Updating our Customer Engagement Strategy

We asked for your help to get our customer engagement strategy right

Customer engagement, involvement and participation is the sharing of ideas and information between customers and Westward.  We want to help customers provide feedback and challenge how we shape, deliver and improve services, as well as having a say on future priorities. Working together will mean better and more efficient services, which is what you, our staff, board members and regulator want to see.

What has Westward done?

Summer and autumn 2020

We asked an independent consultant to carry out surveys and conversations with nearly 400 residents and Westward staff; this found that customers have the appetite to have a say.  We need to let customers know how they can have a say, make it easier to do so and focus on issues that matter most to them.

The consultants put together a draft strategy and action plan; these were presented to our board of directors and Customer Senate Chair.

January 2021

The board set up a task and finish group of board directors and customers to progress the strategy.

February 2021

The task and finish group met to review the draft strategy and consider appropriate consultation, the Minutes Jan 2021 are here. 

The consultation was carried out and included:

  • Emailing 40 ‘interested customers’ to invite them to complete a survey and attend a virtual meeting
  • Setting up a page on our website to explain our proposals, including the draft customer engagement strategy – 124 visitors to the page
  • Facebook - 172 people saw the post, 7 clicked on it and 5 reacted, commented or shared it
  • Twitter - 297 people saw the post and 8 interacted
  • Setting up a short survey to gather feedback on our proposals – 27 responses received
  • Holding a virtual meeting to give customers a chance to hear more about customer engagement, ask questions and hear from some external speakers (Tenant Participation Advisory Service CEO and Community Investment Manager from Coastline Housing Association) and key players at Westward (CEO and the directors of housing and property) – 4 customers attended and 2 apologies given – you can watch the recording of this session below

March 2021

The task and finish group met again to review the consultation outcomes and the changes required to the strategy.  The covering report outlining the changes is here and the Minutes March 2021 are here. 

Following the recommendation of the task and finish group, the board approved the new Customer Engagement Strategy and action plan. 

A new Customer Experience and Insight Manager was appointed.

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to feedback, get involved and share opinions – we hope that the final strategy meets your expectations!

What happens next?

We are starting to deliver the new strategy and action plan - we would like your help with updating our current ‘Customer Senate’ into a new scrutiny group.  This group will be responsible for:

  • Holding Westward to account by assessing service delivery and performance
  • Working with other residents who fulfil mystery shopper and other roles to inspect Westward’s services
  • Influencing service improvement and development
  • Commenting on policies and strategies
  • Introducing good practice

We are looking for people who are curious and interested in working side by side with Westward staff to make our services more customer friendly and efficient.

If you are interested, please use Customer Group in the subject line of this  Contact Us form.