Feedback From The Big Conversation

A big thank you to everyone to took part in our Big Conversation - this is what you said!

Big Convo Room

Throughout April and May, we undertook a large-scale consultation with customers called the Big Conversation. The purpose of the exercise was to understand tenants and residents’ views on how we deliver services and how we could involve them and work together to make improvements.

The consultation, led by our Customer Experience team, took place across a number of online platforms and physical spaces, with the primary aim being to hear as many voices as possible, whilst ensuring that they were representative of our tenant and resident base.

From the start of the project, the team worked closely with the Together with Tenants Steering Group, which is made up of tenant and employee members from across the society. Together, the group planned the key messages of the consultation and the questions that would be asked in the accompanying survey.

The survey sought to identify things like how, when, and where tenants and residents want to contact and get involved in our activities. It also sought to find out what is most important to them when they do make contact, and how best we might be able to involve them in making service improvements.

To try and encourage people to get involved and give feedback, all respondents to the survey were entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning one of ten £100 shopping vouchers, to be drawn in the middle of May as the consultation concluded.

The Consultation Process

Given the lingering presence of Covid around the launch of the consultation, it was important to ensure that we were able to promote and encourage involvement in a safe and accessible way. The team explored a variety of engaging online platforms before enlisting digital specialists, Aecom to develop an appealing and interactive virtual consultation room, which can be seen below.

The virtual room consisted of an introductory video explaining the ‘why’s and what for’s’ of the consultation followed by several virtual pop-up display banners for visitors to peruse at their leisure, concluding with a link to the survey.

To spread the word and raise awareness, details of the consultation and the room were shared via email and text message to all tenants and residents. The consultation was also promoted on our website and social media channels with more personalised messages added to the MyRBH portal.

Offline, flyers were produced that were displayed in local community spaces as well as in our Independent Living Schemes; they were also distributed by front line employees. Whilst maintaining safety was of paramount importance, we wanted to ensure that the consultation was reaching a cross-section of our tenants and residents, including those who can’t/prefer not to go online. To complement the online activity, 11 face to face sessions were held across the Borough in local libraries, community centres and Independent Living Schemes, where safe to do so. Paper copies of the surveys were provided and there was an opportunity to discuss some more local issues too.

The Feedback

The consultation was launched in early April and was live for a period of six weeks, during that time there were over 2,500 visitors to the virtual consultation room and 1,400 completed surveys.

Looking at the age, ethnicity, and disability profiles, the make up of respondents matched the make up of our wider tenant and resident base. Responses were also received from people across all 20 Rochdale wards where we have homes.

Key themes that emerged from the consultation include:

  • Overwhelmingly, tenants of all ages find the phone the easiest method of contact
  • Most respondents like to contact us during normal office hours, with little appetite for making contact in evenings and weekends
  • Speed, quality of response and being kept informed were the 3 most important things when contacting us
  • Most people said they would feel more inclined to get involved in activities with RBH if they could see what changes were being made because of their involvement
  • Discussions and activities looking at more local issues, such as crime, anti-social behaviour, and neighbourhood improvements, would be welcomed by the majority
  • There is a clear need for a mix of engagement activities, ranging from short and snappy surveys and polls to more involved groups looking at things affecting people of different ages
  • Engagement activity needs to be both face-to-face and online and should take place across a variety of times and days, with a preference for weekday mornings.

We are really pleased with the feedback we have had from the consultation. Given the number and cross-section of respondents, we can be confident that the results are reflective of our wider tenant and resident base. The next step is to work with a smaller group of tenants and employees from across the Society to ensure we are making best use of the insight to help drive service improvements where needed.

Phil Heron RBH Head of Customer Experience

Following the close of the consultation on the 15th of May, the ten prize draw winners were selected at random, and the vouchers hand delivered to them shortly after. Whilst the survey results suggested that rewards and incentives were not the most significant motivators for people to get involved, the vouchers were well received by the lucky winners!

I was sat at my friend’s house, and I got a text message about a survey, I had a bit of time on my hands, so I completed it there and then. I had just been saying to my friend that I never win anything. I was so shocked when you called me to tell me I’d won, I couldn’t believe it, but I am so happy I did. I will definitely complete more surveys with RBH in the future!

Bethany RBH tenant from Wardle

Since the close of the consultation, the results have been fed back to the Together with Tenants Steering Group, RBH’s Representative Body (made up of tenant and employee members) and the Society’s Board. The insight will now be used to help develop and shape two new strategies, a Customer Experience Strategy, and a Customer Engagement Strategy, both of which will go to the Representative Body for final approval in August.

For further information about the consultation process, the results and/or the next steps, please feel free to contact Phil at phil.heron@rbh.org.uk.

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