We want our customers to be meaningfully engaged in our governance structures. As part of this, we regularly look at the best ways to involve our customers in the scrutiny of our performance and in the decisions we make.
This article will share what that looks like now, our plans going forward and give you the chance to let us know what you think.
Customer Partnership Board (CPB)
As part of our governance review in 2021, it was decided that the CPB would be more effective if it had a stronger link to the Silva board. For this reason, a Silva board member was appointed to the newly created CPB co-chair role.
The Silva board also supported a strengthened role for the CPB to enable it to better hold us to account. To do this, CPB meetings have been rescheduled so they occur the day before each quarterly Silva board meeting. This means the CPB can scrutinise our performance, and their feedback report is then delivered with limited delay to the Silva board by the co-chair. We have also provided training to each CPB member.
For transparency, we publish the notes from each CPB meeting on our website.
Annual customer report
We published our new and improved annual customer report in September 2021 to provide another way of involving our customers in reviewing our performance in an open and honest way.
The annual customer report looks at what we delivered and achieved compared to the targets set. It addresses any under-performance and provides reasons and actions to improve.
The 2021 report was facilitated by the CPB and communicated to all customers via the e-newsletter and our website. We then asked for feedback on the report.
Based on this, the CPB used the report and customer feedback to hold us to account in a session with the Silva executive board and Silva board.
We hold three customer events a year. At these events, we invite customers to ask questions to our executive board and we provide an update on our performance. During the events, there are focused sessions and discussions on different services and issues.
These events are usually held face to face at a local venue but due to the pandemic, they have been hosted virtually over the last two years. The event outcomes are published on our website afterwards.
Our next customer event is on Tuesday 22 March from 6pm to 9pm.
Regular customer insight
One of the best ways to involve customers in the scrutiny of our performance is by regularly asking them how we are doing. We do this through a number of surveys.
1. Annual perception survey
We have commissioned an independent organisation to carry out an annual survey, in which they ask our customers questions about our service. We aim to ask every customer at least once to participate and each year have had over 1,000 responses.
These results are shared with customers at the customer events, internally with Silva colleagues, and scrutinised at a joint session with the CPB, the Silva executive board, and the Silva board. An action plan is also produced to address any areas for improvement, and this is monitored throughout the year by the CPB.
2. Transactional surveys
We currently carry out random surveys when a customer contacts us or has a repair completed. These surveys are monitored regularly, and detailed feedback is given to managers and teams. The outcomes are reported as part of the quarterly operational performance review at the CPB, as well as the Silva executive board and the Silva board.
This year, we plan to complete a wider range of transactional surveys across other areas of our business including estate service and grounds maintenance, planned works, new homes, and neighbourhood issues such as anti-social behaviour.
3. Independent living
Before the pandemic, we had a sheltered scheme resident association (SSRA) that reported the views of our independent living customers through regular meetings. This was suspended back in March 2020. Since then, independent living customers have used their scheme managers to raise issues or concerns.
Now that face to face meetings can take place again, the SSRA have decided that monthly scheme resident’s meetings and ad hoc surveys would be a better way to engage with our independent living customers.
As a result, the SSRA has been dissolved and the CPB will seek to recruit a member from an independent living scheme when a vacancy arises.
We know things go wrong from time to time, so we use formal complaints to gain insight and drive improvements across the business.
We will do our best to resolve each formal complaint and we will, if necessary, review our procedures to ensure we learn from what went wrong.
We have made it easier to make a formal complaint and our performance at resolving them is reported monthly to the Silva executive board and then quarterly to the Silva board and CPB.
We would like to know your thoughts on our governance structure and if you feel there is something we could do differently.
Please send us your feedback using the button below by 31 March 2022. These will be shared with the Silva board and the CPB.