Customer Annual Reports – A Million Pound Waste of Time – Blog Update #ukhousing

Annual Reports cost Housing Providers millions but are a joke to most customers

A customer mailed me last week about our latest reports. Here’s a snippet…

” I think these reports are largely a waste of time. The first priority of the tenant is their own home. As I have said before, if there is something wrong you will hear about it soon enough. Beyond that I doubt whether many tenants have any deep interest or sense of identification with the institution which is providing their housing. ”

So last Wednesday we tried an experiment. Conduct a consultation on Twitter and Facebook, and at our Customer Influence Group meeting,  about whether Customer Annual Reports-  in 2011 – are a vital part of business transparency or outdated and outmoded.

Forget the regulation for a minute. When was the last time YOU looked at any annual report from a service provider? Your bank? Local council? Amazon? Marks and Spencer? The UK Government?

Our stats from this year show only 1.6% of residents showed any interest in a full version annual report. Online or in print.

Lets play with some figures.

Suppose the average Housing Association spent £30,000 (very conservative guesstimate) on performance reports and magazines to residents. Then take the fact that 1,200 HA’s are on the books of the National Housing Federation. That’s 1,200 x 30k = £36,000,000.

Thirty Six Million Pounds A Year. On Annual Reports and Magazines.

Thats the sort of thing that should make the Audit Commission and other consultants who told us this stuff really mattered to residents hang their heads in shame.

Social Media on the other hand allows not just a monologue but a multilogue.

So in our experiement the other night we fused a physical meeting, twitter, facebook , email and postal comments – and used all of it to help us make a decision. I’ll post the results later in the week

Here’s some more views of customers – our transcript from the other night……twitter transcript


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