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What “Scrutiny” means to Gridizen

With TPAS’s Scrutiny Week in full flow, I’ve been thinking about what scrutiny means to me and my organisation. I’m really fortunate to have had a varied and interesting career and that has always given me an insight into how different organisations and sectors view the feedback of their customers.

I remember working in the hospitality sector during the emergence of TripAdvisor, the website that allows customers to review the places they stay, eat, drink etc. At first, many in the sector started to circle the wagons and saw such a public display of their service as a threat. Others started to welcome it, seeing it as a genuine way to not only receive feedback on their good service, but also an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. People could vote with their feet, and it started to encourage more organisations to respond to their customers feedback, rather than just ignore it.

In Housing, we have a different model which makes it much more complicated for people to vote with their feet and, as a result, engagement with customers can be varied to say the least. Some organisations still see scrutiny as a tick-box exercise to satisfy regulator requirements, but others genuinely embrace the dialogue as a way to improve services. I am firmly in the latter camp, and think that the views of the residents should be at the heart of every decision we make; we have scrapped or totally redesigned portions of our software based in the feedback of our client’s customers. Organisations that positively welcome and encourage detailed scrutiny can be confident that they are providing services that are genuinely good for their residents. And when something isn’t working, it gives the organisation vital intelligence as to where their efforts need to lie.

Our software is designed to make the relationship and communication between residents and their landlords as simple and as transparent as possible; we truly believe that this is the way to create truly great service for residents.

~ Kamran Mahmood

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