Mystery shoppers give top marks to Langstane Housing Association

Langstane Housing Association has been judged as welcome and “very helpful” by a group of North East tenants and residents.

In February 2018, NETRALT (North East Tenants, Residents and Landlords Together) launched a mystery shopping exercise across ten social housing providers operating in the North East of Scotland. The aim was to identify areas of best practice ultimately to enhance customer experience.

Mystery shoppers then visited publically accessible local offices to ask about applying for housing. They judged how accessible the offices were, whether or not the reception area displayed up-to-date relevant information and how the staff dealt with their queries. They then analysed and then reported the results.

The mystery shoppers left Langstane’s Aberdeen Office feeling they had been made very welcome and the member of staff dealing with them “was very helpful and provided all the information we requested and answered all our questions”.

Although the service provided could not be faulted, it was recommended that all frontline staff have their name badges visible at all times and the Association consider making a computer available in the reception area for public use.

The display of name badges was actioned immediately. Langstane had already planned to introduce two computers for public use following the introduction of on-line application forms for Universal Credit, Apply4Homes, and much more. These are now in place and members of the public can access them free of charge.

Langstane’s chief executive, Helen Gauld, said: “We are delighted at the findings of the report. Our staff aim to deliver first class services at all times and the mystery shopping experience shows the difference knowledgeable, helpful staff can make to someone’s experience.”

The mystery shopping project has led NETRALT to nominate the tenants and residents involved for a TPAS award for ‘Best Practice in Involving Customers’ and a CIHExcellence in Customer Service’ award.

Langstane said it wishes the group the best of luck and looks forward to their next project.

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