  • “They deliver a quality service that offers me good value for money”
We are Adaptable
  • “They are empathetic, caring and considerate”
  • “They respond quickly and keep me informed”
  • “There are a range of opportunities to get involved and have my views and the views of my community heard”

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This strategy will empower, enable and support our customers to play an active role in influencing how we operate and deliver our customer promises.

In order to achieve this, we will:

  • Work with customers to remove barriers to participation
  • Work with community partners to identify barriers and work collaboratively to remove or diminish such barriers
  • Support, encourage and appropriately resource listening to customers to provide constructive feedback and input
  • Build the capacity of customers to actively influence how we deliver services
  • Proactively engage with under-represented groups and individuals within our customer base
  • Facilitate the widest possible range of channels to influence our approach
  • Encourage community responses and solutions to neighbourhood issues
  • Be open to constructive feedback from all sections of the community and adapt to changing circumstances

Our Customer Promise

We understand our customers, what they are telling us and what they want to be able to say about us, our measurable customer principles. We will demonstrate our commitment to meeting our customer principles by fulfilling a wide range of customer promises over the next 3 years.