Accent shakes up service delivery with ‘customer partners’ replacing traditional housing officers

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A housing association is offering its 35,000-plus residents their own personal ‘customer partner’ in a shake-up of the way it provides services.

Accent, headquartered in Shipley, says its new partnership approach has been developed by both staff and residents over the last 12 months, and reflects the latter’s priorities.

The organisation is calling its new service model Accent Partnership. The customer partner is one of the key specialised roles created to form a single point of contact for every resident in every aspect of their tenancy.

It’s claimed the new offer will deliver improved services and standards across the association’s homes, repairs service, tenancy support, contact systems and lettings.

Accent says it has also invested heavily in supporting technology for improved online access and mobile working for those residents happy to transact online, without forgetting those who still want a more personal service.

The driving force behind the partnership is Accent’s executive director of customer experience, Claire Stone, who joined the organisation in January 2018.

“The new Accent Partnership is designed to not only improve our existing service offer, but to establish a much improved, longer term relationship with our customers,” she said.

“We have made service improvements in all our residents’ key priority areas, including contact, repairs, anti-social behaviour, the quality of their homes and tenancy support. We have also introduced a new online lettings process…

“But Accent isn’t just focusing on improved online services. Key to the Accent Partnership is the role of the customer partner, a personal, named contact which replaces the association’s traditional housing officer role and tenancy support officers.”

She added: “Our customer partners will be with residents from the start of their journey with Accent, and provide guidance and support through every aspect of their tenancy. They will help our residents better understand their rights and responsibilities, our rights and responsibilities and help them to support and maintain their tenancy through any difficult times or unforeseen circumstances.”



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