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Category: testimonial, Staff Testimonial, Supported Housing, PA Housing, customer service, customer services, customer excellence, social housing, Housing Associations, local housing association, customer experience, customer satisfaction

Testimonial

Mo Umerji, PA Housing Customer Experience Team Manager

Meet Mo Umerji, our Customer Experience Team Manager

Hi, I’m Mo, the Customer Experience Team Manager at PA Housing and I’m responsible for making sure we respond to residents’ complaints in time. Another thing I do is work with the business to perform investigations and get feedback from the complaints we receive. This is so we can be proactive and ensure that we’re providing a more efficient service and learning from our mistakes.

Although my work background is in Customer Experience, I previously worked in a bank. As I only started here at PA Housing a few months ago, I’m new to housing and I’m still learning. However, I began my job at the bank straight after I graduated from university. My first job there was an entry level role, but I had a thing for leadership and so I ended up leading a help desk team which was a lot of fun. After that, I moved into the Customer Care Team, which is quite similar to what I’m doing now. Overall, I was there for 11 years so I was ready for a new task to work on.

Whilst I was searching for a new challenge to get involved in, I read about the current challenges that PA was facing in terms of customer satisfaction. Knowing that I could contribute to a positive change for thousands of residents was a big motivating factor to join them for me. Also, my wife used to work at PA, and she had a lot of good things to say about the culture and the people here, so that influenced my decision too. In fact, one thing that stuck out to me when I first arrived was just how inclusive everybody here was. I spent my first few weeks shadowing which was productive because it eased me into the role. It certainly is busy and fast-paced, but that’s the kind of working environment I enjoy. It’s important not to become stressed out or despondent at the complaints coming in – it’s better to see them as an exciting opportunity for improvement.

In the short term, I want to learn about the social housing sector and all the different processes involved. Also, working towards the target of responding to at least 90% of complaints in time each month will always be a key priority for me. Besides that, I’ll be working very closely with Paul Pember, our Assistant Director of Customer Experience, on a 12-week action plan to make sure residents, colleagues, and potential applicants are aware of the complaints process. We hope that this will help us to deliver positive outcomes for residents. Additionally, I want to ensure that we treat all residents as individuals, we communicate clearly, and we’re all collaborating to make a difference.

Making sure we put honest communications out there to deal with issues before they arise – both with residents and colleagues – is vital. We need to be empathetic enough to hold our hands up when something has gone wrong and avoid over-promising to anyone. Paul Pember and I are really fond of the idea that progress – in any area – is a continuous loop that slowly builds up, layer upon layer. We can never stop improving but it’s about repeatedly going through the methods that work and making incremental improvements. I want my team to be operating on that level, and it has been encouraging so far. They’re a smaller team than I’m used to managing, but they’re very enthusiastic and hard working. We get on well, so I’m excited to promote this culture of open communication across PA and build the presence of the Customer Experience Team within the business.

Customer Experience is all about improving what the people we serve think of us as an organisation which, to me, is the most important thing. The way we achieve that is to put ourselves in the residents’ shoes, let them know that their complaints are being listened to, and put things in place to resolve the issues they bring to light. We used to have a saying at the bank: ‘Be Brilliant at the basics’ which always provides a great foundation for any ambitious improvements we may have in the future.

Outside of work, I’m a massive sports fan, so I watch a lot of football, tennis, cricket, whatever I feel like really. In fact, I go out and play football a couple of nights a week which I enjoy doing quite a bit. And then, I like my Netflix series. A bit of Narcos, Stranger Things, other stuff like Peaky Blinders too – I’m really looking forward to the next series of that by the way. Also, I enjoy spending quality time with my family; that’s very important to me. I find my dad to be an inspiration. He arrived in this country in the 1970s and really worked his socks off for us by doing long hours day in, day out to set us up and ensure that we would have a good life. Just knowing his story has really encouraged me to work hard and always try to adapt to new challenges and environments. I hope that I can use this mentality to drive both myself and the Customer Experience Team here at PA Housing forward and make a big, positive impact on the lives of the people we serve.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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PA Housing

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