Customer service testing

The Scrutiny Panel uses reality checks such as resident surveys

The Scrutiny Panel uses reality checks such as resident surveys

Customer service testing is widely used by housing providers and other companies to check the consistency of services being provided to their customers. Resident volunteers contact Two Castles anonymously with requests for information, questions about our services, etc, to check services are being delivered in line with company policies and procedures.

The testers undertake telephone surveys, postal requests, and email enquiries, as well as face-to-face visits and observation at Two Castles’ offices. The information from each test is recorded on a form and at the end of each round of tests, the feedback is used to compile a report which is presented to Two Castles’ Customer Services Committee. Recommendations are then taken forward by the Senior Management Team with staff in order to improve services.

Valerie Poulton from Sunderland is one of our service testers. She said: “The shopping vouchers were a great incentive and much appreciated. To begin with I was very nervous, expecting it to be difficult but it was really easy and the training helped enormously. I enjoyed doing the service test on 'making a complaint' and all aspects of doing service tests. The feedback from the testers helps Two Castles to improve where improvement is needed and staff can feel pleased when the results are good.”

Testers are trained and have to sign a code of conduct. They are reimbursed with high street vouchers for each test carried out, which is £40 per office visit and £15 per phone call, email or postal request. Expenses involved in the tests are also paid.

The testers are involved in planning the scenarios and questions to be asked. After the tests they also view the draft report and suggest key findings and recommendations before it is forwarded to the Committee and senior managers to take forward.

Terms of Reference for customer service testers are given here.

To join this group, contact the Involvement & Equality Officer