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Improving complaint responses for better resident satisfaction

We created the Complaints LAB to help housing providers improve the way they respond to customer complaints. Nationally, in the first half of 2023/24, only 34% of residents who complained were satisfied with how their concerns were handled.* The LAB focuses on how best to talk about service problems and learn from them. We take a fresh look at why people complain, and how tapping into the core human desire to help and be helped can transform satisfaction for both customers and colleagues.

*Source: HouseMark, Tenant Satisfaction Measures data

What is the Complaints LAB?

The Complaints LAB is a collaborative project to test different and better ways of delivering this vital part of modern housing services. It’s a place to challenge, innovate and try new approaches together, to get more positive results.

Working together for better results

The Complaints LAB offers a structured, collaborative environment for housing providers to share ideas and practices, receive expert feedback and try out innovative ways to handle complaints more effectively.

Your key to happier customers

Three simple principles to help you do things differently and better:

  • Complaints are a valuable opportunity to listen, learn and improve
  • Every complaint is unique and deserves a personal, bespoke response
  • Resolving the problem is not enough, you need to build relationships

How can you get involved?

You’re invited

To join the second cohort of housing associations looking to be at the cutting edge of best practice and have happier customers. Be part of this collaborative project to change the way you respond to customer complaints, forever and for good.

Click the button below to register your interest and a member of our team will be in touch to walk you through the joining process.

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    We would like to join the Complaints LABWe are interested in the Complaints LAB but would like to join the next cohort

    Benefits of joining

    What you get when you join the Complaints LAB
    • An expert review and audit – of a recent sample of your complaints responses. Send us up to ten anonymised letters or emails and we’ll give you honest, critical feedback plus advice on tone and thinking/writing for the future.
    • Independently gathered insight – from people who’ve made a complaint. We’ll organise two online, qualitative group sessions with up to 20 customers from the Complaints LAB participants to learn from their experiences. We’ll also offer 1:1 interviews where there are particular lessons, or for people who’d prefer this.
    • Three, two-hour action learning set sessions – online with other participants.
    • A half-day, online communication skills and behavioural insights workshop – customised to your team.
    • Regular best practice bulletins and updates – with tips from and beyond the LAB.
    • A chance to mix with the best – by featuring in the Housing Ombudsman Service’s Centre for Learning.
    • A final report, capturing best practice and the impact of your Complaints LAB involvement.

    Collaborate with insight

    On top of learning from other LAB participants, our team offers a mix of housing, plain language and behaviour change expertise. We’ve helped dozens of housing providers to modernise and improve their communications with customers. And we’ve developed a good dialogue with the Housing Ombudsman Service and Chartered Institute of Housing to drive change in this area of practice. Our qualified psychologist and behavioural scientist can help you explore how unconscious bias and different personality types can impact complaints.

    Don't just take our word for it

    Here is what some of the members of the first cohort had to say...
    We were looking at ways to improve our complaints handling and jumped at the chance to be part of the Complaints LAB. Suffice to say that we’re very pleased we did! We gained invaluable insight from other providers, got constructive feedback on how to improve and simplify our complaint letters and updated our Complaints Policy, including an easy-read version. There were also lots of constructive discussions with customers along the way.

    David Riley, Head of Customer & Communities, Trent & Dove Housing

    Does this sound like something your organisation could benefit from?

    Click the button below to give us your details and we’ll be in touch to give you all the details.

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      We would like to join the Complaints LABWe are interested in the Complaints LAB but would like to join the next cohort

      Being part of the Complaints LAB has been both insightful and challenging. We’ve reviewed our approach to look at creating a different and more customer-centred approach. We’ve involved all our team in sharing their experiences and ideas, and we will continue to make improvements.

      Jayne Corns, Customer Experience Manager, whg