Rethinking customer insight


HACT's new research that highlights the need for a new approach to customer satisfaction by the social housing sector.

Rethinking Customer Insight: Moving beyond the numbers is published today by HACT following a two-year research project funded by seven leading housing associations.

The report highlights two key issues for the future of customer satisfaction:

  • First, rather than collect data to demonstrate how good social housing providers are, they need to collect data to improve how good they are.
  • Second, communicating with customers needs to be more targeted, more intelligent and more responsive.

The report concludes that there is no one-size-fits-all model for customer satisfaction. Rather than a new model, we are recommending the sector adopts a new approach to customer satisfaction:

  • Only ask a question if it’s relevant to your business and your business objectives.
  • If you’re not going to use the responses to the question to develop actionable insights, don’t ask the question.
  • If you’re going to use the data, tell your customers why you’re asking the question, what you’re doing with their responses, and how they can continue to be involved.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your customers to engage with the process using their choice of channel, at their time of choosing.
  • If satisfaction rates for a particular service plateau, perhaps it’s time to stop asking questions, at least until changes are made to the service. Start asking again to gauge the impact of the changes.
  • Review, reflect and redesign, and start again.

The research was funded and supported by bpha, Catalyst, Equity, OneManchester, Peabody, settle and Trafford Housing Trust. The report is available to download from the HACT web site.

The research report evolved out of a scoping study from 2015 that found:

  • There were concerns about inconsistency and the implications of using a specific survey mode.
  • Survey responses can be impressionistic and not indicative of business performance.
  • Current methods of aggregated benchmarking were flawed; results did not provide meaningful business insights to enable informed decision-making and were of limited value.
  • Massive amounts of data are being collected, but this data is not being used, leading to significant levels of resource wasted both on collection and analysis.

Download the report here