Tuesday 28th May 2024

Communication is key in the new era of Tenant Satisfaction Measures

"The way landlords communicate with residents and listen to their customers will set organisations apart."

Communication is key in the new era of Tenant Satisfaction Measures

Introduced by the government to help raise standards in social housing and empower tenants, the new Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) mean communication with residents has never been more important.

This autumn, tenants nationwide will be able to compare and measure the quality of the service they receive and hold their landlord to account. So, it’s imperative that housing providers effectively engage with tenants and communicate how they are working to enhance services, increase satisfaction and use customer feedback to drive improvements.

Knowledge is power and landlords need to successfully impart this knowledge to keep residents informed.

But for those landlords without the expertise of an internal communications team, the job ahead can seem daunting, especially if resident satisfaction is lower than expected.  Kirsten Foster, Director of Ocean Edge PR and Communications experts in social housing communications, offers key pieces of advice for organisations who need to develop their comms strategy in light of the TSMs.

“Communication really is key, at a time when tenant satisfaction is under such national scrutiny. The way landlords communicate with residents and listen to their customers will set organisations apart. Communication needs to be clear, consistent and above all user-friendly.”

Key takeaways for successful communication with tenants:

  • Always be open and honest - the TSM survey results are a reflection of how tenants perceive the quality of the service they receive, so it is essential that landlords communicate in a transparent, honest and human way – even when things go wrong. Tenants need to understand how landlords are working to put something right, and know their feedback is being listened to. If a target hasn’t been met, customers need to know why, along with what’s being done to resolve the situation and ensure future improvement. This will help to develop a culture of trust and respect amongst customers.
  • Word it right - every piece of communication must be reader -friendly. That means adopting designs and formats that are accessible and inclusive, and written in jargon-free, Plain English. What’s the point in publicising a lengthy Complaints Policy or Tenant Engagement strategy if the documents are too convoluted and unlikely to be of any use to residents?
  • Ask the audience – asking a group of tenants for feedback before publishing a document is a great way to ensure the design and wording of a document hits the spot and is relevant for the end-user.
  • Increase your reach - use multiple channels to engage with a wider audience – from social media posts, to estate noticeboards, resident newsletters and e-bulletins. Remember that not everyone has IT skills or access to the internet so some communications still need to be printed as hard copies.

Those landlords who perform well on the TSMs will certainly be those who focus on effective communication.

For an informal chat with Kirsten about how Ocean Edge PR and Communications can help your organisation improve communications and enhance engagement with residents please email or call 023 8000 1153 or connect on LinkedIn

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