A SightMill case study from a leading mutual housing exchange service

HomeSwapper is the UK’s leading mutual housing exchange service with over 450 paying landlords and more than 250,000 active users.  The software service allows registered users to identify social housing properties and initiate a process by which they can move home – either to a social housing property which is a more appropriate size or to a property which is in a different location.  Access to the service is either paid for by the landlord or, if the landlord does not provide a service, by the tenant themselves.  

The challenge with such an established and pre-eminent service is to make sure that it continues to delight its customers and users and, in doing so, minimises any future competitor threat.  To do this, HomeSwapper turned to SightMill to measure customer satisfaction using Net Promoter Score (“NPS”). The HomeSwapper team’s overall goal is to ensure that we can measure the effect of the changes that we propose to make in improving the system. 

HomeSwapper has embedded SightMill’s NPS tracking into its support websites and the service itself.  Over 5000 surveys are sent out to users each month and the response rate is about 7%.  This means that we get over 350 customers feeding back valuable information on their thoughts about our software service each month as well as providing a rating.  This level of response is much higher than previous methods used to seek customer feedback – such as emails and mailings – which have returned a response rate of less than 0.5%.

The methodology identifies Promoters (YTD 45.7%) and Detractors (YTD 35.3%) to give us a NPS of 10.4.  Using this as a benchmark, we are now able to see how our increased time and investment in improving the service are paying back. Each month, we look to see whether the score is improving and by how much – making SightMill NPS is an active indicator of the return on investment that we’re getting from our improvement works. 

However, SightMIll NPS is more than just a scoring system that benchmarks performance over time.  The methodology also ask respondents to say what the drivers of their score are – both good and not so good.  This commentary allows us to develop plans which can directly address issues and opportunities.  

For example, the Promoter comments tend to relate to the functionality and efficiency of the service; whilst, detractor comments tend to relate to other users and the interaction between users.  

These findings have allowed us to develop two separate streams of improvement work: one stream of work which is centred on making sure that all users are actively engaged in using the service whilst another stream of work is looking at new features and functionality.  By addressing both of these areas, we will be more effective in improving customer satisfaction.

When asked about SIghtMill NPS, our CEO commented “Having seen the benefits of NPS in other businesses, I was keen to introduce NPS into HomeSwapper.  As such, I’m very pleased to say that working with SightMill NPS is transforming the way we approach product development and customer Satisfaction within HomeSwapper – which is the lifeblood of our organisation.  It’s incredible how such a simple tool can have such an impact in the future of our business”  

Related: Other SightMill customers, including universities, successfully use the SightMill NPS service to gather feedback on student housing to improve customer satisfaction.