An age-exclusive housing provider for the over 55s based in Bumpers Way, Chippenham has taken resident satisfaction to a new level with the launch of a one-stage complaints process.

Hanover Housing Association made this move in response to feedback about its existing complaints service. Concerns ranged from how a complaint was handled to the time take to reach a decision.

Under the old system a complaint could span three stages, have three separate complaint handlers and take up to six months to go through the process.

With the introduction of the new one stage system, 80 per cent of new complaints are now resolved in a just over two weeks.

The results of this change show a 26 per cent increase in resident satisfaction and a 39 per cent increase in complaints being logged and resolved as residents and staff start to see the real benefits of the process.

The move has resulted in Hanover achieving ‘compliance plus’ in its most recent Customer Service Excellence (CSE) assessment. Furthermore, Hanover achieved overall satisfaction levels of 93 per cent in its most recent customer satisfaction (STAR) survey of residents.

A great deal of work went into making the change to Hanover’s complaints process. However, perhaps the most important aspect has involved changing the culture of the organisation to view complaints positively and as an opportunity to improve services.

Mark Lake, assistant director for Hanover, said: “The new process has been very successful. By cutting out the red tape we have trained and empowered our staff to manage complaints more efficiently and effectively.

“In addition we have updated our internal systems and also assisted residents to set up their own tenants’ review panel that can help any residents who may remain dissatisfied with Hanover’s response.”

Hanover resident 72-year-old Robert Sherriff said: “I am very pleased that Hanover has implemented this new process. This demonstrates its commitment to improving services whilst listening to its residents.”