Implementing a new Customer Communications Group at LiveWest

As early adopters and Together with Tenants ambassadors, LiveWest have set up a new Customer Communications Group to ensure all customer-facing communications are relevant, engaging, accessible and easy to read. This includes letters, newsletters, website content and forms. 

What's the story?

At LiveWest, we have a strong track record of providing a wide range of customer engagement opportunities adopting a culture that listens and values our customers’ voices.

Adopting the Together with Tenant’s Charter has given us the guidance to provide clear, accessible, and timely information to customers which led us to create a new Customer Communications Group.

Early in 2021, we established three long-standing customer groups including a Scrutiny Panel called InFocus alongside Estate Services Champions and a Shared Ownership Virtual Panel.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we successfully built collaboratively working with customers to review corporate communications and updates. Our next steps focused on giving customers the opportunity to work with us to improve customer-facing communications including our online customer magazine, newsletter and website.

This was brought to life by creating a Customer Communications Group featuring customers and a dedicated Customer Engagement Officer who supports them and works closely with our colleagues in the Communications team. The group operates online using email and a survey platform allowing customer volunteers to feedback and suggest improvements. This is all done at the most convenient time in the comfort of their own home. 

The group is very much in demand with teams across the business asking them to review different types of communications every month.

Since forming the Customer Communications Group has reviewed a range of communications.

This includes:

  • Articles for our quarterly newsletter ‘Connecting with you’
  • Mutual exchange application forms and information regarding mutual exchanges on our website
  • Complaint template letters
  • Home improvements refusal letters.
  • Customer engagement commitments
  • Energy saving advice on our website
  • Damp and mould advice leaflets

What has been the impact?

The Customer Communications Group has successfully worked in partnership and played an important role in improving our customer communications by:

  • Removing jargon and technical language from communications.
  • Ensuring content layout is well structured and easy to read.
  • Ensuring communications is accessible for everyone.

The positive impact of customer volunteers has led to improved confidence with members getting involved in more engagement activities. They’ve built a good knowledge of different communication needs and developed a better understanding of accessibility.

As a social landlord, the creation of the Customer Communications Group has led to fewer customer queries due to delivering clear and direct communication. This has coincided with a better understanding of how to make information more accessible, improving embedding our tone of voice, and increasing awareness of how our customers access information using digital devices.

What barriers, challenges points of learning did you identify?

Originally, we envisaged the Customer Communications Group meetings would be held virtually on a quarterly basis for discussions and feedback. We soon realised this structure wasn’t suitable due to the volume of communications and review/feedback process. 

Like all new get-involved opportunities, we had to give time for residents to build working relationships and inform the wider organisation of this new valuable resource. We wanted to make sure internal staff were aware of the benefits of utilising the Customer Communications Group for our both customers and organisation.

Our top three takeaways from implementing a Customer Communications Group include:

  1. Promotion - Raise awareness within the business and with customers.
  2. Be agile - Expect demand to increase over time as the profile of the group grows.
  3. Complete the loop – Make sure your organisation responds to feedback and review changes implemented to measure the overall impact.

What can others learn from your experiences?

Together with Tenants allows housing associations to reflect on the services they provide residents to drive change and work together to strengthen relationships. It also helps to build trust between an organisation and its staff.

At Live West, adopting the Together with Tenants’ Charter has played an important role in strengthening our relationship with residents. Creating a Customer Communications Group has helped us to focus on embedding the communication commitment. The group have successfully worked in partnership with us to ensure all customer-facing communications are relevant, engaging, accessible and easy to read.

Through a range of get-involved activities, we want to give our customers the opportunity to understand how our business works and influence how our services are delivered.

At a time of change in the social housing sector, adopting Together with Tenants shows leadership and a commitment from housing associations to create positive relationships and take the lead in accountability and resident oversight.

Learn more about Together with Tenants


Tiffany Richards, Customer Engagement Officer at LiveWest

“The Customer Communications Group has gone from strength to strength in popularity. From the very beginning, just simply evidencing what we have heard and how we have listened has provided a strong foundation of trust where LiveWest celebrates and values our customer’s voices.

The group is at the forefront of developments on our website and, newsletter articles, and continues to support LiveWest to get our customer-facing communication right first time, every time.”   

Colin Lincoln, LiveWest Customer and Communications Group Member  

“One of the greatest triumphs and failures is communication between landlord and residents. This can only improve if more communications and customers are included so a broad spectrum across all tenancies can be heard. This has been a very good start which I’m sure LiveWest will expand on over time.”

Who to speak to

Evelyn Williams, Policy Officer