West Kent has updated its complaints policy in line with new guidance and has a brand new customer resolution team managing and responding to formal complaints.
Last year, the Housing Ombudsman Service published a new complaints handling code that sets out how housing organisations should respond to complaints. The new code is designed to make sure landlords deal with complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively and that they use the lessons learned to drive improvement.
At West Kent, we aim to deliver excellent services, but recognise that sometimes things go wrong, and customers may want to make a complaint. If this happens, we will try and put things right as quickly as possible and the new process will support this. When a customer first tells us they are unhappy, frontline staff will investigate and offer a solution- we call this a 'quick fix'. But if a customer isn't happy with the suggested solution, the complaint will then move into a two stage formal process managed by the customer resolution team.
There is a dedicated area of the West Kent website explaining the whole process, and letting customers know how they can get help and support if they need it.
There is also a new government website that explains how social housing providers should be responding to complaints.
The customer experience team worked with residents to make sure the messages about the new complaints process are clear and a process map graphic has been created to help explain the process clearly.