Roundtable report – Housing Association responses to COVID-19

On Thursday 9th April we facilitated a meeting of a small group of Housing Associations to begin to compare and contrast responses to COVID-19. The meeting was very productive and valuable. Below is my summary of the key points from the discussion.

You can view a fuller report of the meeting here: Summary of roundtable discussion 9th April 2020 anonymised

Four key topics emerged:
1. Which services have been prioritised in the immediate response to COVID-19 and social distancing
2. Monitoring vulnerable customers
3. Supporting staff
4. Impact on long-term strategy.

Some key take outs for me are:

  • Organisations have come to very different views about which services to prioritise and what can be delivered safely. Voids is a key example.
  • Whilst customers seem very happy with the service and support they get, work has not yet begun to monitor what are likely to be a rapidly changing customer expectations
  • Examples of unanticipated service need were highlighted (vulnerable customers who are ignoring social distancing for example)
  • Everyone is trying to maintain regular contact with vulnerable customers but persistent gaps in digital address and next of kin data have again been highlighted
  • Technology is being used to help here (CF the electronic monitoring tool provided by Customer CX)
  • Long term strategy will have to change and yet greater impact from Covid-19 have yet to unfold
  • There is likely to be yet greater pressure for increased efficiency and expectations have been raised. After all “If we can do all of that in just 4 days what else can we achieve?”

And for me, the quote of the day was:

“Ironically, through social distancing we have become a more personal service.”

We will look to run another session next week. If you want to talk further about any of these issues please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Resources for Housing Associations:

Social Housing Customer Experience

Really useful CX resources

How well does your organisation set customer expectations?

CX and Public Sector organisation

Should digital exclusion change your digital self-service plans?