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Wishing all our staff and clients a very happy New Year!
We look forward to working with you all during 2020.
HouseMark’s comprehensive review of resident satisfaction surveys has seen a huge level of participation from the customers of social housing landlords across the country, with some 8,000 people taking part in the research. The consultation identifies residents’ priorities, how customers prefer to provide feedback and perceptions of what landlords do with survey results.

HouseMark has published a summary of findings and has concluded that three of the key messages to emerge from the survey responses include the following:
  • Residents want their voices to be heard. Evidence to support this can be seen in the large number of responses received to the consultation and the fact that in open ended feedback, the most common issue mentioned is that residents would like landlords to listen and show they care.
  • Residents want to hear what survey results are saying and to understand how landlords will respond to findings. Only 8% of residents taking part in the research say they have seen the results of a survey. It is particularly important that those who had seen results were 13% more satisfied than those who had not, and over five times more likely to think they had benefitted from changes made by their landlord as a result of surveys.
  • Two of the most important issues for residents are the quality of homes and customer service. As expected, repairs comments appear very frequently, but HouseMark also reports that 70% of participants say that how easy it is to contact the landlord is just as important.

The results from the review are now being analysed in more depth and proposals will follow shortly. Further details of other key findings can be found on HouseMark's website by clicking here
Resident satisfaction surveys have been an integral part of the social housing landscape for many years, and are firmly entrenched in the performance monitoring systems of most landlords. STAR, which lies at the forefront of the sector’s research, is currently undergoing review, and this has provided an opportunity for many organisations to reassess the type of research they undertake. In some cases, this is resulting in a more rounded approach to surveys and an increase in the breadth and focus of research being carried out.

Although benchmarking against peers and data from regulatory bodies can provide some context to resident surveys, introducing assessments of the views of employees and other partners such as contractors, lawyers, accountants, agency partners and others can be very revealing. Incorporating these into resident research can offer huge advantages by identifying gaps between what staff think about service quality and what customers and other stakeholders actually think.

Kwest can tailor research programmes to incorporate the views of all your customers – inside and outside of your organisation – providing a 360° view of performance.

Call today for an informal chat with one of our Project Managers, or email us at
In recent years, technology has transformed the way that housing providers can communicate with their customers and with ever tightening budgets, many organisations are turning this to their advantage. Methods such as SMS surveys or email surveys are cost-effective means of seeking residents’ views in service monitoring programmes or other resident surveys, but how good are they in reality?

Text and email surveys have a number of benefits which make them attractive. Firstly, they are simple to run, and easy to automate. They also enable all customers in a sample to be contacted extremely quickly.

SMS and email offer very low cost ways of collecting customer feedback, so if you want a fast, easy approach to gathering information, then they can be very effective.

This all sounds great, so where’s the catch?

SMS and email surveys tend to have a very low response rate.

Not every person in the population will have access to a smartphone or to email, which limits the inclusiveness of these approaches.

Combining Techniques to achieve better outcomes in Resident Research
Our experience suggest that SMS or email surveys used in isolation are not effective quality assurance tools. However, mixed mode surveys where they are combined with phone or postal techniques can overcome the weaknesses in a very cost-effective way.

For example, Kwest’s proposed mixed-mode approach to transactional surveys can incorporate SMS text and email surveys, followed up by telephone interviews with non-respondents. Alternatively, SMS and email can be combined with postal surveys such as STAR.

The main rationale behind these multi-channel approaches is to respond to growing requirements to increase the number of responses to surveys, to improve accuracy levels of data, to improve survey reach and offer a choice of completion methods. A key benefit also lies in immediately decreasing the cost per completed survey.
For more information about our mixed mode surveys,
please call us on 0161 448 1388
Undertaking a survey allows you find out what your customers really think about your organisation and enables you to use the data to meet service expectations and requirements. From postal surveys to telephone, SMS and online surveys, valuable insight into your customers’ feelings and expectations can be gauged.

Kwest offers 30 years of experience in designing and implementing specialist surveys for social housing landlords. Our Project Managers can guide you through every aspect of your project and support you each step of the way. Whether your organisation wishes to undertake a STAR survey, monitor services or conduct bespoke research into specific areas of interest, we can help.

We are expert in all key data collection techniques and offer a number of multi-mode options that combine different methods to increase accessibility for participants and maximise response. If you are considering a survey soon, please feel free to call us on 0161 448 1388 to discuss your requirements.
Wishing all our staff and clients a very happy New Year!
We look forward to working with you all during 2019.
Kwest has been developing interviewing and analysis tools that will enable social housing organisations to be benchmarked on hundreds of relevant measures, going beyond anything previously attempted in the housing sector.
Our benchmarking will cover many of the services delivered by social landlords and separate questionnaires include those to monitor Repairs, Planned Maintenance, Contact Centres, ASB, Repairs and Complaints.
One of the key ways that the quality of our reports and analysis remain of the highest standard is to ensure that the potential of the data we produce can be maximised. We understand that quality is not only about how information looks, but also can be measured by how relevant it is to our clients, how data utility can be increased and how responsive we are to accommodating individual requirements.

Kwest’s innovative survey analysis and reporting software (the Online Analyst) provides continuous access to the latest results and data, including interactive, dynamic reports, which automatically update as new replies are added. In addition, the Online Analyst incorporates functionality that enables our clients to create their own reports and bespoke graphs and to amend the style, format and colour of charts to meet specific requirements.

Over the years, we have worked with organisations to produce a range of data outputs, including everything from excel files and graphical reports to ‘email alerts’, which identify service failure and are sent to nominated client staff for a more proactive response to problems.

The flexible and responsive service from Kwest’s in-house software development team also enables clients to specify where further bespoke changes to our reporting tool and outputs could be of benefit, helping to ensure that the outputs we offer remain relevant, accessible and of the highest quality by being tailored to an organisation’s individual needs.
The vast majority of housing organisations undertake some kind of resident research on a very regular basis, from periodic STAR surveys to ongoing monitoring of service based transactions, such as repairs, estate services or contact centres. The importance of understanding what customers think and what their priorities are is widely understood and well documented across the sector, but when the research programmes of most social housing landlords are examined, a much smaller number attach as much importance to surveying their staff with equal frequency. Look closer still and even fewer ask their stakeholders and other professional partners for their perceptions of the organisation in a measurable and systematic way.

So what are the benefits of a more holistic approach to surveying?

Understanding the views of customers versus employees can really help to highlight any gaps between service delivery and actual satisfaction. There can be a very big difference in opinion between what staff feel about the quality of service and what customers think. It is an ideal way to identify where additional resources or training may be required and to bridge any gaps.

When you are working within the environment of an organisation, it can be difficult to view the organisation with objectivity. How is the organisation really perceived? What are the strengths and weaknesses? What image does it successfully project? Is it perceived as providing Value For Money? Do external partners enjoy the experience of working with your employees, or is reality different?

Ratings from regulatory bodies and benchmarking can provide some context to these types of question, but what about other stakeholders and partners? Research into the views of partners such as contractors, lawyers, accountants, agency partners and others can be very revealing. Kwest can tailor research programmes to incorporate the views of all your customers – inside and outside of your organisation – providing a 360° view of performance.

Call today for an informal chat with one of our Project Managers, or email us at
Kwest would like to wish everyone a very happy festive break and New Year!

Our offices are closed for the holiday period after 22 December and will reopen on 2 January 2018. We'll see you then!