Our Customer Service Guarantee
Our Personal, Modern and Better Service
Our ambition is to be a first class landlord providing you with â€˜personal, modern and betterâ€™ services which offer good value for money. We have set our standards of service with our resident representatives. If we fail to meet them, we will acknowledge that and work hard to improve.
About us • We are open and honest in the way we conduct our business. • We consult with you and welcome your views so you can influence our business and improve the services we provide. • We employ professional staff who will treat you with courtesy and respect. • We set high performance targets to help us make sure we provide a good quality customer service. • We constantly strive to provide value for money services. • We invest in our existing homes and in building new ones – so you have good quality homes to live in. • We provide our ‘personal, modern and better’ service from five main regional offices in Bradford, Burnley, Camberley, Middlesbrough and Peterborough. Our promise to you • We treat everyone fairly, politely and with respect. • We offer you interpretation and translation services if English is not your first language. • We offer a range of ways in which you can contact us and access the services you need. • We have an interactive website which is simple to use and optimised for display on your tablets and smart phones. You can pay your rent, report non-emergency repairs and contact us with online forms. • We have created the Accent Customer Portal so you can access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • We have a fair and straight-forward process for making comments, compliments and complaints, which can be in person, in writing,by email, via our website or over the telephone. • We make sure that whatever information we have about you is kept secure, treated with confidence, and only used for the purpose intended. • We have created the Accent Hub so you can give us feedback on our services.
When you telephone us • Your call will be answered by one of our customer service advisors in our contact centre. • Our telephone lines are covered from: – 8am to 8pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. – 10am to 8pm on Wednesday (we close for an hour for training). – 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. • Our customer advisers are your first point of contact for all your enquiries and will aim to deal with your call completely. • When you need to report a repair, our advisors will help to diagnose the problem and, via our contractors, arrange to get the work done at a convenient time. • If you ring us outside open hours, your call will be re-routed to our out of-hours service. • We will answer our telephones promptly at all times. Our target is within 15 seconds. • Our staff will answer the phone with their name so you know who you are talking to. • If our customer advisers cannot deal with your enquiry, you will be put through to your housing officer, who is your main point of contact. • If your housing officer is unavailable at the time you ring, they will call you back as soon as practical but certainly within 48 hours. If they are unavailable for longer, someone else will return your call on their behalf. • We can call you back at an agreed time if you ask us, or when the person you need to speak to is next available.
When you visit us • Our offices are family-friendly, welcoming and accessible. • We will treat you with courtesy and respect at all times. • We provide a hearing loop if you need it. • We provide a private room for interviews. • If you have an appointment, we will see you within five minutes of the agreed time. • If we have to cancel an appointment, we will let you know in advance. • If you do not have an appointment, we will see you within 15 minutes. When we visit you • We make appointments to visit you. We will only call without an appointment if there is a serious problem, or if you have not responded to our letters or telephone calls. • We let you know if we are going to be late, or if we need to cancel. • If you‘re not in when we call, we leave a card with our contact details on. • Our contractors and staff will show you identification (ID) cards when they call. • Our contractors and staff will respect your home, and not smoke in it, or use any of your facilities, without your permission. When you write to us, or when we write to you • We date stamp letters when we receive them. Dates of emails and other electronic communications, such as Facebook and Twitter, are automatically recorded on arrival. • We aim to reply to all written correspondence within five days. If we cannot meet this timescale, we will contact you with a timescale we can meet. • Our letters and emails are written in plain English. We can produce them in another language or format if you ask us, although this may mean there is a slight delay before they reach you. • Our letters are signed by a named officer with the appropriate contact details so you know who to ask for when you contact us.
Improving our service • We use surveys and other methods to find out if you are happy with our service. • We listen to what you say and use your comments to improve our service. • We measure our performance against set targets and let you know how we are performing. Getting involved • We offer you a range of ways to get involved, including surveys, focus groups, customer panels and through our social network sites. • We have customer service committees with resident members and a national residents panel which acts as a ‘critical friend’ to the Accent Board. Residents also help to improve performance by scrutinising our services. As positions become vacant, we advertise them and all residents are invited to apply. Your community • We will do our best to make sure you can live peacefully and safely in your home. • We work with agencies in the community to find support services for vulnerable residents. • We will investigate any claims of anti-social behaviour and take action. • We work with agencies such as the police to keep you and your community safe.
Your home • We will provide you with a good quality, warm and safe home. • We review our rents and services charges each year and tell you about any changes at least one month in advance. • We provide a range of convenient ways in which you can pay your rent. • We have a process for dealing with rent arrears, which can include legal action, but we always offer you advice and support first if you are finding it difficult to pay your rent. • If you need help to manage your tenancy, we have a range of ways to support you. Our tenancy support staff can offer more practical, personal and professional advice on, for example, moving in, welfare benefits, money management and jobs and training. • We will visit you at home if you wish to discuss anything with us. • Before we allocate one of our homes, we carry out an inspection and make sure it reaches our required standard and that any necessary repairs are carried out. • We have a planned maintenance programme of work for all our homes and estates and we will let you know what work is planned. • When you report a repair to us, we will tell you how long it will take to complete. We have different response times depending on the nature of the repair. Emergency repairs will be responded to within 24 hours. If they cannot be completed due to the nature of the work, or because parts or materials are needed, your property will be made safe and we will tell you when the rest of the work will be completed. • We will let you know when we need access to your home to carry out the gas safety and other checks we have to do by law.
Keeping you informed • We publish our newsletter, ‘Accent News’, three times a year. • We publish information about our business on our website and in our newsletters. • We produce an annual performance report to residents every October. • We can offer you support to help you get more involved and influence our services. • We can provide help and advice on jobs and training. If you need to comment, compliment or complain about us • We accept comments, compliments or complaints in any format, whether in person, in writing, by email or over the telephone. • If you contact us with a complaint that we can resolve quickly, we will. • We aim to resolve informal complaints within 24 hours. • If you contact us with a more ‘formal’ complaint, which is likely to take more time to resolve, we will carry out a full investigation and keep you updated throughout the process. • We aim to resolve ‘formal’ complaints within five working days where we can.
What we expect of you as our resident • Keep to all the terms of your tenancy agreement. • Pay your rent and service charge in advance as required by your tenancy agreement. • Report any repairs promptly. • Give us access to your home to carry out repairs and gas safety and other inspections. • Respect your home and your community, and our staff and contractors. • Respect your neighbours and be aware of how your actions could affect them. • Be responsible for your children. Keep track of where they are and what they are doing. • Be responsible for your family members and your visitors and make sure they do not disturb your neighbours. • Ask us for permission to keep a pet. If we allow you to keep a dog or a cat, make sure you control them and clean up after them. • Park your vehicles with respect and consideration for your neighbours. • Keep communal areas clean and tidy and take pride in your garden. More information on our standards of service can be found in our policy documents and leaflets. Please contact us if you would like more information or copies of any of our documents.
Stay in touch T: 0345 678 0555 E: firstname.lastname@example.org @accenthousing Office addresses and opening times are available on our website AG18