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  • Writer's pictureKarolis Duoba

Reflections on #Housing24

With all polls suggesting a change in government ahead, housing is, as one would expect, a cornerstone topic of manifestos for political parties of all persuasions. The impending election on the 4th of July has left the country in a state of political, economic, social and technological flux. So it was timely, at the last industry event before the election, to spend time listening and learning from those in the housing sector at #Housing24.  


It was quite the wakeup call to learn how this was impacting tenants at the front line because results are sobering. 

The sector is coming under increasing scrutiny as a result and not just by the press. Social commentators such as Kwajo Tweneboa and Darren McGarvey are powerful voices holding the sector to account. 


Significant increases in complaints


Earlier this year, the Housing Ombudsman called out the significant increase (91%) in housing complaints in the first 9 months of 2023/4 with estimates of a further 80% this year. These numbers are backed up by our CaseTracker platform statistics, which convey both a sense of increasing tenant expectations and decreasing satisfaction with services.

Housing Maintenance Complaints


Significant decreases in satisfaction

Unsurprisingly then, when we look upstream to satisfaction / dissatisfaction, we see a similarly worrying landscape. Last week Housemark gave a heads up on the results from the first year of TSM results – based on their members.

Housemark TSM satsifaction

Using TP01 (overall satisfaction) we see a near 20% drop in satisfaction in the past 6 years with 70% of providers showing a decline.  

So we can see there is a clear and obvious correlation between the number of complaints and the associated cost of handling these with the reducing satisfaction levels.

Monitoring the effectiveness of your services through feedback surveys and being able to dynamically adapt/respond to dissatisfaction will reap significant savings from reduced complaint levels.  

But shoots of positivity and best practice can be seen growing in the 30% of housing organisations that are showing improvement. Namely that those organisations which are improving: 


  • 1 – were genuinely investing in CX – in terms of organisational structure and technology.

  • 2 – were continually reviewing front line services – redesigning etc.

  • 3 – have a mature approach to data. 



Staying on the theme of satisfaction monitoring, if the TP01 data is anything to go by, we will undoubtedly see a drop in overall satisfaction for TSMs. Plus, it has become evident that different approaches to surveying in different channels have been adopted causing a lack of consistency and in some cases a much more expensive approach being taken generally. We can see, again from Housemark data that nearly 4 out 5 surveys were done over the phone – one of the most expensive methods to survey and also one of the most likely to result in bias. 

Different approaches will undoubtedly lead to bias and inconsistency – and this is an area we thinks needs further prescription. Particularly because Gartner’s research shows customers typically prefer surveys via email.

We believe that as approaches mature and become part of a wide customer experience management strategy organisations will seek to standardise across channels. Particularly given the technology to standardise surveys across all channels and remove any bias exists today.


To provide context, working in partnership with Wigan Council, the council’s housing team surpassed all requirements re surveying methodology, confidence etc. by aligning with Gartner’s recommendation and surveyed in consistent automated manner via email, SMS and finally post.

The key takeaway from the TSMs is that they are only useful if they are as accurate as possible and truly reflective of the situation. Inaccurate or biased results will be worse than not doing them at all. Working with partners, we have an objective, quick to deploy, quick to value solution – highlighting genuine insights in CX. 

Don’t join the wrong queue. 

TL;DR: Reflections on #Housing24 

Ahead of the election, housing is a hot topic. #Housing24 revealed a 91% surge in complaints and a 20% drop in tenant satisfaction over six years. Increased tenant expectations and biased surveys are key issues. 

Success stories show that investing in customer experience (CX), service reviews, and mature data practices pays off. Consistent, cross-channel and unbiased surveys, as seen at Wigan Council illustrate the technology is there with Govmetric CX to assist today.

Accurate data drives service improvements and cuts complaint costs. 



If you would like to discover some of our Customer Stories, highlighting real-world customer experience transformations within the public sector, click below.

Nic Streatfeild is the CEO and Founder at GovMetric, home of the leading Citizen Experience Management solution for the public sector.

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