The extensive training programme was rolled out to over 350 front-line Forrest employees and was delivered by City West Works, the training and skills development arm of social housing provider City West Housing Trust.
The unique programme was designed to build on Forrest’s commitment to deliver excellent customer service as an integral part of every employee’s job. It is supplemented by a new Customer Care Policy and both were created using best practice and customer feedback.
The training was delivered using interactive workshops and role playing scenarios and covered everything from greeting residents properly to keeping them informed as works progress.
The success of the initiative is being monitored through a rigorous quality control system which uses customer satisfaction surveys, ad-hoc inspections and internal monitoring.
The company delivers 95 per cent of its £60 million turnover in occupied homes meaning hundreds of its employees have direct contact with residents on a day-to-day basis.
Forrest has also launched its Customer Engagement Charter which has been signed by every employee across Forrest’s site, operational and support services teams. The charter aims to reinforce the core principles of the Code of Conduct training and demonstrate the company wide commitment to customer care.
Lee McCarren, chief executive officer at Forrest who attended the training sessions along with managing director Mark Lyons, explained that mandatory training for all levels of the business is the best guarantee of meeting the high delivery standards set by the company’s social housing clients.
He said: “Delivering quality service is at the heart of everything we do and the Code of Conduct training and the Customer Engagement Charter take it one step further by formalising our commitment and gives us a framework to measure its success.
“Everyday we go into dozens of homes in local communities which means we’re not just a contractor but a stakeholder too. This means we have a special responsibility and duty of care for the residents.
“Rolling out this rigorous training programme means that every single one of our employees now understands their role in delivering a service standard that we can all be proud of.”
The Code of Conduct training programmes are part of Forrest’s wider Customer Engagement Strategy.
This initiative has been created to tackle the underlying issues in social housing estates by working closely with communities and schools to make lasting changes for the better.